My mad weekly kitchen diary

Just a weekly bit of fun whereby I can natter about any culinary ‘inventions’, successes and disasters in the kitchen, whilst trying to get the best out of leftovers.

As this was a festive week I’m using dates and days. Back to normal next week!


26th December

… After the last few days I’m now on the last leg, then my holiday starts properly! Boxing Day we always have guests, and this year I decided to do a few buffet style eats, but the main dish was going to be pulled park. Now, when I mentioned the idea to husb before the festive period he dropped a mini culinary bombshell and stated that he thinks he doesn’t like paprika, which is prevalent in barbecue flavour pulled pork. Anyway, I actually prepped the pork before I went to bed on the 25th as it was going to cook for 10 or so hours, and I decided to use our favourite herbs and spices to make the rub. Obviously there was sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, but then I just mixed garlic granules and dried oregano. I coated the pork shoulder with the rub and popped it in the slow cooker; then added 500mls of chicken stock made from a cube. That done, I switched on the slow cooker and went to bed.

On Boxing Day we have a celebratory breakfast as I miss it on xmas day because I’m too busy, and I need to eat a morsel or two of the festive dinner I’ve slaved over. The bonus for me is that C makes it! So after a delicious breakfast of softly scrambled egg with smoked salmon and wholemeal toast I got to work prepping the food for the guests with a little help from C. He sliced turkey, beef, and ham and arranged it nicely on a serving plate. To go with that I used a lazy Susan type thing we have that has a large ceramic bowl in the middle and teeny bowls nestled around the edge, to make a condiment bar. I filled the large bowl with bread rolls, then filled the teeny bowls with things like mustard, horseradish sauce, branston pickle, and cranberry sauce etc. Next I filled a few of my favourite retro buffet food, vol-au-vent cases (imagine uber light puff pastry pots) with a mixture of chopped turkey and my quick coronation mayo. I prepped the mayo earlier because it needs to sit for a while and added my favourite curry powder mix and a little mango chutney to the mayo, stirred and that was it. I put out both types of sausage rolls, crisps similar to Pringles but healthier, salad, and then let people make up their own rolls white whatever they wished. Slightly later on I brought out the hot pulled pork, and pickled red onion slices. Again people could put the pulled pork on a roll or just pile stuff on plates, some of it wasn’t exactly finger food but it went down a storm, and serendipity visited as pulled pork is the favourite food of two of our guests!

Later still, I brought out a bowl of individually wrapped chocolates, you know, the purple box, the rest of the banoffee pie, and the lemon trifle I’d completed that morning by adding a final layer of whipped cream. Two guests had a little of each but I just tried the trifle, which was delicious!

Lemon trifle
Lemon trifle

27th December

… This is absolutely my favourite day for festive food. And that’s because my fantastic husband reheats the xmas meal, so I actually enjoy it because I haven’t spent three days immersed in food prep and cooking. A lot of people would think the meal doesn’t reheat well, but it does if you reheat everything almost the way it was cooked. He put the roast potatoes, parsnips, stuffing balls, and chipolatas and bacon in the oven, then bread sauce, and gravy in pans to gently heat on the hob. The veg (sprouts, carrots, and mash) were reheated in the microwave, as was the turkey. When everything was piping hot he served me MY xmas dinner! It was a plateful as there were so many elements and it was all played together but I enjoyed every mouthful!

28th December

… This is where I really get to work on leftovers, so I made a turkey curry. I try to use the same principles I would use for any curry to make it as authentic as I can but I make a sauce, adding chopped turkey at the end. I sautéed sliced onion for about 15 minutes, then whizzed it in the food processor with fresh tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and a chilli. I then burst mustard seeds in a little oil in a pan on the hob before adding the onion mix and salt, cumin, coriander, paprika, and turmeric I think, sautéing that until the oil started to break away. I then added water and some left over turkey gravy instead of stock. After summing it for a while I cooled it, then added the turkey in the hope that it would absorb the flavours before heating it. I served the delicious turkey curry with basmati rice.

29th December

… WedJ became TueJ so I pulled out the pulled pork. I put out a few vol au vents first, which I filled with ham ,and brie then baked for ten minutes. I topped them with my sliced pickled red onion for a bit of zing. To go with the pulled pork I made coleslaw, salad, and served it with bread rolls. Everyone just helped themselves. After dinner I made TueJ eat banoffee pie followed by trifle, he didn’t seem that perturbed though!

30th December

… more leftovers! I had filo pastry sheets in the fridge so I decided to make a turkey and ham filo pie. I made a quick white sauce with a spoonful of flour and the same of margarine made into a roux. I then added skimmed milk and a splash of white wine and seasoning. When the sauce was cooked I cooled it so that I could add chopped turkey and ham later.

When the time came to make the pie I used my enamel pie dish as a mould and layered three sheets of filo brushed with a little oil in the dish, rotating them a little so that the bottom and sides were covered. After piling in the turkey and ham mix I just folded the pastry over and scrunched it on top, then brushed the top with oil before putting it in the oven. I served the (very yummy, it turns out) pie with boiled potatoes and petit pois, and instant gravy. What?! I made a pie!

31st December

Guess what we were having… I had half a white cabbage to use so I made a vegetarian kapuska which is onions, cabbage, tomatoes and chilli, and served it with warmed ham, and potatoes.

xmas dinner mark II, turkey curry, turkey & ham filo pie, kapuska.
xmas dinner mark II, turkey curry, turkey & ham filo pie, kapuska.

1st January

Happy New Tear! I started by making a stock from the turkey carcass. I used it to make my xmas soup. Just imagine anything left over from xmas dinner (the main course, excluding cranberry sauce) shoved into the stock then cooked and blitzed. It really is delicious! We had buffet style food for dinner. I made a waldorf salad (C said he could really taste the waldorfs!), two types of vol au vents (prawn with Marie Rose sauce and coronation turkey), sausage rolls, and beef, brie, and roasted red pepper sandwiches, and turkey with coronation mayo and lettuce sandwiches.


… time for the xmas soup! I made it zippy with the addition of crusty bread slices brushed with pici spice oil (oil, garlic, dried garlic, parsley, chilli flakes) and a spritz of lemon.


… C did a rotisserie chicken and we served it with oven chips. I made a gravy with the jus, and it was delicious, made more so I’m sure, by the fact that I didn’t cook it!

Coronation turkey vol-au-vents and xmas soup!
Coronation turkey vol-au-vents and xmas soup!
My mad weekly kitchen diary

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