There’s enough to do at this time of year without worrying how on earth you’ll prepare a meal for the whole family with what seems like only a few short hours in which to do so. But don’t let the stress of Christmas cooking get on top of you this year.
Instead, we’re helping you get ahead – or at least look at the task without going into a mild festive panic – via some top tips for a less stressful cooking experience.
Here’s what to do this Christmas:
Organisation is key when it comes to cooking the Christmas dinner, so think about the things you can get ready ahead of time. You could set your table the night before, perhaps, providing you’re not using it for the evening’s meal of course.
Trust us when we say you’ll feel a stack better on Christmas morning if you can come downstairs to an already-laid table; that way you can crack on and prepare the food with few things left to think about.
Say No to Sprouts
Avoid tears at the table (from the little ones, we mean! Although, who knows, Uncle Don is known for his a sobbing session after a sherry or two!) and bypass Brussels sprouts. No one likes them and you’re just making extra work for yourself by cooking them. Instead, go for one less vegetable at the dinner table, or swap sprouts for something else. No Brussels = less stress!
Let the Kids Get Involved
Why be faced with an absolute mountain of things to do when you can get the kids to help and tick one or two things off your to-do list in the process?
If your children are old enough, allow them to do their bit by tasking them with the chopping of veg, or even weighing or stirring the ingredients for mince pies or your annual Christmas cake. Failing that, they could be your handy little sous chef when you’re cooking the meal on Christmas morning. Tell them if they help with the washing up, or taking the bins out, they can have first dibs on what board game you play first. A bribe’s as good as anything when it comes to lightening your load.
Prepare Your Starter & Dessert in Advance
Anything you can do ahead of time to make life easier for you when Christmas morning rolls around will stand you in good stead for smooth, stress-free festivities. As well as doing your Christmas food shop online, think about lightening the load in other ways too.
Prepare you starter and dessert well in advance – think about things that can be placed in the fridge until needed – and you’ll only have the main meal to worry about.
Don’t Overface Yourself
Cooking for a huge family? Don’t allow yourself to get carried away making homemade canapés, or a fourth main course. Instead, keep it as simple as possible. As long as your guests get something relatively Christmassy when they sit down to eat, they’ll – and you’ll – be more than happy.
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Until next time…