Certain dishes can only be made with leftovers. Because even though they are delicious, the amount of work that would go into making them without leftovers would be daunting for a glorified casserole dish. We always make more than we need for Thanksgiving. Years ago a guest at Thanksgiving dinner explained that what she missed most about cooking the dinner at home was having the leftovers in the fridge the day afterwards. I took that theory to heart and so we always factor in a care package for each guest when we calculate how much food to make for the big dinner.
Of course we like leftovers of our own. Sometimes the best meals are made from dribs and drabs of what's around (as long as what's around is still fresh and tasy.) This year our day after Thanksgiving dinner was a casserole. We layered the leftover mashed potatoes on the bottom of the dish. Then the baked onions over that. Diced turkey and layer of gravy came next. Top it all with stuffing and pop it in the oven. While that heated we sauteed up some fresh green beans to go alongside. Our guests that evening, who had been at dinner the night before, dubbed it even better than the real thing. It had everything we loved from the previous night's meal in a casual, comfortable setting and left room for a hefty slice of pie and ice cream. Thanksgiving dinner should always be two nights long. It's yet another thin to be thankful for.