Cooking The Biggest Meal Of The Year? How To Keep Calm And Entertain Stress-Free


December is here and with that comes the idea of Christmas day and what can be classed as one of the biggest meals of the year. While you are decking up your Christmas tree with homemade christmas ornaments, there can be a lot of pressure placed on the person who happens to be shooting the big christmas feast. So much goes into the lead up for the big day that the ones eating the glorious food can be a little oblivious as to how much effort has actually gone into the meal and planning of it.

With the challenge of christmas dinner comes issues or potential disasters, which is why planning for the big day is so important. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you some of the ways you can keep you cool this christmas. I plan on highlighting some of the potential issues you may face and offer a few tips and tricks to get you through the festive period.

Planning the christmas meal course by course
One of the first things you should do is to sit down and plan the christmas meal. Decide what you want to offer for the day. Not only should you think about the main meal itself, but also what time you plan on having guests. This will help you determine what snacks to offer, how much you need to order in for drinks, and even what to serve. It is essential to plan the meal ahead of time. That means the courses you wish to serve, if there are any dietary requirements, and what you wish to include.

Buying all the ingredients ahead of time
Christmas shopping can be pretty hectic at this time of year, we all know how busy some of the towns can get and those department stores. However, the same issue can be said for the food supermarkets and local smaller businesses offering fruit and vegetables or meat. Some institutes, even the larger supermarkets, might require you to order some of the bigger items and table centerpieces like the turkey or other meat or vegetable offerings. So it is important for you to ensure that you buy all of the ingredients ahead of time. A good tip is to write a list and then you can pre-place an order with butchers or stores in advance. This avoids disappointment and also helps you to plan as you can book in a date that you want to collect the items you ordered. This also helps to plan as you can then come back to your list and order for things you may forget, or add ons if you decide to cook additional side courses or offer other meals and snacks during the day. This is also important when it comes to drinks, and buying ahead of time may help you to decide whether you have enough for the guests you plan on having for the day.

Start to prep in advance
Prepping in advance could be your saviour, and the first area to consider would be things like Christmas cake and Christmas pudding. These things have great shelf lives so they can be prepared ahead of time. Plus the flavour is immense. However, then the preparation can be taken up to Christmas eve. Where you can do things like prepping the vegetables and storing them in pans of water, or even cooking things ahead of time like stuffing or yorkshire puddings and then freezing them for Christmas day. If you look online, you may find some great suggestions of things you can make in advance of the big day to save you on time and space.

Making sure all the appliances are in good working order
It is the busiest time of the year for your kitchen. You are possibly working it very hard with the oven on cooking and baking christmas treats, the stove on full blanching those vegetables, you then go to store that festive dessert in the fridge, and you realise it isn’t working. Disaster. So avoid any issues ahead of time and ensure the freezer and fridge are in good working order by having them checked over by a specialist company. Of course, you could always get your sub zero refrigerator repair sorted, but having them checked over ahead of time might help you avoid the whole emergency situation, or the risk of losing valuable food that is stored in these appliances.

Laying the table and having a seating plan
Hosting Christmas dinner isn’t easy, especially when you have all parts of the family descending on your abode this festive season. Save yourself the drama and organize the table and where everyone will sit ahead of time. It doesn’t have to look obvious, and can actually be quite a nice thing to do. Thinking about the table decorations and where you might sit people actually shows care and consideration, especially if you have a fair few sitting at your table this year. Deciding who might get on with who and strategically placing people can ensure that the Christmas lunch goes off without a hitch, which after all your efforts and planning, is all you really want.

Making plans for all those leftovers
Finally, let’s talk about leftovers for a moment. There is bound to be an abundance of food, because, let’s face it, we can all be guilty of over buying at this time of year. So, instead of wasting decent food, plan ahead about what you might do with the leftovers. First of all, think about what you might do with any leftover turkey or meat. Many people consider things like pies or curries for boxing day, which are all great ideas. But you could also strip the meat down and use it in an abundance of things such as soups or sandwiches as snacks the following day as well as a meal. Vegetables are also going be around, so adding them to pies or meals can be great additions. Furthermore, you may find you have a lot of snack type food, so perhaps book in a family gathering a few days after christmas ahead of the new year to use up all that party food.

I hope that these ideas and suggestions help you keep your cool this christmas, so you can entertain without stress!

Related Christmas Recipes
All-Time Favorite Christmas Fruit Cake
Adorable Christmas Snowflake Sugar Cookies
Ultimate Holiday Cookies – With Chocolate Hazelnut and Caramel

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