Sunday, 28 December 2014

Chef-ing the leftovers.....

Like almost everyone else at Christmas we buy far too much food and cook far too much food just in case friends and neighbours drop in and the Christmas dinner would just be a roast without all the trimmings and extra courses.

So what about afterwards? We wouldn't actually mind eating leftovers for days on end but I have a large family and we have a family day here each year a few days after main event where everyone contributes to the buffet table and that's a lot of leftovers. This year Christmas day dinner was for seven and although family day saw the fewest number (for various reasons) so just 27 people and although some are children there were 9 families or couples all bringing food. I tried to get them to take lots of leftovers home but we were still left with lots.

So now the fridge and cake tins are full but so is the freezer.

Boxing day was the best ever bubble and squeak patties with cold turkey for our dinner.

I stripped the turkey carcass into two boxes of white meat sliced to thaw for sandwiches and made up four boxes of diced up turkey with the remains of the stuffing, carrots and sprouts (my boxes are mainly Chinese takeaway size). These boxes are labelled "thaw, mix, add gravy and top with mash" so I don't forget,  each one plenty to make a meal for two.

The last of the vegetable soup,  which had been our starter, is frozen into two single portions although the home made croutons that went with it was a breakfast for the birds.

Christmas eve I'd cooked a ham joint for that night and two bean loaves for the veggy option.  Now the ham is sliced, boxed and frozen and the rest of the bean loaves cut into portions, individually wrapped and frozen.

I'd boiled up all the giblets for gravy stock and afterwards the liver, heart, meat from the neck and all the onions were blitzed to make a pate (but it definitely isn't thick enough so if you know how I should improve the consistency please let me know).

Two large fresh French sticks are now a dozen small garlic and herb slices frozen and about 16 individual pizza style things topped with the leftover onion and tomatoes salad I'd made covered with cheese, wrapped and frozen too.

E had made us a tray of brownies, as our Christmas present, that are really yummy, but with so much cake brought for the buffet I didn't want the brownies to be forgotten or not truly appreciated so I've frozen half the trayfull for when we are cakeless.

The fridge is still full, and we have a big fridge, but I'm sure we'll get through it without too much wasted. Tonight we'll use up the last of the pigs in blankets and cocktail sausages with eggs, beans and other stuff to make a bit of an all day breakfast (hubby's favourite sort of dinner).

And you'll be pleased to know that the mountain of chocolate bought for us is out of sight and should last us a very long time if we keep forgetting about it.

As yet uneaten and proudly on display is my "ginger bread ruin" that O made as my present.

So for now I'll happily avoid the kitchen and new years eve is already decided as sharing Chinese takeaway with friendsP&A next door.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Sunday, 7 December 2014

2014 reading......

The 3 Mistakes Of My Life by Chetan Bhagat
eBook. Free download as pdf on the Playbook.
Started 1/1/2014 - finished 31/1/2014
This is all about cricket and even though that has no interest for me the story that weaves round it held me. The opening was amazing and intriguing and the rest highlights Indian culture, religious differences and conflicts and relationships between young and old and the young with each other. I found it an excellent read.
Frugal Stuff That Works by Elaine Collins
eBook. Free download to Kindle reader on the Playbook.
Started January 2014  - unfinished
An ongoing dip-into book of hints and tips on saving and not wasting money.
Can't really comment on this as I keep forgetting to go back to it, oops!
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
Paperback. Has been on the shelf with the children's books for ever and I realised I'd never read it, tut tut.
Started 4/3/2014 - finished 11/5/2014
A really easy and quick read (yes quick, I had lots of interruptions including a holiday). Lovely details creating the images of their lives and relationships. Children's books are definitely not just for children hahaha. Got R to read it too and she enjoyed it.
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Paperback. Lent to me by Daughter after her and R both read it.
Started 21/3/2014  - finished 23/3/2014
Just a year in the life of a 10 year old girl from normal to post war refugee. Written through her eyes in freeform poetry I found it very emotional.
The Italian Job by Nick Earls
eBook. Free download to Kindle reader on the Playbook.
Started 12/4/2014 and finished an hour(ish) later on the flight to Rome.
Not the best written work but an unusual amusing story line, about a hired driver called Mal (old man) and his PR passenger (young woman) driving between publicity events, which made it a fun short story.
Shut Up and Kiss Me by Christie Craig
eBook. Free download to Kindle reader on the Playbook.
Started 17/4/2014  - finished 23/4/2014
Just about OK as a very light holiday read but far too corny, so many unbelievable events all happening at the same time to the same people and ending with a totally predictable happy ever after to all three couples.....don't think me saying that spoils any surprises!
Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
Paperback that's been on my "to read" shelf for ever.
Started 24/6/14 (while R had her drumming lesson) - never finished, gave up 6/12/14.
I can't remember the last book I ever gave up on, I'm always of the opinion that it may get better on the next page, but I've tried so hard with this one and it just got worse! Bizarre religious extremes imposed on a child making her a total freak within her own community just ain't my thing.
Have to say I'm not reading books very much at the moment, I seem to relax reading other people's blogs and playing Words-With-Friends online as I'm trying to sit less and move more (not working yet). So as I'm not going to start another book this year I'll post this now.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Christmas, crafting and eating.......

Another Christmas craft I've started but sort of abandoned is this...
No proper tutorial to link to for this as it was shown to me by a friend. Start with card cut to any size with a ratio of 3:1 then score in thirds and zig-zag diagonal (as you can just about see from this photo). Secure beads onto the corners to stop the threads slipping off and fold into the hexahedron shape and secure with tape then wind with embroidery thread securing with pva glue. And what you see above is as far as I've got, but they will hopefully hang on the tree next year ;o)
Art/Craft wise I've also been painting t-shirts. These are very old plain tops that have long been splashed with cooking grease etc so with some very old (35+ years) fabric paints that I was amazed still worked I'm giving them a makeover. Pink one is done (needs ironing) and the yellow one in progress!
The Christmas cards are all done and the presents are half way, as I needed to get a bit ahead of myself due to a day in hospital yesterday for a minor op and a slow day today which was recommended but actually apart from an uncomfortable throat I'm feeling fine :o)
Glad it's over with and I wouldn't have changed the date, however, my biggest disappointment was that I had to miss E's end of term concert yesterday and R's Christmas drama performance this morning.
And the Christmas dinners of course.....been booking and organising one for my old work mates on 22nd, pre-ordering and paying for another with the usual gang on 17th, lunch on the 9th with old college friends, had the first one last Thursday with friends and one other lunch in the diary too for 12th, but unfortunately should have had one tonight which we've cancelled as that friend is unwell.
Hubby has also now booked his Sainsbury's delivery slot for 22nd so I'd better get on with sorting out the shopping list. Ho ho ho!