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“What to do with Leftover Turkey?”

As an omnivorous member of the food community, I feel that I have a confession to make. I am an ex-vegetarian.

I know a lot of people who used to be vegetarians, and even though we've all more or less come to terms with meat-eating for various reasons, many of us still feel very conflicted about meat.

Happy Thanksgiving week, folks! Before we sign off to enjoy our own Thanksgiving holiday, here's a list of Joy Kitchen recipes that may help you in your preparations. Godspeed!

Appetizers

Last week, a friend who runs an ice cream-related business hired me to help him with a catering event. He was in charge of the dessert course for a charity event, the attendees of which numbered around 270. He's the ice cream guru; I was brought on for my experience doing private parties and plating more desserts than seems reasonable.

One of the small mercies of life is that February only has 28 days. I know there are real reasons for it, involving Romans and lunar calendars and such, but I like to think of it as a small blessing--the fact that cold, gray February is just a little shorter.

Last year around Thanksgiving when I was working at the restaurant, our chef asked me to make something like 30 quarts of cranberry sauce.

One of the most iconically-American (and especially Southern) condiments is salt-brine-fermented hot pepper sauce. Usually made from tobascos (the pepper variety, not the brand), this kitchen staple and table condiment is a snap to make, especially if you have a glut of chiles on hand. Here in East Tennessee, chile season is still in full swing, and many varieties thrive here.

 One of my first-ever cooking projects was making the Pommes de Terre Anna from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I must have seen a photo of it somewhere, and all those crispy, browned layers of potatoes lacquered with butter spoke to me.

Candy-making is one area of cooking that I have very little experience with. I make a mean salted caramel, and I do a pumpkin seed brittle on occasion that can make you swoon, but generally speaking, I don't enjoy making candy because the results are too sweet, and you wind up with more than you could possibly eat.

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