Now that Christmas is over we are left with the perennial problem of what to do with the leftovers.
Back in the Middle Ages many of these problems were solved due to sieges. A ham dropped from the top of a castle could knock five or six invaders off a ladder into the moat below, while on the other side a flaming Christmas pudding fired out of a catapult over the ramparts could cause untold damage to those within the castle itself, especially if you were the one unlucky enough to be hit by the sprig of holly.
In these supposedly more enlightened times we are not allowed use food as weaponry, so we have to be a bit more inventive. Here are a couple of suggestions:
Turkey. Why did you buy one so big? Did you expect the Plymouth Argyle Football Team’s bus to break down outside your house, and that you’d have to feed them all? (Why Plymouth Argyle? Well, they’re reading out the football scores on the TV at the moment and I decided I’d put in whatever team was read out next). Anyway, the turkey is crouched there, still the size of Garfield, glaring scornfully at you. You could, of course, simply cut slices off and eat them cold, but remember that the most dreadful suffering known to man, that off trying to come off drugs or cigarettes, is referred to as “cold turkey”, and I can’t regard that as a ringing endorsement. Many and varied will be the recipes that you will employ over the coming days as you try to serve turkey in a variety of different guises. Turkey soup, turkey curry, turkey bolognese, turkey smoothies, turkey ice cream, turkey crispie cakes, turkey candy floss, it doesn’t matter what you try, your kids will know that it’s turkey and will beg to be fed something else.
My own suggestion is Turkey Wellington. Put on your boots, walk down to the beach and hurl the turkey as far out into the sea as you can.
Ham. Succulent and juicy on Christmas Day, it’s now as hard and joyless as Ryvita, and is the weight of a VW Beetle. Bring it to Oxygen next year to keep your tent from blowing away.
Gibblets. Seriously, what were you thinking? Stuff put into a plastic bag and stuck up a turkey’s bum. And you’re surprised that there’s some left over? Sneak them into a litter bin when you’re out at midnight putting your bottles into the bottle bank (We all go to the bottle bank at midnight, none of us want our neighbours to see that we’ve got through seventeen bottles of wine in four days).
I realise of course that many of you may have had a goose. If you did, well done, but we’re not here to talk about your love life.
The trimmings are simple enough. Cranberry sauce makes a very good wasp-trap in summer. That pink goo that goes on the top of prawn cocktail is a good replacement for L’Oreal moisturiser, if you’re suffering the January Blues and feel that you’re not actually worth it. Stuffing, once it’s gone hard, is useful for gritting your driveway. Brandy butter is an effective hair-gel, especially if you’re going for the Jedward look. Corn-on-the-cob, if planted in your back garden, will grow into a beanstalk with the Jolly Green Giant at the top.
And what of sprouts? You bought a string bag with two hundred of them in it, even though you knew that each member of your family would eat only one. Now you’ve to get rid of the rest, and they don’t have the kind of taste that is easily hidden. You could sneak one sliver into that foaming stuff that Dr Jekyll used to drink when he wanted to become Mr Hyde, and half-way through he’d stop and say “hang on, I think there’s sprouts in this”.
So you’ll have to employ some lateral thinking, and don’t use them as food at all. Next time you go paintballing slip one or two of them into your gun. Anyone you shoot is going to look like a green-blooded Vulcan. Squash one onto a footpath and when someone walks by howl in anguish and accuse them of treading on your frog. If you have very religious neighbours keeping bouncing some off their roof and tell them God is punishing us with a plague of snot. Stick one into the exhaust pipe of another neighbour and watch him shoot the head off his garden gnome when he starts his car. Send two of them to the FBI with a ransom note saying “we want two million or next time you get one of the Hulk’s fingers”.
See, there are lots of things you can do with sprouts. Just as long as you don’t have to eat them.