Trying out timeless recipes to use up leftovers can be fun – just imagine you’re on Masterchef, with a limited time-frame to create something exotic from the few bits of bird left on the bone. My father became expert at this – in around 20 minutes, he could create a really delicious meal from left-over turkey. It was probably the only cooking he ever did at the time – a once a year show-off dish for the one day when he wasn’t too busy working, or out playing sport, (or whatever else he got up to – probably best not to ask).
When queried about this recipe, which I recall was very tomatoey, (a vision of him standing with an upturned tomato ketchup bottle over a pan sticks in my mind) – he claimed that only fresh tomatoes were used for the dish, saying he never added any extra tomato sauce…
Dad's signature dish was adapated from a recipe for 'chicken pilaff' that he got from a rather funny old book called the Good Cook’s Encyclopedia by Pamela Fry. The sepia coloured, food stained pages of my parents’ original 1962 copy tell their own story.
According to my recollection, no doubt swayed by a large dose of nostalgia, Dad's post-Christmas turkey pilaf(f?) tasted utterly divine. It’s the best comfort food ever - and will definitely prevent you from getting scurvy, (especially if topped up with extra tomato paste and/or ketchup).
In the 1970s, pudding afterwards might have consisted of an ample slice of lemon meringue pie, (also packed with Vitamin C and great for keeping Winter colds at bay). I haven’t had lemon curd for years, but if you bought more lemons than were required over the holidays, why not transform them into a delicious lemon preserve? You could even show them off in an arty retro perspex preserve pot, like the one shown below, that’s available from ShopCurious.
Messing about in the kitchen can be curiously creative, and much more fulfilling than snoozing in front of the TV – especially when you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Curiculum Vitae Jeffry Zebua
6 months ago