It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day.
The line of one of my favourite songs. And never more apt than on New Year’s Day. Not that I actually saw the dawn of the new year…
To me the new year is filled with hope and promise. It’s a time to reflect on yesterday and think about my dreams for tomorrow.
I’m big on goal setting, mainly as it helps me get some focus and direction so I achieve what I want to achieve. While I’m happy to share my goals, I haven’t actually worked out what they will be for 2014 yet!
However a goal that I always have is to reduce food waste. Last year I blogged my top ten tips to reduce food waste, and I’m pleased to say that we are using most of these.
Christmas is always a risky time when it comes to food waste. So many of us over-shop and over-cook – for me it’s “just in case” someone pops in. As if I’m going to get an extra six people for lunch on Christmas Day at no notice!
My usual over-shopping didn’t happen this year as I was couch-bound for the week before Christmas (thanks to minor surgery to remove a pesky melanoma from my thigh). There is only so much you can do when you’re told “oh, by the way, you will have to do all your Christmas shopping before you come in for surgery tomorrow at 3pm”, and you haven’t bought all the gifts, let alone thought about food!
Needless to say our Christmas meal was simple. The traditional sausage rolls and fruit salad for breakfast (luckily I had some in the freezer!); and a roast pork with rosemary potatoes and three salads for a late lunch. Dessert was shortbread and Bizzy Lizzy’s vodka and watermelon granita.
Despite this simplicity, we still had quite a few leftovers. The salads were easy to eat the next day. The rosemary potatoes were sliced, fried, and turned into a breakfast frittata for a couple of days, which also helped use up some of our 5kg ham that we ate on Christmas Eve.
One of my smarter ideas was with using up the roast pork. I’m not a massive fan of cold pork, despite roast pork being one of my favourite roasts. Quite simply, I cut up the leftover meat into chunks, and blitzed it in my Thermomix to convert it to a cooked pork mince. Some of it was used on our traditional Friday night pizza. With the rest, I made a pork spag bol, which also used up the open bottle of tomato passata that was almost on its last legs in the fridge. With the addition of smoked garlic, onion, extra fennel seed, mushrooms, it was unexpectedly tasty. Especially as we ate it the day after it was made.
However, the leftover food I hanker after all year is the leg ham. I say “leftover” but really, it’s not. I love love love ham off the bone, and every year think that we should buy a whole ham a few times a year. But I guess I wouldn’t then look forward to it every Christmas.
My current favourite way to eat the ham is in a ham and cheese toastie. I’ve managed to eat quite a few of these since Christmas Day. In hindsight, this could be partly why most of my clothes are far tighter than they were three weeks ago. Sigh.
My ham and cheese toastie is made with slices of sourdough smothered in butter, plenty of ham, and two types of cheese – a melty cheese and a sharp cheddar. Assembled and popped into the sandwich toaster for about seven minutes, until crispy.
Eaten on the back deck while reading a good book is my idea of holiday heaven.
What is your favourite Christmas leftover food? And how do you eat it?