Stretching the fun of festive food further

Festive food
Festive food
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Food For Though by Becky Cotter (Becky lives in Leighton and writes a food blog called Veghotpot (

s the big countdown begins for Christmas and festivities begin to lighten up our homes and streets it’s easy to feel swept away with the costs of this expensive month.

Becky Cotter, Food for Thought, MPLO

Becky Cotter, Food for Thought, MPLO

Gifts and parties aside, it is the food costs that can be daunting for many households especially those feeding a small army of well-wishing relatives and children. But some careful planning of your Christmas lunch means you can save money afterwards. You’ve got time to shop around for your ingredients, local butchers such as Stratton’s or William Yirrell’s have a selection of free range birds including turkeys, geese or cockerels if you fancy something different and of course the local markets are full of seasonal vegetables.

Once the big meal is over, leftovers are your friend; it’s likely that the fridge remains full of half eaten cheeses, cooked vegetables and loads of turkey. All of these things can be made into another meal to satisfy the post-Christmas crowd. For example, turkey was always the main ingredient of a Boxing Day curry in my house, mixed with curry powder, spinach and yoghurt this mild dish was a firm favourite.

Bubble and squeak is another dish that can use up cooked vegetables, simply mash up the cold roast dinner vegetables and squish into patties, then fry until golden. These are perfect served with a fried egg for brunch.

Pies are always a fantastic way to use up leftovers and Christmas is the perfect excuse to indulge in such a dish. You can use cooked turkey, ham and sausage meat packed into a pastry case to create a delicious picnic pie, serve this with your left over cranberry sauce as a great buffet centre piece.

The easiest Boxing Day dish we ate as a family was Christmas Day soup. Everything was chopped up and cooked in a chicken stock and served with crusty bread. The treasure was finding the pigs in blankets!

Making meals from leftovers is an age old way of feeding a family for less and Christmas is no exception. Plus it stretches the fun of Christmas food a little further!