We have our ideas about how things should be.  The tighter we hold to these ideas, generally, the more unhappy we are likely to become.  Sometimes those ideas are hard to shake.  Other times, when we let go of them, we find out that there are much better things waiting for us.

All of which pertains directly to Thanksgiving Day leftovers.  I love a good turkey & stuffing sandwich.  But those can get boring fast, as leftovers go.  Over the past couple of years we’ve developed a tradition of making an American version of a Vietnamese soup, pho.  I first had the Vietnamese version of this dish years and years ago back in Arizona when a friend took me to a great little Vietnamese place when I had a cold.  The soup was delicious.  It’s basically beef broth with rice noodles and a variety of meat bits cooked in the broth soas to be very tender.  You add bean sprouts, basil, mint, jalapenos, and a variety of sauces to flavor it the way you like, but it’s great just plain as well.

Now on Thanksgiving evening I clean off the remaining meat from the turkey bones, then throw the bones in a crockpot overnight covered in water.  They simmer for twelve hours or so and make the most fragrant turkey broth you can imagine.  This becomes the base for our turkey pho.

The problem is that most of our kids don’t really care for the traditional rice noodles.  Solution this year?  Make our own Italian-style noodles.  One of our recent international students, an Italian woman from Switzerland, taught us how to use the noodle cutter that has been unused but often ogled over the years in our kitchen.  The kids love doing this, so we put them to work.  We made the dough up in our KitchenAid, and after I kneaded it for a few minutes, the kids set to work pressing out the noodles and cutting them.

Turns out that they’re great in the pho, and we don’t have to listen to complaining from the kids about the rice noodles.  Our tradition has been skewed, but I suspect it’s slightly better for the skewing.  I pray your day-after-Thanksgiving was equally filled with good leftovers and memories!

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