Don’t throw out the remains of your Thanksgiving turkey. (Thinkstock by Getty Images)

When I was a lad (this would be some time ago), the worst day of the year was the Friday after Thanksgiving.

We were raised Roman Catholic, and my father classified turkey as meat on a can’t-eat-meat fasting day. We argued with him that, like chicken, it came from eggs and we ate eggs on Fridays and so … .

No deal.

Our mother set the bird — or what remained of it after nine kids, two adults and the occasional visiting priest had had at it — in the downstairs refrigerator, covered with a moistened linen towel. We sibs would take turns just to look at it.

At the crack of midnight between Friday and Saturday, if we were still awake, my father allowed us to attack the leftovers.

The turkey in the sandwiches that we made tasted even better than it had 30 hours back.
Two times a year, just twice, Pepperidge Farm brand white bread is to be found in this St. John’s kitchen: in July and August, to make tomato sandwiches, and in November to fashion those leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches.

(Recipe: Two slices Pepperidge Farm white bread; leftover turkey; a sliver of cranberry jelly; and a healthy slathering of Hellman’s mayonnaise.)

Why Pepperidge Farm? The pull of tradition, the bread’s handy firmness after a light toast, plus the good measure of sodium that it sports.

Any seasoned cook has a legion of uses for leftover turkey: hash, omelets, what used to be called casseroles but are now “one-pot” dinners, anything where scraps are more integral than they’d be alone.

But perhaps the best use of leftover turkey is its carcass, as the base for a rich broth or stock, so much of it that a bunch gets frozen for use long after the end of November.