A feast of leftovers

As 2017 draws to a close, I've just about managed to say goodbye to the festive leftovers.

Between my family over on Christmas day, Mr Flicking the Vs' family on Boxing Day, and friends the day after, I ended up cooking a lot. I also managed to completely over estimate the amount of food that would be needed for any of these gatherings, and so the fridge was full to the gunwhales with tupperware boxes of bits and pieces.

So, between Christmas and New Year, we've been working our way through all those boxes of treasures.

Behold, the Boxing Day leftover plate:

Featuring Good Life falafel that my parents offloaded onto us when they came up on Christmas (thanks 'rents!), a Holland and Barrett porkless pie, nut cheese on bread that Mr FtVs made all on his lonesome (he hates cooking, so this was a major achievement), and homemade hummus and baba ganoush.

There was also red cabbage slaw using a recipe from my ancient Good Housekeeping Step by Step Vegetarian Cookbook, cranberry, pecan and wild rice salad inspired by a recipe on Green Gourmet Giraffe, coronation chick peas, inspired by a recipe somewhere else, and a lentil and beetroot dish, inspired by, er, my recipe here.

It all turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. The surplus of homemade oatcakes also lasted me for a few breakfasts over the post-Christmas week:

The Boxing Day buffet featured a cheeseboard -- a couple of nut cheeses, the oatcakes, fresh veggies, caperberries, and some pickled pears. I'd made a couple of jars of pickled pears earlier this year, thanks to a friend with a particularly productive pear tree. With baskets and baskets of pears - more than we could eat before they'd go off - we decided to turn them into something that would last and could be enjoyed when autumn's bounty was long past. We discovered a recipe for pickled pears in one of her old Delia Smith cookbooks, and made a few jars between us.

If you're a fan of pickled foods, I highly recommend them. If you're not, I don't think pickled pears are going to covert you to the joys of pickle. Turns out noone who came on Boxing Day liked pickled anything, so the pears and caperberries will be with for some time to come.

Given how much I love fruit cake, why I only cook one once a year is a mystery to me.

Although I missed stir-up Sunday, I did manage to find time to bake a cake for Christmas. I didn't have time to feed the cake as I'd have liked, but I did come up with a genius way of getting more booze into the cake. Every Christmas, I make Mr Flicking the Vs' mum some fruit flavoured gins - this year I made damson and blackberry versions. When I'd strained the gin off the damsons, I chucked the fruit into the cake batter. Voila - one very moist, very boozy fruit cake.

Me and my Dad managed to make a sizeable dent in the fruit cake, though there's going to be enough to keep me going for weeks yet.

For the friends that came around for a post Christmas lunch, I made up a bunch of Central American-esque food.

There was gallo pinto (you can find my own recipe here), refried beans, warm flour tortillas, patacones, chipotle-roasted squash, curtido, guacamole, salsa, and vegan sour cream.

As well as feeding us and the friends, the feast made enough for a whole nother dinner the next day, several frozen lunches for Mr FtVs to take to work later in January, and enough for me to have this hearty breakfast this morning too:

So, we're making good headway in our attempts to escape the hangover of festive food, but we're not there yet.

I managed to find some vegan lebkuchen in December, which are happily gorgeous, and I've slowly been making way through them with the Christmas tea from Bluebird Tea Co that Mr FtVs gave me. (Side note: you can take your own container in to Bluebird, and get it filled with loose leaf tea -- who doesn't love a zero waste brew?!)

Aside from the lovely lebkuchen, there are still all sort of bags of nuts, crisps, and vegan mince pies in the kitchen cupboard, despite our best efforts to eat our own bodyweight in crap food this Christmas. Maybe we'll have got through them all before Christmas 2018...

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  1. Oh it all looks so good. Like you we will probably still be munching on stuff in the cupboards purchased for Christmas by the time Christmas 2018 arrives. Our eyes are bigger than our bellies. We have been eating small plates of this and that the past few days, inc. homemade vegan sausage rolls. The preserved pears really do appeal, which Delia cookbook was it from?
    And Yes please to the fruit cake!
    By the way I love that mug, I got given the card version a few years back and had it as my screen saver at work too.
    Wishing you a Happy New Year Joey and look forward to reading more from you in 2018.

  2. You have had some good food! Enjoy finishing it off and happy new year :-)

  3. I'm a big fan of leftovers, but I have to say you win the prize for most glorious leftovers. If these are your leftovers, I can barely imagine what the original spread looked like! You have very lucky family and friends.

  4. Wow! my leftover plates never even come close to looking that good! I'm a huge fan of pickled food, but can't say I've heard of or tried pickled pears before. Sounds very interesting and something to try in the new year. :-)

  5. A fine feast of festive food - I love christmas cake but rely on eating my mum's which is pretty lazy. I love your festive leftovers at the top - happy you tried the wild rice salad and impressed Mr FtVs made some nut cheese. And pickled pear with nut cheese sounds really good!


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