The Friends Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich, complete with the Moistmaker, made famous by Ross Geller. (Photo: Claire Lower)
Like any good child of the ’90’s, I was thrilled when Friends showed up on Netflix earlier this year. I binged my way through all 236 episodes (a measly 83 hours of my life, no big deal) and quickly realized that my favorite episodes were those that revolved around Thanksgiving. They were predictable, but comforting; Chandler always refuses to participates, Monica always freaks out about the menu, and there’s usually one fun guest. (Though it was kind of painful to watch the Brad Pitt episode; still too soon.)
And then there is the food. Because of Friends, I have eaten mashed potatoes with peas and onions, toyed with the idea of putting beef in a trifle, and longed for the Thanksgiving leftover sandwich that is stolen from Ross by his boss, pushing him over the edge and earning him a forced sabbatical and a trip to anger management. If you’re a little hazy on the details or somehow (i.e., you were born after 1995) haven’t seen the episode, here’s the scene:
No exact ingredients are given, but we know that it contains at least two very important ingredients: leftover turkey and the Moistmaker, that glorious piece of gravy-soaked bread that keeps the turkey from tragically drying out. From there, you are pretty much free to incorporate whatever leftovers you see fit. Cranberry sauce and stuffing are a must in my opinion, but I also recommend hoarding some of those fried onions that you find atop a green bean casserole; just a small handful will really take the sandwich somewhere special. One other tip: toast the bread, especially the middle guy. Toasting will dry the bread out and make it a little tougher, absorbing the gravy without turning to complete mush. I also add a bit of mayo and lettuce, because a sandwich just isn’t a sandwich without mayo, and the lettuce lets me lie to myself about my vegetable consumption.
The Friends Leftover Thanksgiving Sandwich:
3 pieces of sandwich bread, toasted
Turkey meat, light or dark (or a mix!)
Stuffing or dressing
Crunchy fried onions (from the top of a green bean casserole)
To make the Moistmaker: Pour gravy into a shallow dish and soak one piece of toasted bread in it for a couple of minutes, flipping halfway through.
Lay down bottom piece of bread and lay it down like this: cranberry sauce, turkey, the Moistmaker, stuffing (or dressing), crunchy fried onions, lettuce, and top with your last piece of bread, which should be spread with a little mayo.
Chow down and be happy. And don’t leave it in the fridge at work.