Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year for some, but it’s not because of the dash to buy presents for everyone (although that’s certainly stressful too!).
If you’ve been tasked with cooking up a dinner for Christmas day, then you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. Preparing a Christmas feast needn’t be hassle-filled, though. Read on for our top tips for making Christmas dinner as pain-free as possible.
Plan, Plan, Plan
It goes without saying that a little pre-emptive preparation will go a long way. Planning in advance includes selecting recipes, checking your kitchen cupboard’s contents, writing up a shopping list for ingredients you don’t have and then going out to buy said ingredients. This will save you a headache and a half when you find yourself missing store cupboard essentials the night before Christmas Day.
Prep Your Kitchen
Similar to planning in advance, it’s crucial to prep your kitchen to make the cooking process an absolute breeze. What do we mean by prepping your kitchen? Well, anything you can do in advance to streamline the cooking certainly helps!
Organise your fridge and your cupboards so the ingredients you need are right there when you need them. It might also help to prep your ingredients some time before the big day. So chop, dice and portion out your ingredients a few days before Christmas, because your future self will be thanking you for the lighter workload in the kitchen.
Get the Timing Right
With all the recipes you’ll surely be juggling on Christmas day, with different prep and cooking times, it’s also important that you get the timing down pat. There’s nothing worse than nearing dinnertime, only to realise the turkey is nowhere near being finished.
As a general rule, you should take the turkey out of the fridge several hours before dinnertime. This will give you time to thaw the turkey, as well as to cook it for the right amount of time without under- or overcooking it. While the turkey cooks, you can get to work preparing the other dishes, namely the sides that you can pop into the hot oven when the turkey is finished.
Make it a Group Effort
Everything becomes so much easier when you have extra hands on deck. It’s not enough just to get help from your family, though. To avoid chaos, delegate specific jobs to each person and set up stations in the kitchen so people aren’t bumping into each other or working on the wrong dish. You can even get the little ones to help out with simple tasks, such as setting the dining table with festive crockery.
Don’t Shy Away from Shop-bought
Lastly, we want to make it a point that it’s not shameful to go the shop-bought route. There, we said it!
Sometimes, despite your best efforts at planning in advance, you find yourself pressed for time. Or, perhaps, you realise that it’s not worth the effort to make things homemade when the shop-bought version will do just as well. So, buy your Christmas rolls and festive biscuits fom your local bakery to your heart’s content.
We hope these tips will help you prepare for a stress-free Christmas dinner!
Until next time…