Thanksgiving leftovers are serious business in my family. We all carefully pack up food to enjoy throughout the holiday weekend.
I have had fun decorating leftover containers in the past, but last year I decided to focus on really organizing them so it would be easy to pass out to everyone as they headed home.
First, was the realization that I should pack leftovers ahead of time. We make everything, but the turkey, the day before Thanksgiving. So it finally occurred to me, if you cook it the day before, why then reheat it all the next day?
Instead, when each dish was done cooking, I filled smaller serving dishes for us to use during our Thanksgiving meal and then filled a take-home container of each item for each person. That way what would have been leftover anyway hasn't been cooked twice. The additional bonus to this plan is all my serving dish sizes are much smaller, making it easier to heat up everything in the oven together once the turkey comes out to rest. The next additional bonus is that one more step of work has been taken out of Thanksgiving day, packing up all the leftovers.
The thing I needed to keep in mind with the pre-portioning is that some people want this and not that or one item is their very favorite and they would love extra. So out came the washi-tape color coding. Each family member was assigned a tape design and all of their leftover portions could be easily identified in the fridge. I also had more empty labeled containers ready to fill with turkey and pieces of pies my sister bakes.
Thankfully, last year the plan worked perfectly, so it will be a new washi-tape organized tradition.
I am guessing you never realized how long someone could write about a Thanksgiving leftover plan, but like I said, my family doesn't mess around with this dinner. If it doesn't seem completely crazy to you, hopefully it will help your Thanksgiving efforts go a little more smoothly.