Reverend Daniel Walugembe’s bride with much pride arranged her Boxing day luncheon spread with a flourish and waited for grace “it seems to me,” murmured her husband, “that I have blessed a good deal of this repast before...”

Leftovers can, of course, stand for simple repetition; but they can also stimulate a housewife’s imagination and ingenuity. For our part, we feel positively blessed when we have a tidy store of them stashed away in the fridge.

Christmas time is the ideal time for one to go about cooking up a storm in the kitchen and dazzling your family with an incredible array of meals that will bring a smile to even the most jaded of people.

One secret we have learned is not to go overboard by the leftover ingredients and limit the number of inputs we are working with so that they retain a much need semblance of identity. Suffice it to say, if there is too much of mismatch, the flavours simply cancel out not to mention appetite.

Another secret is to watch out for regarding leftovers is colour. Freshen them up by presenting them with the more positive accents of tomatoes or bright greens and yellows; alternatively, with a colour contrasting sauce.

Still another secret is to be judicious and careful that you create some contrast in texture that is abound to give your spread more cachet and fillip.

When leftover concoctions are soft, better contrast can be achieved by adding finely chopped celery or peppers, nuts, water chestnuts, crisp bacon or your favourite minced herbs.

Chicken croquettes Serves 4
Golden brown and crispy croquettes never lose their lure for us. You will love them.
2 cups ground or finely chopped chicken without the bones
¼ teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 finely chopped small onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
2 diced chilies (optional)
1 cup heavy white sauce
Bread crumbs
1 egg beaten
Oil for deep frying
Add the chicken, celery salt, lemon juice, chopped onion, minced garlic, parsley, salt and pepper, dice chilies (if you are using them) to the white sauce. Cool the sauce and shape the croquettes into the desired shape and dip them into the bread crumbs.
Deep fry in hot deep oil (375d FH) from 2 to 5 minutes, drain and serve hot with a salad.

Browned chicken hash
2 cups boneless chopped chicken
1 cup diced boiled potatoes
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup chopped green pepper
½ cup chicken stock or water
2 tablespoons vegetable cooking oil
Combine the chicken, potatoes, parsley, salt and pepper, green pepper and the stock and pour the vegetable cooking oil in a suitable frying pan. Spread the chicken mixture evenly over the bottom and slowly cook until browned on the bottom. Fold over as you would do with an omelet and serve on a hot platter and garnish with the parsley.

Chicken Hash Serves 4
2 cups chopped cooked chicken without the bones
1 cup diced boiled potatoes
2 tablespoon fat
1 tablespoon minced parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
At least ½ cup of stock or water
Mix the chicken and potatoes together and melt the fat, add first the mixture, parsley, seasoning and stock and cook until browned. You may add a quarter cup of chopped green pepper is you so desire.

Sweet potato casserole serves 6
6 to 8 cooked sweet potatoes
½ cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter
2 medium navel yellow oranges
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup strained honey
¼ cup fine bread crumbs or more
Arrange a layer of potatoes in a greased casserole and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and dot with 2 tablespoons of butter. Cover with a layer of thinly sliced unpeeled oranges.
Repeat layers and then pour over the orange juice that you have mixed with honey. Combine the crumbs with the remaining brown sugar and butter and sprinkle over the top.
Cover the casserole and bake in a moderate oven 350d FH for about 30 t0 40 minutes and remove the cover for the remaining 15 minutes.

Shepherd’s pie serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons butter or a margarine
2 cups hot mashed potatoes
2 cups cold boneless meat of your choice, though traditionally lamb is the preferred choice, cut into small cubes.
1 ½ cups of any good gravy
Grease a shallow baking dish and spread ½ an inch thick with mashed potatoes and fill with the meat or lamb along with the gravy then garnish the top with the mashed potatoes in large spoonfulls. Bake in a moderate oven 375d FH

Fish Fritters serves 4
½ kg cooked boneless fish fillet
3 eggs separated
3 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1teaspoon garlic
1 tablespoons minced parsley
Mash the fish and beat egg yolks until they are light and thick, add flour, salt and pepper, garlic, parsley and fish. Add whites of eggs that are beaten to a froth. Drop by tablespoons into hot deep aft 360d FH to 370d FH and fry until brown.