"The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for 30 years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found."

- Calvin Trillin, journalist and social commentator on things American

You survived it then? Exhausted but happy and replete you successfully negotiated Christmas dinner and family foible to reflect on a gastronomic job well done. But what to do with the leftovers? Here are a couple of suggestions.

Don't resort to the freezer - no matter how fancy it is, it won't transform food into anything fresher or more interesting.

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You could share - a nice food parcel for elderly relatives maybe - other people's leftovers are more, well, new. And of course they reveal lots of insights.

To really take advantage of leftovers, think of them as ingredients rather than just re-serving cold food as cold cuts. Cold roast turkey is great in a creamy risotto or within a fruity salad with a spicy dressing.

Cooked ham, with leeks and a mustard white sauce makes great pie filling and chopped into cheese muffin recipes makes for hearty transportable picnic fare at the beach or bach.

Remember bubble and squeak, aka in some places as hodge-podge? It's hearty brunch fare and a great receptacle for leftover veges. And almost anything goes as far as content is concerned.

We love having Christmas in summertime. It's part of the Kiwi way because summer is such a wonderful storehouse of seasonal fruit.

So use your leftover cherries, strawberries, melons and more to whip up a few healthy yoghurt smoothies. Oh, and don't forget to take some time to think about what you're going to do for next Christmas - and write it down.

And finally, enjoy the rest and have a wonderful and exciting New Year.