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Life Happens: Ten days of turkey

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but the turkey seems to live on forever, at least at my house. Every Thanksgiving, I cook a big dinner, complete with an enormous turkey and everything that goes with it, including homemade cranberry sauce.

I enjoy cooking and everyone helps me. The bird is magnificent and dinner is delicious. We always have a lot of leftovers. Maybe too many.

After the holiday, we continue to eat Thanksgiving dinner, feasting on everything, all over again, remarking to each other how much we love getting to eat such great leftovers. We could eat turkey, stuffing and gravy, every day, for a year.

Somewhere around the fourth post-holiday day, I pull the rest of the meat off the carcass that is taking up so much room in my refrigerator and make turkey soup with the bones.

This takes us through day six. My soup is great, even though the recipe makes about 2 gallons. We speak of the joys of turkey soup, on cold winter days. Meanwhile, there is still a plate of turkey in the fridge, a few spoonfuls of stuffing, maybe a scoop or two of mashed potatoes and various other side dishes.

Day seven. What to do with the turkey. Are we having turkey again? You bet. Asian style sesame stir-fry turkey over soba noodles. Another turkey dinner under our belts.

How long can turkey last in the refrigerator? Weíre testing that theory, on day eight. In fact, we are wondering when the turkey is going to go bad. Apparently, not today. So itís turkey soup again, because there is still a big bowl of it, and maybe a last piece of pumpkin pie, way in the back of the fridge.

Day nine. Really? The turkey hasnít gone moldy yet? I would blame preservatives, but mine is an organic, free-range turkey that is lasting this long on its own power, without chemical help. So, I make a casserole of sorts, with cabbage, gravy, rice and turkey. Itís not bad. We would probably think it was delicious, if we werenít coming up on day 10 of our turkey extravaganza.

On the 10th day, it becomes a game. What else can I make with turkey? All I have left is the soup. The rest of the turkey has finally and mercifully been consumed. I consult the Food Network and learn that I can use the soup in a couple of different ways. I could make turkey cacciatore, turkey polenta or turkey tetrazzini.

To tell the truth, I donít have much enthusiasm for any of that stuff. My family is so over turkey. Instead, we pack the last of the soup for our lunches and turn the lights out, on our turkey leftover challenge. We make hamburgers for dinner.

We are thankful that we got so many meals out of our Thanksgiving dinner, but we are also glad that there are 355 days left to go, until the next one.
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