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Wrap larger leftover portions in plastic wrap, then wrap that in aluminum foil. The plastic wrap will help keep the moisture in the food, and the foil keeps light out. Wrap your sandwiches or picnic food with greaseproof paper – which you can compost afterwards. Store your packed lunch in a reusable tupperware container, or empty ice-cream tub. Food you have prepared yourself should be kept for no-longer than 3 days, for other foods the manufacturer instructions should be followed.
Refrigeration slows down bacterial growth. But every time you open the door the inside warms up a little, eventually allowing bacteria to multiply. Refrigerator temperatures fluctuate, especially from season to season. The best way to regulate your refrigerator is with a refrigerator thermometer.
Refrigerate leftovers in shallow containers within 2 hours of cooking. Bacteria get a good chance to grow in foods that sit at room temperature. By putting food in the fridge, you’re putting the chill on those bad germs!
Use leftover poultry and stuffing within 3 to 4 days, or freeze these foods. Refrigerate once steaming stops and leave the lid or wrap loosely until the food is cooled to refrigeration temperature. Avoid overstocking the refrigerator to allow cool air to circulate freely.
I love meat pies and add all my chopped leftover meats, veggies, whatever. I put my recycled foil on top with B for Beef or T for turkey and toss them in the freezer. Freezing keeps food safe by slowing the movement of molecules, causing bacteria to enter a dormant stage. Once thawed, these bacteria can again become active and multiply to levels that may lead to food borne illness. Freezing will not improve the quality of the turkey. If the turkey is frozen while it is fresh the quality will be better upon defrosting. Since bacteria can’t grow at freezer temperatures, food is generally safe indefinitely while frozen.
Meat products tend to attract more serious food-contaminating bacteria such as salmonella or E Coli. Vegetables not prepared with meat may stay edible a little longer.
Fresh fruit, canned pie fillings, packaged puddings, and toppings augmented by your own favorite sauces provide a myriad of choices for serving leftover pound cake, angel food cake, or a few cookies. These are the ingredients of a variety of elegantly layered desserts to serve in sherbet glasses or parfaits.
Cooking on a high heat can kill most germs. Food should be eaten as soon as it is cooked. Cook immediately after thawing.