Fancy a little Delia, rechauffee?

Related Topics
Christmas is over and Twelfth Night has been and gone, but there is still one agonising question left for all cooks: what shall I do with all those leftover Delia Smith recipes?

Yes (writes our leftover cookery expert Ludmilla Sabayon), we thought they would all get done and eaten, didn't we? And yet now we have all got so many Delia Smith ideas lying around the place that we can hardly move for dislodging them and seeing them all flutter to the floor.

That recipe for goose with prune and apple sauce ... the idea for apple fritters with goose and prune sauce ... the goose, apple and prune cheesecake which sounded so good - what became of them all? And, perhaps more importantly, where did they all come from?

Well, we can answer the second question first, because scientists have now discovered that Delia Smith recipes breed at an alarming speed in the windswept open spaces of East Anglia. They then migrate manically into television, the Radio Times, Sainsbury's Magazine and bookshops at a speed which can only be described as too fast to stop. This accelerates at Christmas when people say to each other: "If you can't think of anything else, why don't we give them the latest Delia Smith/that paperback Delia Smith/that Delia Smith that someone gave us last year which you've never looked at?"

The result of all this is plenitude during the festive season. There are some things we never seem to have enough of in the kitchen, such as coffee beans, milk, bay leaves, live yeast and tins of anchovy fillets. Then there are other things we are almost always overendowed with, including oat flakes, Tabasco-type sauces, out-of-date bouquets garnis, biscuit tins, packets of last year's wine-mulling ingredients - and, above all, Delia Smith recipes.

(It is hard not to blame the Radio Times a little here. There was a time when the RT was basically a television and radio listings magazine, but now it is almost all food. Mostly Delia, of course, but also things on what food to eat with which television programme - ugh! - that nice-looking young doctor telling us to eat less, that strange interview feature in which Clement Freud pretends to cook for celebs so that he can tell you what food they ought to like and so on ...)

Well, when you get to the middle of January and your larder is still overstocked with Delia Smith ideas, it is time to get cracking. It is time to say to yourself: either I use this up or I throw it away.

Yes, I said "throw it away".

Surely, you are thinking, she cannot mean that I should actually throw a Delia Smith recipe in the bin? Chuck it out? Get rid of it?

Yes, I do (asseverates our leftover cookery writer Ludmilla Sabayon). That is exactly what I am saying. There comes a time when we know in our heart of hearts that we are never going to use that recipe and that it is only going to go rotten if we keep it.

I am thinking of that Delia Smith recipe you have had lying around for ages for "Shoulder of lamb with rice and kidney stuffing" or perhaps that other one for "Rich lemon cream with frosted grapes".

Look at them carefully. Aren't they going a bit brown round the edges? Perhaps a bit mouldy, too? They are probably still edible, but the idea has been lying around for so long that it is soured by now.

Anyway, would you really want to spend some of your precious time stuffing lamb with rice, when rice could twice as easily be served separately?

Someone once said, memorably, that life was too short to stuff a mushroom. I think life is too short to frost a grape.

So be brave and chuck 'em out.

And if you have still got some leftover recipes, why not try amalgamating them to make your own new dishes? "Shoulder of lamb with grape and lemon stuffing", maybe? Or "Kidney with rich lemon sauce"?

Better still, get my new cookbook, What to do with those leftover Delia Smith recipes! by Ludmilla Sabayon, available at all good bookshops - and a lot of bad ones, too, with any luck.

If you cannot find it, just write to me enclosing a blank cheque.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Piper Ryan Randall leads a pro-Scottish independence rally in the suburbs of Edinburgh  

i Editor's Letter: Britain survives, but change is afoot

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Some believe that David Cameron is to blame for allowing Alex Salmond a referendum  

Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?

Mark Steel
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam