christmas leftovers dani valent Christmas cooking quantities are cause of considerable consternation. Before the big day you’re asking, “Is this enough?” as you picture hungry great-aunts and hollow-legged teens looking askance at empty platters. Afterwards, you realise there was way too much food (just like there was last year and the year before that). Now, it’s all about what you do with the leftovers. Here are some ideas.
It’s on. That party, the picnic, that “we have to catch up” get together. Yes, you’re looking forward to it – except for one thing. There’s that scary question you have to ask: “What can I bring?” There’s a danger that they won’t say, “Bring a few beers or some wine.” What if they say, “Oh, just a little plate of something”? You barely have time to get dressed let alone whip up a pavlova. But it doesn’t need to be a major stress. Bring-a-plate success is as easy as smart shopping and these summery no-cook solutions that will ensure you’re invited back.
I just got off the phone from a Christmas lunch menu-planning session with my mum. We are a hybrid Jewish atheist family and our Christmas lunch is a pretty relaxed affair with family, a few ring-ins and a couple of hopeful dogs. This year we’ll number about 20, and if the weather is nice we’ll start outside before moving to the lounge/dining room for the main meal. Mum and dad will push the sofa and armchairs to the edges of the room and run two long tables down the centre. We’ll fill the table with food – everyone will bring a plate or three. And by 4pm there’ll be people lying on the couches, Christmas cracker hats over their eyes, pretending they’re not dozing. I wouldn’t call myself a Christmas fanatic but I am all for an excuse to get together to eat great food.