Lovin’ leftovers • 12.30.09
And… it’s all over. The gifts have been opened. The candles have been burned. The sweet potatoes have been eaten. The wine (and wine, and wine…) has been drunk.
This was my first year making a whole Christmas lunch on my own. I’m pretty pleased with my efforts, if I may say so. The mashed potatoes were creamy, the turkey was moist, the cranberry relish was puckeringly tart.
But, as good at it all tasted around 3pm on Christmas Day, my absolute favourite part about Christmas lunch is always the leftovers. Is there anything better than having a fridge bursting with delicious leftovers, ready for you whenever you’d like?? And, the leftovers ALWAYS taste better the next day, don’t they?
I mean, on Christmas Day, when you’ve been awake since dawn, hoisting a huge bird in and out of the oven, drunk half a bottle of champagne (who, me???)… can you really fully appreciate the sweet potato casserole? In the midst of the madness can you really give your attention to the subtle flavour that the maple-cured bacon added to the Brussels sprouts?
By Boxing Day, things have calmed down. The food is still there, but you don’t have to make a huge effort to get it ready to eat. This time, you can enjoy the food without the fuss. I love it.
This year, like most years, I made a lot of turkey sandwiches. Thickly sliced wholegrain toast serves as the base of my Leftover Masterpiece. It’s important to toast your bread… you want it to be firm, you’re about to load test it!
Spread one slice of toast with your cranberry relish or sauce, and… this is KEY… spread the other slice with cream cheese. Just do it, it’s good for you! Then, slice up some of your turkey and toss it in a hot frying pan with a few scoops of your stuffing or dressing and a glug of the leftover gravy. Give it a few mins to warm through and add this mixture to your sandwich. Squish the whole thing down (this step is very important to the structural integrity of a fully loaded sandwich) and enjoy!
I served these babies on 27 December, with a side-dish of fried mashed potato patties, and for me Christmas dinner was even better the second time around… and the third.