While half the country was bombarded with snow and storms on Thanksgiving Day, we could not have asked for better weather in the Southeast, with a mostly clear day with temperatures in the sixties.
We spent the day with extended family at my parent’s house, where the Rowdy boys had the times of their lives playing with all the cousins.
It was a day filled with not just food and family, but grass sledding on cardboard boxes, backyard dodgeball, wagon rides (and downhill crashes), bubble popping, baby snuggling and an hour-long game of tag between four little boys. (A thanks to my cousin’s wife Bethany for some great photos!)
When Thanksgiving Day drew to a close, we were all utterly and happily exhausted. And stuffed, always stuffed.
Last year, nine months pregnant with Scarlett at Thanksgiving, I was on a freezer meal kick in preparation for her arrival. I used leftover turkey to make a casserole I found on Pinterest that I ended up tweaking a bit. I wasn’t sure how it would taste, but in the throes of those early newborn sleepless nights, it was the most delicious casserole ever.
This year, my mom found a 14-pound turkey for me on sale for $8, which my dad smoked the day after Thanksgiving for me to take home to make freezer meals. Ideally, this is a quick recipe you can throw together with your Thanksgiving leftovers. But for me, the memory of it from last year was so tantalizing that I wanted to make a big batch of freezer meals.
I hesitate to call this a recipe, because I don’t supply any portion amounts and it’s basically just a layering concept. Even though this casserole can be made with prepared store-bought ingredients, I always think homemade is best. Besides the smoked turkey, I whipped up a batch of mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce from fresh cranberries. My mom contributed leftover dressing, which is a recipe my Grandma used to make growing up that involves homemade cornbread, celery and onions. I will admit that I went with the store-bought gravy packets, as there was no gravy leftover from Thanksgiving Day.
Thanksgiving Dinner Casserole
- Mashed Potatoes
- Dressing or Stuffing
- Cranberry Sauce
Simply layer the ingredients in this order: mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey, cranberry sauce, dressing/stuffing, gravy. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
And voila, you have a new reconstructed meal using your Thanksgiving leftovers. This recipe also works well as a freezer meal.