Tuesday, November 25, 2014

An eastward slant for turkey leftovers

Now that the internet is trying to prepare us for the days after Thanksgiving with recipes for (gluten-free, paleo, and/or baconized) turkey-filled leftovers, I wondered what families in the '60s might do with their late-November bounty. I expected a sea of cream of mushroom soup-based casseroles and mountains of turkey hash. I was a bit surprised to find a peninsula of "eastern" offerings in American Home All-Purpose Cookbook (1966, edited by Virginia T. Habeeb).

I am not at all a fan of the sweet-and-savory fruit and meat combo (not even turkey and cranberries!), but for those who are, Turkey Far East seems like a holiday-appropriate use of leftovers. It's full of warm holiday spices like cinnamon and ginger as well as in-season apples and oranges.

Even if the fall tastes mirror some in the Thanksgiving dinner, this would be a big change of pace compared to the usual reheated leftovers.

What if you really want a turkey pie, though, and you don't want to crank out another pot pie? 

Like many of the putatively Chinese dinners in old cookbooks, this recipe's authenticity seems questionable at best. It has soy sauce, pineapple, and water chestnuts, though, along with ground almonds in the crust, so it's as Chinese as one might reasonably expect in the '60s.

I have to admit, I'm much more of a casserole-full-of-cream-of-mushroom-soup fan than a tolerator of fruit in my turkey, but it was fun to find recipes so different from what I expected.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy the leftovers any way you want!


  1. WOW! 8 cardamom seeds, that's a whole lotta spice :O

    On a side note, I'm making Turkey ala King this year from our leftovers courtsey of Betty Crocker's Good and Easy Cookbook (1971) . Nom!

    1. I love that cookbook! I think I've got a couple, actually-- your '70s one and another from the '50s. Enjoy your leftovers!

  2. Give me an old fashioned leftover turkey sandwich with lots of mayo and non-nutrional white bread and I am a very happy camper, Poppy:) Oh and lots of pepper too!

    Thanks for sharing, Poppy...Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!!

    1. Now you know I can't agree with you on the mayo because of my condiment aversion, but lots of pepper sounds good! :-) Happy Thanksgiving!