Here in Canada, Thanksgiving occurred this past Monday. It’s a day of preparing for feasting, feasting, and then studiously avoiding the cleanup from feasting. If your family is anything like mine, we prepare more food than we can safely consume in one evening. There’s never any fear of their being leftover deviled eggs, stuffing, or pumpkin pie. However, there’s always leftovers like potatoes, sweet potatoes, turkey, cranberries, dinner rolls, salad, and whatever else may have entered the mix.
Before determining the type of container, there are a few questions that you need to ask:
- Will we eat this tomorrow?
- Will this go into school/work lunches this week?
- Can this freeze for later?
Leftovers for Dinner Tomorrow
The food you’re going to eat tomorrow, whether its in a hot turkey sandwich, turkey omelettes, turkey wraps, or turkey poutine, you have a lot of flexibility in how you’re going to store it. Since the fridge was just emptied to make Thanksgiving dinner, there’s a lot of room to pop it back in.
For this sort of leftover, a larger snap-tight glass containers works well. You’ll likely want cranberries, turkey, and possibly even mashed potatoes (they’re good if you fry them up). Larger containers because you’re not really going to pre-sort your food. You’ll have turkey in one, potatoes in a second, etc.
School & Work Lunches
For school/work lunches, you’ll want to get this sorted as quickly as you can. If you leave it in a larger container, like the snap-tight one mentioned above, it will either disappear or go bad before it ever makes it into a lunch. I recommend using partitioned plastic containers. If your kids are anything like my son, they only want to open 1 container for their lunch.
These plastic containers are perfect for keeping food from getting all mixed up, allowing you to add your cranberries to the turkey at lunch, instead of having soggy turkey that’s been soaking in them all day. It’s also great for putting dip in one section, and something healthy (like carrots sticks) in another.
Freeze Leftovers For Future Meals
Finally, when it comes to freezing food, there’s a number of issues with storage. A glass or plastic container, unless you push parchment right up against the food, tends to fall victim to freezer burn. Disposable plastic freezer bags, well, they’re pretty bad for the environment and tend to tear if you neglect to sort out a bone from the turkey.
Thankfully, there is another option: reusable silicone bags. We use these a lot in our household, and they work fantastic. Push the excess air out before you seal the bags. The food freezes pretty good, and it’s easy to pull it out without worrying about it making a mess.
To Sum Up
With big meals like Thanksgiving, there’s bound to be leftovers. Glass containers are good for a big meal of leftovers the next day. Plastic containers with compartments are preferred for school & work lunches. And silicone bags are my recommendation for storing it in the freezer. Where possible, you’re going to want to keep any leftovers out of your compost bin. This is good food, and with kids (especially boys), there’s no point throwing it away.