It’s not Christmas without a mountain of leftovers to go through on Boxing Day and beyond. Having some clever ideas for making the most of your festive fare, and not ending up with too much in the first place, is a thrifty and fabulous way to green up your holiday season. Here are some tips and recipe ideas:
Leftover Turkey Curry Soup
This soup is quite possibly the definition of comfort food! It works with either turkey or chicken leftovers and is the perfect thing on a cold wintry day.
6 tbsp or 90g unsalted butter
2 tbsp curry powder
2 large onions, finely chopped
1.5l chicken stock
6 sprigs of parsley, including stalks
100g uncooked rice, or about 1.5 mugs cooked leftover rice
Salt & pepper to taste
220ml (1 cup) single cream
1kg or about 2 lbs turkey leftovers – if you have less, scale down the recipe accordingly, or use leftover roast veg to bulk it out
1. Melt butter in a pot. Add onions and curry powder and cook, covered over low heat, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the stock, rice and parsley. Bring soup to the boil, reduce heat and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Add the turkey leftovers, and cook for another 10-15 minutes.
3. Cool turkey bits in the stock. Remove the meat and dice it. Reserve the meat.
4. Pour soup through a sieve, and transfer the solids to a food processor (or use an immersion blender). Add one cup of the cooking liquid (reserving the rest of the liquid, and process until smooth.
5. Return the puréed soup to the pot and add the single cream. Stir in the reserved stock. Add the reserved diced turkey, and simmer the soup for 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with a garnish of parsley.
For delightful recipe ideas for all your leftovers, check out Love Food Hate Waste’s recipe index.
Have a happy and tasty Christmas!
Love Food Hate Waste Community Outreach Co-ordinator, Brighton & Hove Food Partnership
The Brighton & Hove Food Partnership works on a city-wide level for a healthier and more sustainable food system. We are working in partnership with the Brighton & Hove City Council to promote the Love Food Hate Waste campaign.
It’s that time of year again when we will all be mince pie munching and generally overindulging in the festive spirit. If you haven’t already why not pop round and have a winter-warmer and a mince pie with a neighbour. We sometimes lose track of one another when it’s cold as we scurry indoors from the cold so it’s worth making an extra effort to keep up with your street during these winter months!
With millions of mince pies being sold each week in the run up to Christmas it’s not surprising that over the festive period we put on an average of 5 lbs! Walking in your neighbourhood or to work is a great way to combat the season’s extra pounds – you may even make some new friends along the way. You could make it a community event and get your street out on a Big Boxing Day walk.
The Living Streets mince pie calculator is here to keep you walking during the festive season. Just plug in how long you have walked, type in your weight (to make the estimation more accurate), and the calculator will tell you how many mince pies your walking has burned off. You’ll also be in with a chance to win a handheld walking GPS, so count your pies today.
Do you have a treasured object at home with the Queen’s picture on it?
Do you want to take part in an exhibition at the Museum of London?
The Museum of London is marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with a new exhibition called At Home with the Queen, which opens in May 2012. Celebrating the capital’s enthusiasm and affection for the Queen, the exhibition will feature Londoners photographed in their own homes with their cherished souvenirs of Queen Elizabeth II. The idea behind the exhibition is to give a unique glimpse of Londoners at home with ‘their’ Queen and give a real sense of what she means to them. Royal commemorative souvenirs dating back to Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 from the Museum’s collections will also be on display.
We’re calling on Londoners to submit a photo of themselves in their home with a treasured momento of the Queen to feature in the exhibition. This could be almost anything that has a picture of Queen Elizabeth II on it - your grandma’s Coronation biscuit tin, a well-used tea towel or a portrait of the Queen on your wall. If you were involved in a street party for the Silver or Golden jubilee, it could be a treasured item that you’ve held onto since then. Whatever it is, if it has a picture of the Queen on it and you live in Greater London, the museum wants to hear from you!
Simply send a photograph of yourself or your loved one and your prized Queen Elizabeth II memento, together with a brief description of it and what it means to you to:firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to At Home with the Queen, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN.
Ten entrants will be chosen to be photographed professionally in their home with their treasured objects to appear at the heart of the exhibition.
The closing date for submissions is midnight Tuesday 31 January 2012.
Whether you’re planning a Big Lunch street party, children’s birthday party or a Christmas gathering; it’s not a party without party food! This week I’m sharing one of my favourite party food recipes to get your taste buds tingling and your imagination sparkling.
Make your Big Lunch party food stand out by adding a savoury twist to the classic summer party favourite lollipops. All you need is cocktails sticks or wooden skewers and your imagination. Use roasted veggies, grilled halloumi, falafel or marinated meat as your lolly base and use seeds, nuts or even chilli seeds to decorate.
To get you started try this Crunchy Roasted Veggie Lolly:
1) Season and roast rectangular chunks of courgette, carrot and aubergine in olive oil for 30 minutes at 190 degrees
2) Leave to cool before spearing with small wooden skewers to make lollies.
3) Roll your vegetable lollies in your favourite chutney, salsa or dipping sauce (my favourite is sweet chilli)
4) Finally roll your marinated lolly in a bowl of crushed peanuts and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
One of my favourite savoury lollies is Lorraine Pascal’s Parmesan and Poppy Seeds Lolly. They’re original, and quick and easy to make.
If you want your lollies to be a bit more refreshing you could make savoury ice lollies. Experiment with cold soups and purees by freezing in lolly moulds for an original party food treat.
For even more experimental savoury lolly ideas check out Heston Blumenthal’s video of his savory versions of classic 70s lollies.
IDEA: Why not get your neighbours, family and friends involved and hold a competition to make the most creative savoury lolly?
Everyone at The Big Lunch recycles their Christmas cards, do you? The Woodland Trust with partners M&S make it easy.
Turn your festive waste into woodland this Christmas!
Recycle your Christmas cards at Marks & Spencer in January and help the Woodland Trust plant trees
Marks & Spencer is calling on its customers to help the Woodland Trust turn festive waste into woodland by recycling old Christmas cards at M&S stores UK-wide*.
From 2 to 31 January 2012, specially-marked Christmas card recycling bins will be in place in over 300 participating M&S stores. M&S is committed to planting one tree with the Woodland Trust for every 1,000 Christmas cards brought into store. The target is to save over 10 million cards from the rubbish bin next year, equating to 10,000 new native trees.
Sue Holden, chief executive of the Woodland Trust, said; “We are delighted that M&S is continuing the highly successful Christmas Card Recycling Scheme. By recycling festive cards, M&S customers are helping the Woodland Trust to continue vital work in creating new woodland, providing much-needed habitats for precious wildlife.”
For the first time, M&S has also introduced a voting mechanism on its Plan A website, allowing people to vote for where they would most like to see trees planted. Customers can now go to www.marksandspencer.com/votetrees and pick their preferred region. The more votes a region gets, the more trees will go in the ground there.
Hello I’m Trudi, The Big Lunch Support Officer based at the Eden Project. Over the coming months I’ll be bringing you lots of creative ideas for your Big Lunch and beyond. Keep a look out and I hope you like them!
It’s not very often that I admit just how much I love delving into a big bucket of scrap! But scrap isn’t always old bits of metal or electrical wire; scrap can come from spare cuts of fabric, leftover wrapping paper and odd buttons. There are lots of scrap organisations across the UK, like Scrap Stuff and Scrap Stores. They recycle reusable industrial waste materials given to them by factories and make lovely fun materials available to the public. Here are my top 3 tips for using scrap to decorate your Big Lunch:
This can be made from practically anything you can find in your recycling bin; old cereal boxes, greeting cards, scraps of fabric or even old clothes! If you haven’t done already, check out our video on our ideas page and learn how you can use your old plastic bags to make funky bunting. Don’t forget, our 2012 Big Lunch packs also include a great bunting template with a step by step guide and handy hints to get you started!
2. Table decorations
Make your tables look the best in town by adding a personal touch. They can be made from absolutely anything to a theme to suit your lunch. Why not get together with friends or neighbours and get creative?!
3. Paper lanterns
These can be made from absolutely any scrap paper or card you can get your hands on and look fantastic on tables or hung outside front doors.
For a step by step guide to making and decorating paper lanterns or to watch our video on making table decorations out of vegetables go to our decoration page. You will also find more decoration ideas on other online blogs such as Etsy or Eco Street who share their crafty know how.
Gift of scrap: Luckily for those short of time or crafty skills, you can also buy handmade items made from scrap and recycled items. From bottle top bags to funky watering cans, there are plenty of items to be found which take everyday scrap and turn them into beautiful useful items!
Don’t forget – we’re on the hunt for some fun street party ideas for our website. If you have any crafty tips which would be perfect for decorating a Big Lunch please share with us by emailing Fay.Richards@thebiglunch.com
With our love of food friendship and fun – The Big Lunch team are very much looking forward to the party season.
This is a simple reuse idea which is sure to make your home smell inviting over the holidays and its also a lovely way to spend time with young people creating a beautful gift that costs very little.
Choose a suitable sized bowl or plate to use, if you do not want to use one you already have, you will find something suitable at your local charity shop.
Take 2 medium sized oranges. Insert whole cloves into the skin of one orange. The sharp ends of the clove pierce the skin easily. Use at least 25 cloves. Sit the orange on the ribbon. Bring the ribbon ends up to the top of the orange and tie a bow. Sit this orange in the middle of the plate to be surrounded by your potpourri.
Then carefully slice the other orange thinly in circles use a tea towel to dab the moisture from them and lay them in a tray. The oranges should go into the oven on a low heat and should be turned every 40 – 60 mins, it usually takes about two hours to dry them.
Tip: just use the oven when its cooling down after your dinner. once dried the oranges can be used in a number of ways, from potpourri to tree decorations or as additions to table decor.
Combine anything you think will work from your cupboard, or go for a walk in the woods and forage for cones nuts etc. I use petals, bay leaves cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, dried apple, orange rind,monkey nuts and pinecones in a large jar (coffee or cooking sauce jars work well). Seal the jar and allow the ingredients to combine for at least a week.
Shake the jar and remove the lid to allow the potpourri scent to be released into your home. Close the jar when you are finished to keep the scents from drying up too fast. This is great if you just want a little scent in your home, but to increase scent just grind some of the elements or even add a few drops of essential oil; and to maximise the scent add a handful and 3 cups of water to a saucepan and simmer to create a heavenly smelling home.
This can be a simple but fantastic little gift for children to make, they can cover the lid in fabric and tie with string or ribbon, decorate a label or even paint the jar.
My son is only six but he helped with each step of this journey and he’s very excited about giving his gifts this year, they mean much more when you make a little effort.
Let’s Eat Local, a project of a Moffat based community interest company Let’s Live Local, were finding that some of their veg bag customers were spending a while at the pick-ups discussing issues of food security, climate-friendly and organic food, seasonal and local food supplies. A Seasonal Food event had previously been planned, showing how to make the best of local, seasonal produce, and the idea was to have cookery demonstrations, talks and information.
However, as the planning progressed, it became clear that a change in direction was needed – it would be better if people left the event feeling not that they should be eating more seasonal food, but that they really wanted to. It was therefore reframed as ‘Slow Sunday’ – Eating the Seasons. A free three course meal of local, seasonal and organic food was offered, interspersed with seasonal cookery demonstrations.
Guests were asked to talk to other guests about food issues and feedback on what concerns they had about food, what made it difficult to get seasonal food and what needed to change to get more seasonal food into their shopping baskets.
The produce was sourced to ensure it was climate-friendly and as local and seasonal as possible. A number of people gave their time to help, including one from the national Slow Food movement. The volunteers developed storyboards to engage people in discussion, informational placemats and a Seasons Wheel that children (and adults!) could play with.
As a consequence, people have asked Let’s Live Local to arrange more Slow Food event:, the hotel has asked if they can make ‘Slow Sundays’ a regular feature: the cookery demonstrator commented she had never felt more welcome at an event and has offered to do significantly discounted vegetarian food demonstrations for young mums.
A brilliant example of using food and food issues to bring people together to create change. What could you do with a Big Lunch?
It is estimated that 30 million real Christmas trees are sold each year – filling homes across the world with the memorable scent of Christmas (and plenty of pine to clean up!) But what happens to your tree after Christmas?
Here are a couple of tips to cut down on tree wastage, whilst adding a truly original touch to your Christmas:
Make your own Christmas tree
Christmas trees aren’t always made from traditional fir trees. Why not decorate trees in your garden with outdoor fairy lights and decorations? Or even better, how about getting the neighbours out on the street for mulled wine and decorate the outside of your houses together.
Feeling a bit more creative? Check out some of Eden Project’s ideas on how to make your own tree out of old tree branches.
Rent a Christmas tree
If it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without a traditional fir tree several companies, including The Little Tree Company, now offer Christmas trees for hire. You choose the size and variety, and they’ll deliver to your door. Once you’ve finished with the tree, they’ll come and pick it up – and plant it out in woodland, where it provides a habitat for wildlife, as well absorbing carbon dioxide.
Share your Christmas tree
Cut down on tree wastage and make some new friends by sharing your Christmas tree. Simply moving your tree from your lounge into your garden or street can help make your whole community join in with the festive fun! There may be people in your neighbourhood who don’t have a tree of their own. Maybe they live in the top flat and can’t carry it, or perhaps they can’t get out of the house to buy one. This is the perfect time of year to pop over for a cup of tea and see if your neighbours need help to make the festive season special!
Plant out your Christmas tree
If you’ve already bought a live, potted Christmas tree with roots you could try planting it out in the garden after Christmas. Get tips on looking after and planting a living Christmas tree, from Wikihow
Recycle your Christmas tree
This year make sure your tree gets properly recycled. It’s a sad sight on Twelfth Night when city streets are strewn with discarded Christmas trees for the bin men to pick up – because when organic matter ends up in landfill, its rich nutrients are no use to anyone. Instead, recycle your tree either by leaving it out for your local green waste collection or by taking it to a nearby waste disposal site. Find out about your local recycling services at Directgov
World AIDS Day is on 1 December every year – it’s a worldwide opportunity to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV and remember those who lost their fight and have left loved ones behind. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.
What should I do on World AIDS Day?
It’s an opportunity to learn the facts about HIV and put your knowledge into action. If you understand how HIV is transmitted, how it can be prevented, and the reality of living with HIV today – you can use this knowledge to take care of your own health and the health of others, and ensure you treat everyone living with HIV fairly, and with respect and understanding. Click here to find out the facts.
Although World AIDS Day is a great opportunity to get the public talking about HIV and fundraise, raising awareness of HIV is important all year round. This World AIDS Day you could do something special – Decide to hold a fundraising Big Lunch or Big Jubilee Lunch this June and raise money for NAT -showing your support for people living with HIV. If you feel inspired just get in touch, there’s lots of creative ideas on The Big Lunch website to make your day memorable.
NAT – National Aids Trust can help too, they just launched HIVaware — a fun, interactive new website providing information everyone should know about HIVand encouraging people to fundraise at any time of year too.