Christmas is not just for turkey

Boxing Day cold meat and bubble

CHRISTMAS lunch or dinner plays a big part of most people’s interest in food over the holiday period but what about the rest?

In our house we can count at least five special meals we have every year at this time.

They are almost, but not quite, as important as the main event but eagerly anticipated all the same.

The first comes on Christmas Eve. We’ve boiled and glazed the ham so we carve off the ends to make it look trim and have ham, egg and chips with pickles for tea.

Of course, the liquid in which you’ve boiled it up with herbs and vegetables will make soups. It’ll be salty and needs diluting but stick a few big peeled spuds in to absorb it. Then you can eat those too, fried.

Christmas Dinner needs no explanation and I bet we’re not alone in having a Boxing Day treat of cold meats and bubble and squeak, fried up from the leftover vegetables. And more pickles.

This year we visited for Christmas Day but did bring home the remains of the turkey.

So apart from dripping for breakfast, there was the carcase to pick for curry (into the freezer because you can have too much turkey in one go) then the bones were boiled up for yet more soup and stock.

Just look at all that dripping

And there was quite a bit of skin left over so sections were crisped up in a pan, with the fat released used to fry the bubble.

Turkey is the bird which keeps on giving and it’s my mission in life to make it disappear from the fridge as quickly as possible.

Bits that get left over can always go into pies or be minced up finely, along with the ham, as potted meat.

I am also planning a stir-fry so we’ll round that up with the dripping ( for me only) and lunchtime soups ├ánd call them meal number four.

Finally, at my wife’s insistence, we always have beef Stroganoff on New Year’s Eve. Probably because it’s not turkey or ham of which she is getting tired.

Mind you, that turkey essence, nicely jellied in the fridge, would really enhance the Stroganoff. She doesn’t need to know . . .