Now the big day has come and gone and the Boxing Day Buffet has exceeded all expectation but is now just a dim and distant memory along with the annual Knitted Christmas Sweater, our attentions now turn to what to do with the left-over Turkey et al. Some women can keep Christmas left-overs going till Pancake Day but remember these are the women that probably put their Christmas veg on to boil in November. It has to be said that some left-overs are best left to the dog/cat/rabbit/hamster/Shetland pony but in the absence of, then a little knowledge aforethought might not go amiss before you order the turkey and plan for the perfect Christmas feast:
1. It's not just the oven the turkey has to fit into. You have to be able to house the beast in the fridge first without resorting to a Krypton Factor test of removing shelves, emptying the entire contents then put back as you remember.
2. Turkey Crowns are a boon to the modern housewife but if you insist on buying the real thing then always downsize. Everyone always pigs-out for lunch so barely has room for a wafer thin slice of turkey in the evening. Either that or go down the goose-route.
3. Fridges do tend to take on a life of their own around this festive period, becoming almost Narnia-esque. When searching for the already sliced-into lemon you've stashed away somewhere in cling film wanting to load your glass of gin and tonic, you never seem to reach the back of the fridge and instead end up touching something soft and furry and then extremely cold only to discover the canopes from Christmas Eve have developed fur coats of their own.
4. Beware of parsnips cunningly disguised as roast potatoes. Although personally I am a great fan of parsnips I do appreciate there are always those who have an aversion to the much maligned parsnip so best not to cook too many unless you know they are spoken for.
5. This is an absolute must - ensure you have enough room in the fridge to chill the Champers and white wine even if it means jettisoning the stuff for the Boxing Day Buffet to the garage. Don't rely on the cupboard under the stairs as a makeshift fridge to chill down the Christmas booze. Remember Harry Potter lived here till he went to Hogwarts so it's certainly not cold enough to chill the fizz.
LEFT-OVER RECIPE SUGGESTIONS
I remember as a child growing up, the left-over turkey meal of choice my mum would cook at Christmas would be Turkey and Chips and she would cook real chips cooked in a deep saucepan of cooking oil, not the cheat's oven chips of today.
Turkey curry is always a good standby but came across this recipe for turkey left-overs in an American cook book and they of all people should know a lot about Turkey seeing as they have a double whammy of Turkey with Thanksgiving in November as a pre-cursor to Christmas. It is a variation on the classic New York recipe for Chicken Divan:
Turkey Divan6 good slices of left-over turkey
1 tin condensed cream of chicken soup (thinned slightly with a splash of sherry and a little cream or milk)
Head of Broccoli (cooked)
Grated Parmesan/Cheddar (or whatever cheese you have got to hand)
Put about one quarter of the soup mixture in the based of a buttered casserole, Add the broccoli and cover with the slices of turkey. Pour over the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle generously with the cheese and bake uncovered at 180C for about twenty minutes till bubbling. (Serves 5-6)
I will leave the last word to the gospel according to Delia. I always follow her instructions on Christmas Day to the letter - got to be done - you can't deviate from the great Delia.