Turkey keeps on giving

00:29, Dec 26 2013
Pat Veltkamp Smith
Columnist Pat Veltkamp Smith was Southland Times women's editor until 1997 and is a former president of the Southland Justices of the Peace Association.

You thought you'd never get here, yet here we are - a day after Christmas, all the goodies given, rejected or received, wrapping paper for Africa and food for ever although there is a limit to how often we can offer Christmas cake for breakfast and pavlova for whatever follows.

That's the challenge no cookbook writer has yet tackled.

It is not only that every meal after Christmas dinner is anti- climatic. It is also that we have done with cooking and serving, the will to improvise is not there. It takes a very clear head to decide what to do with festive surplus.

Guiltily we reason that we should have given half the stuff away early on, while it was fresh and we, too. Now the food is as jaded as we, neither looking as appealing as a day or two back.

Long funny stories have been told, of turkeys that are stuffed and roasted, later barbecued and grilled, sliced thin for sandwiches, chunky for rice risotto - one turkey 100 different ways until everyone is sick to death of it.

A turkey can last and last so big it is, so much of it, so few of us prepared to stay the distance as guests indicate they've to be on their way and no more, thank you so very much.


Same with ham, endlessly wrapped and re wrapped in vinegar-rinsed cloth until the very sight of it waiting in the fridge sends us away.

Lamb is our mainstay - nice predictable, its end always in sight.

For the truth is you can have too much of a good thing and that goes for most of our Christmas fare.

See today we have forgotten the joy of anticipation, even the pleasure of repletion.

Christmas day and that big nosh up - it is but memory of our past, yesterday done and dusted.

Today is called Boxing Day in memory of a time when people in the "big house" packed up tasty leftovers and maybe a present or two and took them to the poorer people in the village below.

I'm thinking Refuge mothers and their children would welcome some of our extras.


The Southland Times