7 tips to get ready for Christmas Dinner
Christmas Dinner Made Easy
This year I was actually later than usual on setting my Christmas dinner menu. If it’s not clear by now I loooove Christmas. And already start asking people what’s happening, what’s going as early as July. But this year being what it is, I wasn’t even sure what I would be doing and if others could be part of it. Here goes, my latest Christmas planning ever. 10 days before Christmas. The plan… to cook everything on the 24th with enough leftovers to just cruise on the 25th in pj’s.
1. If Possible Split The Workload
Decide beforehand whether you are making everything by yourself or splitting the workload. This will impact your menu selection and what you can take on or not. This year I’ll be cooking together with our neighbors/friends. Meaning I can afford to extent the menu items. We will be sharing the workload and also have 2 ovens, an instant pot and a slow cooker at our disposal.
2. Keep It Simple
Before we get to the fun stuff, just a reminder to not over extent yourself. A lot of people experience a lot of stress during this period. Stress to make it special, stress of having family over or not. And while I can’t control how you deal with other elements that stress you out, food definitely should not be one of them. Select items you are confident in making and that bring you joy.
3. Set A Menu
Start by getting all your favorite cookbooks and food blogs lined up. Review your favorite recipes and make a rough draft of all the items that speak to you. Don’t be afraid to have 5 different side dishes and 3 mains. This is part of the research process and remember you are creating a rough draft first and then cleaning it up. Try to find the items that make the most sense together and drop the other ones. I know it will be hard to drop items, but you absolutely have to. There is no way you are making all of that. Remember step number 2: Keep it simple. No stress!
4. Check The Logistics
Once you have the menu set, check the items that will need to be prepped in advance and which needs to go into the oven. We tend to overlook the number of items that might need oven time. Add them all up together and see if the menu you just made is actually feasible.
5. Prep What You Can In Advance
The one thing I hate is waiting for the turkey or protein of choice to be done in the oven in order to start making gravy. My solution to that is to make the gravy in advance. Up to a week in advance to be exact. I roast a whole chicken and use the drippings to make the gravy. Once it’s cooled I save it in a Ziploc bag and freeze it till it is time.
6. Use Leftovers To Make Stock
I use the leftovers from the roast chicken to make a stock. Which I use as a base for my soup. Check your menu and see what else you can prep in advance. Cranberry sauce is definitely something you can also make in advance.
7. Test If You Can
Last but not least if you do decide to try something that is out of your comfort zone, try to make time to test in advance. You don’t need to make say an entire turkey twice. But you can test the spices on the roast chicken to see if it works. The less uncertainty the less stress.