And so that was Christmas

So good Christmas all? Despite the relative disappointment of Doctor Who - a marked improvement on the Titanic shenanigans of 2007 but seriously, more Victoriana? Just how much use are they getting out of that set? - it was a pretty good one chez, er, us. That was partly down to Wallace & Gromit (just how good was that?!) but mostly down to the food.

Actually, even better than the food was the level of food. Despite having bought a whole turkey - so much better than the usual overpriced crown - the fridge today looks like, well, a regular fridge rather than the usual post-Christmas collection of vegetables, bits of cheese, sausage meat and animal legs.

There's a very simple reason for this: planning. Actually, there are two simple reasons for this: planning and the possession of a blender. I'm on record elsewhere (generally pub-related discussions) as declaring Boxing Day lunch far superior to Christmas Day. This year was nearly the turkey that bucked the trend but there's still something about the simplicity of Boxing Day (or Mayonnaise Day as a friend of a friend has it) that just edges it. Cold meats, mash, pickles, salad, coleslaw... come one, does it get better than that? Well, yes, it does, thanks to our smug planning and leftover soup.

At the end of lunch yesterday, we stripped the turkey carcass down into freezer bags (roll on the turkey curries, and more on that in due course), put all the Boxing Day stuff in a dish but gathered all the uneaten veg in another pot: a couple of spoonfuls of red cabbage, the sprouts (with the bacon and chestnuts), roasted parsnips, roasted carrots, and a couple of lumps of sweet potato. Today they all ended up in a pot, alongside the remains of last week's lamb stock, a splash of water and yesterday's gravy. A quick boil, a quick blitz and we've ended up with several pints of astonishingly good soup and a pleasantly empty fridge.

On the subject of leftovers, we've also decided to challenge ourselves for January. Can we survive for a month from the cupboards and freezer and not hit a supermarket / Borough market? We're still thrashing out the specifics of the 'rules' - can we buy milk, for example? - and we will be the first to admit that the freezer and wine racks are pretty well stocked, but hey, that's how it should be for anyone with a vague interest in food and if you can think of a better way of clearing old spices, tins and mystery containers for a fresh start, I'd be delighted to hear it. Expect a number of frugal blogs in early 2009...


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