Thankful for Leftovers

As my husband said the blessing over our family’s Thanksgiving meal this year, the thought resounding in my mind was from Psalm 34:8—

Taste and see that the Lord is good . . .

A great thought for Thanksgiving, right? And we enjoyed not one but TWO great days of feting and feasting. On Thursday, we had a low-key turkey dinner with my husband’s brother with lots of time for reminiscing and catching up, and Friday, we headed for my sister’s house for a day of family, laughter, games, and of course, So Much Food.

And pie. Mustn’t forget the pie.

Of course, after two Thanksgivings, you know we had leftovers. They’re as much a part of the tradition as the family gatherings are.

However, by day three or so, as the tryptophan and carb-induced coma haze lifts, one starts poking around in the back of the fridge and the pantry with a half-articulated guilty thought simmering beneath the surface—What else have we got?

I say “guilty” because wanting something else feels sort of like the opposite of gratitude . . . and because leftovers spoil if you don’t use them up quickly. Can’t let all that good stuff go to waste!

So when that desire for something new settled in, I went to my hubby and said, “How about I run out for some sourdough bread and make you a Jedi master level turkey sandwich?”

Cue his I’m-very-interested look. “Okay!”

So I did. And here is a picture of the result:


Not a Jedi mind-trick. Just a really great panini.

It was around this time another verse occurred to me. Really just a phrase, actually—one that appears several times in the Bible, and one that is important to the theme of the book I’m working on, so it’s natural that it would come to mind: A new thing.

Meaning what? Here are a couple of verses to illustrate:

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. –Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)


Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. –2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)


Now, I said “Jedi master level” because I knew it would make my husband smile . . .


Our wedding cake topper, 9 years ago tomorrow!

. . . but I know Who is the source of the goodness. Of newness. This is what redemption is all about. I’m thankful for leftovers—even those in my life and not my fridge—because I have a good God who can and does make new things out of them.

And in case you have turkey hanging out that you’re sick of looking at, here’s the sandwich recipe. 🙂

Brandy’s Cranberry-Havarti Turkey Panini

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2 slices of sourdough bread
  • 2-3 slices Honeybaked Sliced and Glazed Turkey Breast (or more to taste)
  • 2 T Emeril’s Cranberry Conserve (or your favorite cranberry side dish)
  • 1 slice Havarti cheese
  • Butter
  • Mayo


Preheat a sandwich maker, panini press, or stovetop pan to medium-low heat. Butter one side of both slices of sourdough. Add a thin spread of mayo to the other side of one or both slices. Assemble sandwich, layering turkey slices, cranberry conserve, and Havarti. Carefully transfer to the cooking surface.

Using a panini press at 325F, heat through about 7 minutes or until you’ve reached the desired level of toastiness. Cooking at 350F will yield a darker toast faster (about 3-4 minutes) if that’s your preference.

Cut on a diagonal and serve with love.

Forget the droids. These are the noms you’re looking for.

Important Note: When making the cranberry conserve, I followed the advice of many commenters and reduced the vinegar to ¼ cup.


Thankful for Leftovers! a #devotional & a #recipe

Brandy’s Cranberry-Havarti Turkey Panini #recipe #leftovers #devotional

Sick of turkey already? Here’s a #panini idea (and a #devotional!)

This is, technically, my November devotional. I’ll plan to put up the December post at the end of this month. Thanks as always for reading. 🙂 If you enjoyed this post, please like, share, and subscribe. For updates about my novels and author events, sign up for my newsletter.

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