Christmas is a wonderful time of year for getting together with family and friends, enjoying great food, listening to favorite holiday tunes, decorating the house and exchanging gifts. It’s also a terrible time for encountering stress along the way.
Even for the most experienced cook, hosting the family Christmas meal can seem a bit daunting. With a bit of forward planning, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the festivities, and treat your guests to some really special food. With only four weeks to go, hopefully you’re already on your way to planning the big meal. Here’s some tips for your preparation…
Do a Kitchen Inventory ~
Make sure you’ve got enough cutlery and crockery for all of your guests. Making the traditional turkey? Make sure you’ve got a roasting tin big enough to hold it. Stock up on turkey foil and greaseproof paper. Don’t forget napkins, wine glasses and candles.
Confirm your Guest List ~
Get a proper count of the number of people you’ll be feeding. Does anyone have any special dietary needs? Any vegetarians? Your guests will appreciate your concern and everyone will be happy.
Plan your Menu ~
Once you know who you’re cooking for, you can start to plan your menu for the day. Start making a shopping list of everything you’ll need. Go through all your recipes and make sure you’ve got everything, including any special pans you may need. Put your order in to the butcher for your turkey or other meat such as a beef roast, ham or in our case, a duck!
Start your Cooking Early ~
Anything that can be made ahead of time is worth doing, be it a Christmas Pudding or Cake, mince pies or cookie dough. These can all be made ahead and stored in the freezer until needed.
Shop now to Save Money ~
If you plan your menu early, you’ll have plenty of time to hunt down money-saving deals on everything you’ll need. Shop around now for a well-priced turkey, and make the most of bulk-buy deals on wine, beer and spirits. And save yourself some more stress….leave the kids home with your spouse or the grandparents while you go do the shopping.
These are just a few things to get you started if you haven’t already.