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Cookery: Granny's Xmas Tricks

Pursuits | By Elisabeth Luard

Take the heat out of the Christmas food fest and save time and money with a few granny tricks suitable for this age of austerity. My Edinburgh grandmother saved silver paper to send to orphans in Africa, and knotted up short lengths of string for tying up brown-paper parcels – whatever happened to those?  Here are a few of my favourite granny tricks: Save leftover bread slices to toast in a low oven till crisp and golden: invaluable as crostini bases or to eat with cheese. They’ll stay crisp for weeks (even months) in a cotton bag, hung on a hook in a dry kitchen. Pre-soak chickpeas and haricots to bag up for the freezer, and finish the cooking when you’re ready: they’ll take half the usual time to soften in the pot. For the veggie in your life (mine’s a teenage granddaughter), make a jar of crisp, ready-browned onion...

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