Christmas is coming – and if you are hosting the big Christmas dinner at your house this year, you are probably just starting to plan it all out. If you are not used to preparing big family meals, or this is your first time doing the Christmas lunch, then you may feel a lot of pressure – after all we can’t all be Michelin star chefs creating perfect dishes with restaurant cutlery from but we don’t need to be – with a bit of planning and a calm approach, it can all go well, and you won’t have to spend the whole of Christmas day slaving away in the kitchen.
The first thing to remember is to relax – it is just a meal, nobody is expecting a restaurant service (unless of course you are working as a top chef in a restaurant in which case you are probably quite relaxed already about cooking a meal for lots of people!). Plan out who is coming and if they have any special dietary requirements (vegan, gluten free etc). This will help enormously, and you won’t have a surprise announcement on the day and be rushing around trying to cater for them.
It is always good to check whether you have a canteen of cutlery. If not try to visit heritagesilverware.com/category/cutlery.
Once you know how many will be coming and have found out if any have dietary requirements, it is time to start planning what you are going to be making and getting a shopping list together. If you are doing a few courses or a buffet, you may want to plan what dishes you are going to be serving. There is nothing wrong with getting premade things – it takes the stress off of you and there are some fantastic things around in the supermarkets at this time of the year that will be perfect for a festive feast.
Get your ingredients as close to the big day as you can – they will be fresher that way – but if you are going to be using frozen things it is a wise idea to stock up in the weeks leading up to Christmas as they will stay in the freezer and this will also help with Christmas budgeting as it isn’t one big splurge all at the same time. For example, a frozen turkey can be purchased early, as can roast potatoes.
When it comes to the night before, prepare as much as you can so it limits your time spent in the kitchen on Christmas day – prepare the vegetables, get the table ready and make sure that you have everything ready and to hand for the morning. Then rope everyone else into washing up after!