Tis the Season to be Hassle-Free
They say it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s often the most stressful time too…
With food to prepare, presents to wrap and a house to clean, all in time for the big day, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and a little stressed.
However, if you plan ahead, you can sit back, relax and have a holly jolly Christmas with your family and loved ones.
Planning the Main Event
Food, Glorious Food
Unless you’re not a family of tradition, a turkey or nut roast will probably be on the menu for the main course. So, with that aside, it’s time to devise the rest of the dish.
Now it wouldn’t be Christmas without all the trimmings, so serve your centrepiece with all the extras. Chunky roast potatoes, honey mustard parsnips, sage-infused brussel sprouts and Christmas spiced red cabbage. Complete the dinner with crispy bacon rolls, port and cranberry sauce and simple flavoursome gravy for a show-stopping meal.
You either love it or hate it – so make sure to have an alternative – but you can’t host Christmas day without a classic Christmas pudding. Pair this dessert with a brandy butter sauce for those who choose this bitter-sweet pud. And for those who like something a little less conventional, a fruity trifle or rich chocolate yule log are great choices as well as the trusty tin of Quality Streets too.
A Guide to your Christmas Dinner Preparation
You might not realise how much preparation you can complete prior to Christmas day.
Throughout December, make sure you have ordered the turkey and started to stock up on drinks, snacks and foods with a long shelf life as well as double-checking you are not missing any essential cookware and cutlery.
Up to a fortnight before the big day, not only can you parboil and freeze the roasties but prepare and freeze the red cabbage, bacon rolls and desserts too. When it comes to the rest of the vegetables and sauces, these can be prepared up to two days ahead and kept air-tight in the fridge. Then all you are required to do the night before is defrost anything frozen.
Regarding Christmas Day itself, it’s always a good idea to create a cooking schedule so you can work out timings of what needs to be cooked and when – this way, you have a step-by-step guide to turn to throughout the day.
A bottle of fizz, spice mulled wine, and non-alcoholic mocktails will be more than sufficient to get you and your guests in the festive spirit.
Take the pressure off keeping drinks topped-up by setting up a station for everyone to help themselves. This way, you can carry on cooking or put your feet up to enjoy a tipple too!
Decorate the Dinner Table
Christmas is a great time to bring out your best crockery, cutlery and fine china, but after being stored away for months on end, it may require a clean and polish. If you plan what you are going to use before the big day, you can make it sparkle again ahead of time.
It’s also wise to decide your table décor. Are you going to go fun and festive with red and green Christmas crackers or sophisticated and elegant with foliage and candles? Whatever you decide, have a practice of your table set-up, so you know what goes where on Christmas day.
The last thing you need before serving up the Christmas dinner is any dispute about who’s sitting next to who.
A Christmas Stocking Seating Plan is one great way to let your guests know where they will be seated. You can simply make this with paper, pens and some string. The seating plan can be hung on a mantlepiece, door, staircase or Christmas tree for everyone to see.
Santa’s Little Helpers
Plan some presents that your loved ones can help you wrap, like letting the little ones assist with the grandparent’s gifts. As well as taking a slight weight off your shoulders, it’s a fun way they can lend a hand.
At the end of the day, Christmas is about spending quality time with loved ones, so don’t overthink it and make sure to enjoy yourself!
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from everyone at Wren Kitchens.