Tuesday, December 29, 2009


We’re still eating turkey.

Best Beloved left for Nicosia Monday morning, having eaten turkey in every meal (including breakfast) since Christmas lunch. “No, don’t give me any to take with me,” he said as he fled to his car at seven on Monday morning. “I think I’ve had enough!”

My family had a tradition of naming our turkeys. When we lived in London in the Sixties, my mother used to name them after film stars. “Bake well,” she’d say. “Gina!” -- or, Brigitte, Elizabeth, Marilyn, Zsa Zsa. My father had a trademark recipe that he made every year for the family and to give as presents – uncooked cranberry sauce flavoured with orange. I remember racy jokes about large-breasted turkeys and ‘plenty of sauce’– though I didn’t understand them then.

In this PC era, such names and jokes would be deemed outrageously sexist; worse, by far, than giving hurricanes only female names. Maybe next year I’ll stick Brad in the oven. Or George.

Maybe not. ‘Cold George with gravy’ doesn’t have the same ring as ‘A bite of Brigitte with sauce’. Consider me irreparably damaged by my upbringing.

But I digress. I have been cooking leftovers for the last four days: turkey soup with egg and lemon (boil up the carcass for 1.5 litres of stock, then remove the bones and add a palm of rice per person. Whisk 2 eggs with the juice of 2 lemons, and when the rice is cooked add a little of the broth to the egg-lemon mixture. Add more, whisking well. Then a little more. Finally add the egg/lemon/broth mixture to the rest of the stock, whisking constantly so that the eggs don’t curdle. Add shredded turkey meat and enjoy with a sprinkling of black pepper.), mushrooms and turkey cooked in a wine and cream sauce, toasted turkey and brie sandwiches, turkey with pesto, turkey omelette, turkey fried with halloumi... Reeling off the menu I feel a little like Bubba in the movie Forrest Gump telling Forrest all the ways that he knew to cook shrimp.

I estimate that only one day of turkey leftovers remains. Five days’ eating’s not bad for thirty-three euros, but I doubt I'd ever choose a bird that big for only family again -- at least not until the Littles become teens.

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