After the Christmas excess comes the leftovers excess
PUBLISHED: 10:26 23 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:00 23 December 2017
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Most of the shops will be shut for one day, maybe two... so why do I have two fridges groaning under the weight of food and drink plus a cool box full of veg including a great stalk of Brussels sprouts?
Because it’s Christmas, of course. It’s the only time of year we drink snowballs (advocaat, lemonade and lime) and sweet sherry; the only time we have Turkish delight, shortbread and mixed nuts in their shells. It is the only time we feel a need to purchase a chocolate Yule log... identifiably seasonal due to the decorative spring of sugar-paste holly on top. It is a centrepiece at tea time on Christmas Day... and Boxing Day... and New Year’s Eve.
I briefly considered making a lattice of bacon for the top of the turkey but dismissed it. Why elect for additional pressure on top of pigs in blankets, chestnut stuffing, bread sauce, duchesse potatoes and parsnip purée?
By next Wednesday the fridges will still be over-stuffed − with left-overs. Mashed potato and cold sprouts, half of a slightly oozy, boozy trifle, turkey, stuffing, beef, ham, three radishes, a pig in a blanket. Plus you have an embarrassing number of empty wine bottles and have to wear a disguise to visit the bottle bank.
How many turkey sandwiches can one person endure? Bearing in mind the wind-inducing properties of sprouts, how much bubble and squeak is it socially acceptable to eat before risking a total loss of credibility? How painful is it to stand on a shard of Brazil nut shell with bare feet? What volume of Christmas wrapping paper can be forced into your wheelie bin before the refuse collection enforcement officer slaps a Naughty Notice on you?
Though weary from eating, drinking and being merry, you feel you should do something creative with the turkey carcass. You search leftover turkey carcass on Google and get more than half a million suggestions. You reject them all except the one that says: “Insert bones into medium-sized tie-handled bin-bag and chuck in bin”. By the end of Christmas week only the gifts and the cracker novelties remain − and the chocolate log, of course.