Not exactly a Christmas story

We had turkey for Christmas dinner, and now there is just some meat left in the fridge for another meal… maybe with pasta in a sauce, maybe a curry, maybe with rice… Meanwhile, right now, the carcass is in a giant saucepan bubbling away with water and left overs to make soup. We’ve already had some soup, with crusty bread and a good shake of pepper and it was very tasty… I also used stock made from the giblets for gravy, which was also very tasty.

It amazes me that other people, even people who are great cooks, throw away the bird left overs rather than using them in this simple way. One Easter on our family holiday we’d had bird of some sort, I can’t remember of which sort, and as we cleared up to come home, sharing whatever was left from the kitchen cupboards, I was offered the carcass, offered because everyone knew I would say ‘ooh, yes please!’ and no-one else would bother. I think on that occasion, when we got home, there was actually enough meat left for dinner!

This way of using left-overs comes from my home, where mum and dad would use every scrap of everything; when i was a child, a chicken was a treat. In those days, Cambridge was much more of a country town, and I’m not joking to say we had pheasant more often than chicken – because a lot where shot and sent to market. Every butcher would have braces hanging up… chicken was a rare treat! We had the girlfriend of a French friend come to stay with us for several months;everyone knows the French have a great and deserved reputation in the kitchen, but this girl was horrified by us boiling bones, and wouldn’t even try the resulting soup!

I expect we will use our great bowl of stock not only for soup but risotto gravy, turkey in sauce… and much more… it seems such a waste not to!


  1. Rosie Scribblah

    A woman after my own heart! I put 8 portions of pea and ham soup in the freezer today, using the stock that Husb boiled our Xmas ham in. We ate with a relative on Xmas day and she boils her bones, but I managed to get her to part with the bulk of the enormous amount of juices that were left in the pan, even after she made gravy. That stock made gravy for our leftovers dinner today and also the base of a turkey Thai green curry for tomorrow. Waste not, want not as my Nana used to say.


    1. Lois

      How delicious… pea and ham must be one of my favourites, thnaks for reminding me! i have a ham joint which we’ll probably have at New year… I must make sure I have some peas! And yes, that gooey juice jelly is just perfect! When it’s from unsalted it’s the best thing on fresh bread!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lois

        I love lots of those “old-fashioned” foods, but strangely I just don’t like dripping… it puts my teeth on edge… which is odd considering how omnivorous I am!


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