It's the day after Christmas, and all over the land "the women who cooked Christmas" are revolting.
I can just hear them now. Feeling a little worse for wear after all that work - followed by all that indulging, the LAST thing they want to think about is cooking. And if you try to ask them - even nicely - about their dinner plan for the day, you'll get a frosty reception equal to to worst Santa ever faced at the North Pole.
So here is what you do. Whether you're the loving husband or any other friend or relative, you tell her to put her feet up with a nice cup of coffee or tea, and to relax.
Because YOU are going to cook dinner.
Have you picked yourself up of the floor yet? Don't worry. You can do it. Easily. Do I have a recipe for you !
First, here's the check list :
Look in the fridge. Do you have these things? If you had a big turkey dinner yesterday there's a good chance you do.
- turkey leftovers with turkey stuffing
- some uncooked bacon
- some leftover gravy (optional)
- mixed baby greens
- cherry tomatoes (optional)
If it's all in there, you're in business baby!
If you're missing a few things, here are some trouble shooting suggestions :
In most homes the stuffing is one of the first things to go, so if you don't have any left you'll have to create a quick alternative. If you've got some Paleo bread your home free. Just chop it up, add some chopped onion and maybe a bit of chopped carrot, and mix it all with some poultry seasoning or some other spice. The rest of the flavouring will come from the bacon. If you don't have any bread you can always just chop onion and vegetables in a pinch. Throw in anything else you have in the fridge that you can use to stretch it,
- anything bread-like as long as it's not sweet
- cooked ham or sausages
- leftover cooked vegetables
This will all work as a bottom layer.
If you're missing the salad stuff, see what other vegetables you have. The easiest solution is to chop up whatever raw stuff you have and mix it all together. Salads can be anything. Just mix it all with a bit of mayo or dressing and everyone will think it's a gourmet recipe.
If that isn't going to happen, see what else you have that you can heat up. Frozen is easiest.
If there doesn't seem to be any bacon, check the freezer. It will thaw on the counter in under half an hour. If you don't find any send someone to the store. It's a major part of your dish so you can't do without it. (Get them to buy greens and tomatoes and anything else you need while they're at it.)
Okay. Here's the plan :
About an hour before everyone will want to eat, put together the casserole. Turn the oven on to 375'F and while it's heating find a casserole dish big enough to feed however many people you have and grease it.
Once you've got your casserole made, stick it into the hot oven, set the timer for 45 minutes, and go make yourself a drink and put up your feet. You deserve it. After all, today you're the knight in shining armour!
In about half an hour you can tell the kids - or whoever else is around expecting a free meal - to set the table. No, it doesn't usually take 15 minutes, but believe me, today it probably will. These people are out of the working mode and it's going to be tough to get them back into it - even for a few minutes.
By the way, If you have gravy left over, now is the time to tip it into a measuring cup (or something like that) and heat it in the microwave. You can always pour it into something a bit fancier to serve.
Once the pinger goes, take out the casserole, dump the greens and cherry tomatoes into a salad bowl, and take both containers - and gravy if you have it - to the table. You don't really need salad dressing because the bacon will have made the casserole so lovely and juice it will be able to stand on it's own, but if someone insists, they can always go get it themselves.
Now call everyone to the table, sit back, and accept all the compliments - and make sure you remember this nifty little trick for next year!
“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” - George Bernard Shaw