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What is the best part of the Thanksgiving meal? The leftovers, of course. I could eat Thanksgiving leftovers for days. And days.
When I prepare the Thanksgiving meal I PLAN on making more than needed so that there are plenty and plenty of leftovers for my family and for those that come for the festivities. It seems a kind and considerate thing to do :).
I realize that it is perfectly fine for me to keep all of the leftovers for myself as a sort of “payment” for hosting. But I just feel so darn badly. EVERYONE loves leftovers. And the hallmark of a good hostess is thinking of the well-being of those that come to your home.
So, I put away the food I want for the next couple of days for my family and then set the rest of the leftovers out on a sort of “bar” with several food storage containers (I use the Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids–they are inexpensive, easy to find, and my personal fave) and labels. Then, everyone grabs some of their favorites for a meal, put a label on the container with their name, and stick it in the fridge to bring home with them when the day is over.
This “bar” is nothing more complicated than the kitchen counter or table. No need to get crazy. Nor do you have to have fancy printable labels or containers. Keep it practical with containers they will want to use again and are inexpensive enough for you to get and give away (hence the reason I use the Rubbermaid ones!). Sending them with leftovers and thinking enough steps ahead to be prepared with containers and labels is so super fantastic you will be a winner without the need for being fancy.
I have never ever had one person NOT be excited about a Rubbermaid with leftovers. Not one.
I always have some extra bits of goodies on hand for them to bring home with them, as well. Things like recipe ideas for the leftovers, medicinal tea, cookies, and sometimes candles. All things I think they would enjoy as they wind down from Thanksgiving Day.
To make your own “Thanksgiving leftovers station” you simply need:
- Sharpies (to label!)
- Labels – These labels are simple to make with cardstock, craft paint, and a foam brush from Martha Stewart Crafts or you can use the printable version I included for you.
- Food Storage containers.
- Little extras, if you desire…
–Soothing TeaBags. I have Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat shown here.
–Christmas Cookies. Mine are traditional gingerbread to get revved up for the next holiday!
–Recipe Cards. You know, if you have a whole lot of turkey left over you can send a turkey recipe with the lot. The one I show is a recipe from Smithfield for Ham & Bacon Hash. Yum!
–Tea Candles. Small candles are great to light while they enjoy their tea, cookies, and food.
Personally, I’m a bit jealous of these little packages of leftovers. I imagine them to be a lovely way to spend a couple of hours being reminded of the great Holiday gathering and fun with family. Sitting and smiling while eating their leftovers.
Give the idea of making extra food so you can send home leftovers with your guests a thought, will you? It’s a whole lot of fun and something they appreciate!
To print a sheet of these labels click the image below and save to your computer. Print. I used Avery labels 8164