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Think Again: Saving Money by Repurposing your Leftovers

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Published on: Thursday, January 09, 2014

By B. Morrison, Special to The Sentinel

There always seem to be lots of jokes about leftovers, but if you think leftovers are the worst thing you can face at the dinner table, think again. When you don't have enough money for food, you consider yourself lucky to have any leftovers to stretch into another meal. An empty plate is far worse. A few years ago I had a holiday meal at a friend's house. Her husband carved the turkey in the kitchen, laying the slices out on a platter along with the legs to be served at the table. Then my friend casually tipped the remainder of the turkey--still with a lot of meat on it--into the trash can, saying she couldn't be bothered to do anything more with it.

I was shocked. When they were growing up, my boys always stripped the last bits of meat off a turkey or roasted chicken, and then I made soup with the bones the way my mother taught me. We had soup almost every night, one of my strategies for trying to fill up my boys' hollow legs. They were always hungry. You can use the same recipe for chicken soup, though you may have to adjust the amount of water.

Mom's Turkey Soup

bones from 1 turkey 

1 onion

2 celery stalks

1 t salt

about 8 c water (or water to cover)

2 tomatoes, diced (fresh or canned) 

2 carrots, diced

1/2 lb wide egg noodles or fettucini (optional)

Break up the carcass and put the bones in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the water, celery, onion and salt. Bring to a boil and let simmer, partially covered for 2 hours, stirring occasionally to keep the bones submerged. Remove and discard the celery and onion. Remove the bones and put in another bowl. Once the bones have cooled, pick off any remaining meat and add it to the broth. Discard the bones. Add the tomatoes and carrots to the broth and bring it to a boil again. After 20 minutes, add the noodles and cook for another 10 minutes. Cool and refrigerate. Before you use it, skim off most of the layer of fat at the top. 

Turkey has such good flavor, I don't usually add any seasonings. With chicken soup, I add sage or poultry seasoning. Soup is not only filling, it is warm and comforting on these cold days.

B. Morrison is the author of a memoir, Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother. For more information, visit 

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Thursday, April 10, 2014