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Christmas Dinner - don't worry about it!
Traditional Christmas Dinner
Member Name: kirstieksf
Traditional Christmas Dinner
Date: 12/11/00, updated on 12/11/00 (918 review reads)
Advantages: Being organised saves time and stress
So much emphasis is put on the traditional Christmas dinner, that it often becomes the focus of the entire day for the poor cook. Having taken over the Christmas catering from my mum and nan on my 18th birthday (yes, it's Christmas Day!), this will be my 8th year as cook. There are only five of us for Christmas each year, which may seem comparitively few to some, but is still more than enough when there are only usually two people in our small flat! Some of the things that I do on Christmas Eve, to save time and effort the next day are:
Prepare vegetables where possible - I always prepare the brussels sprouts, carrots and swede, and then put them in plastic ziplock bags in the fridge, with just a splash of water in each bag to keep them moist and fresh. All you need to do on Christmas Day is to tip them in a saucepan! If, like us you make sausage and bacon rolls, you can wrap each cocktail sausage in half a rasher of streaky bacon, and place them in a disk ready to bake the next day.
Wash up as you go along - I have a knack of being able to use every item in the kitchen, and washing up and wiping down counters as you go really makes a difference.
If you cook for a large amount of people you may want to consider using a mini oven, or electric steamer, which takes the pressure off the usual single oven and four rings to cook on. I'm lucky in that we have a double oven, with the usual four ring hob, plus a microwave, mini oven, and electric steamer - it's just more space i need now!
You don't need a precise timetable, just a rough plan - or a traditional routine! For example, I always start on dinner as soon as everyone has opened their presents in the morning, which usually gives me some breathing space at around midday to check everything is in order.
In our family, at least, everyone is very relaxed on Christmas Day, and nobody expects everything to be perfect. If you forget something, or burn part of the
meal, just ignore it, and carry on - it's Christmas, and it's not worth getting stressed out over burnt bread sauce, or overcooked carrots! Personally, I always make one mistake on Christmas Day, which last year was forgetting the individual Yorkshire puddings, and finding them in the oven later, and the previous year was not buyig any bread sauce, and not discovering until someone asked where it was! Everyone has come to expect it now, and when my single mistake happens each year, we just laugh about it, and fix it if it's possible.
The point I'm trying to make, is do as much as you can beforehand, and be reasonably organised on the day, but don't expect perfection! And if anyone complains, tell them to cook thei own Christmas dinner next year, or eat what they're given!