Forget Christmas dinner, St Stephen’s Day leftovers are the best
The Irish Times: We Love Food – Amy Burke, graduate programme
The Burke family in 1996: Amy Burke (centre) with her mother, Mary, holding her brother Michael, and her father Derek holding her brother David
I’m sure that Christmas dinner is a favourite food memory for many , but for me, dinner on St Stephen’s Day is a hard one to beat.
Christmas Day has always been very busy in my family, even more so when I was younger; getting up ridiculously early to see what Santa had brought and grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins coming and going throughout the day. When dinner time rolled around there never really seemed to be much time to relax and just enjoy your food.
This is why my family had always tried to keep St Stephen’s Day a relaxed affair. Lie-ins all round, my two brothers and I spent most of the day playing with our new toys and games, followed by a tasty dinner that Mum and Dad cooked at a leisurely pace.
Now that I’m in my 20s St Stephen’s day is still a lovely, relaxing day that I spend with my nearest and dearest and includes a very tasty dinner. Sliced turkey and ham left over from Christmas day is placed in a casserole dish and covered with gravy, then re-heated in the oven. Served with oven-baked chips, this meal is one of my favourites.
As I’ve grown older so has my love for food. I’m working on my cooking skills, but I really enjoy trying new recipes and going to a variety of restaurants that serve delicious meals (Italian, Thai, Indian; you name it and I’ll try it). Turkey and Ham in Gravy with Chips is a simpler menu option, but the memories I have from childhood have made it a firm favourite of mine. Though some of my Christmas traditions have changed as I’ve grown older, St Stephen’s Day dinner is one I hope to continue for a long time.