Christmas is about…Feasting
Our fourth theme of Christmas is feasting! We have already covered gifting, connecting and reflecting. Feasting brings a lot of those themes together and we wanted to share some recipes, no-waste tips and a New Year's party idea from viewer Geraldine to make this year’s festive feast the best yet.
The BEST festive recipes
Try Nadiya Hussain’s delicious smoked mackerel pâté choux that will have your guests coming back for more.
You can catch Nadiya's Party Feasts on the 29th December at 5.15pm on Freeview 82, Sky 170, Virgin 269, Freesat 164.
And for dessert, serve up the Hairy Biker’s spicy gingerbread cake.
Minimising Festive Food Waste
The thought of having a Christmas without turkey wouldn’t be the same. Each year around 10 million turkeys, weighing between 4 to 7 kilos, are reared and sold for the festive period. But how many are wasted? The exact amount differs depending on the source, but it is estimated a minimum of 263,000 turkeys are wasted every Christmas, with a total weight of between 1,000 and 2,000 tonnes, which is the equivalent of around 13 adult blue whales.
How to avoid
The key to avoiding wasting this festive bird is planning and being realistic with portion size. When buying a turkey read the packaging and take note of how many each weight serves. Always go for the higher end, for example a 4kg bird feeds 6-7 people so if you're making Christmas lunch for a family of four, we'd suggest going for a smaller turkey. If you do have leftovers, there are some delicious turkey leftover recipes you should try. Our favourite is The British Heart Foundation’s mouth-watering Turkey, Leek and Bean bake. Alternatively, you can replace the turkey altogether for a protein rich food that comes in exact serving sizes, such as nut roast or a mushroom and squash wellington.
It could be argued gravy is a more important component than the turkey itself for your Christmas dinner. You’re not alone in being unsure of what constitutes as a portion, we're all guilty of making too much - due to this each year around 2.5 million litres of the nation's favourite roast sauce are wasted every Christmas. That’s enough to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool.
How to avoid
The simplest way to reduce gravy waste is to make enough for each person, which is a third of a cup per person. This will, of course, vary depending on preference so if there is any left over your first option could be to freeze it. Your second option is to use it for the sauce of a stew or casserole.
We discard 4.4 million whole potatoes each year, and that’s excluding the festive period. When we add the extra serving of Christmas tatties, it's estimated that a total of 11.3 million potatoes are binned. The nation's favourite carb has been recognised as Britons most wasted food.
How to avoid
Store potatoes in a dark place so they last longer pre-cooking. For a perfect serving, two to three roast potatoes are the ideal portion for a Christmas dinner. Taking into consdiersastion all the other trimmings, any additional potatoes are generally thrown away. If you are left with more than expected, they can be made into a wide variety of potato-based dishes, including mashed potatoes, bubble and squeak, or refried as wedges, the perfect side dish.
Love them or hate them; there’s always a limit and after boxing day some of us hit a proverbial mince pie wall leading to 72 million mince pies being uneaten each year.
How to avoid
Only buy one packet at a time. There is no need to stock up, especially if you know you're not going to finish the second (or fourth) packet. If you can’t resist multipack offers there are some out of the box recipes to mix up this traditional dessert, like this moreish mince pie rocky road. You can also make your own! This way you'll make the right amount for you and your family. The FoodCycle volunteers shared their tried and approved recipes.
For those of us who prefer the taste of fresh herbs as part of our Christmas meal prep, buying an herb plant from the supermarket feels like the easiest option. However, supermarket sold herb plants are notorious for their unseasonal sized leaves, overpopulation in the pot and short life, this leads to much of the plant wilting within a week or so.
How to avoid
Growing your own herb plant! Sowing, planting, and nurturing an herb plant yourself is a proven way to reduce waste. By becoming a plant parent, generally, you are more likely to ensure the herb thrives and continues to provide you with a fresh supply for as long as you sustain it. Our Green Challengers have been doing just that the last few months, growing their very own basil plant and cooking with its leaves. Sign up to be the first to know when our Green Challenge kits will be sent out in the new year.
One idea sent in by a Together TV viewer and Green Challenger, Geraldine, is to organise a community Children’s New Year Party Day. The party could include a meal or nibbles with music, games and an all-important wind down story time. The party could also take the form of an indoor picnic, serving up a boxed picnic for each child (why not try a bring-your-own-box to further reduce waste). For any child in the community unable to attend the party, their picnic box could be collected or dropped off. If you like this idea, pitch it to your local community centre or try organising it yourself! Remember to stay safe and to follow the government guidelines throughout the festive period.
We love hearing your ideas to connect with your community this festive feasting period! Feel free to send them to us via [email protected].
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