Christmas dinner is one of the highlights of the day, but if the duty has fallen to you to cook then it can cause a fair amount of stress. Theres a lot to do and expectations are always high, but there are ways you can make things easier for yourself.
Work out the menu and portions
First things first, work out exactly what you’re going to be serving, and roughly how much of everything you’ll need. From the meat or meats you’ll be cooking to the vegetables and all of the trimmings, gravy and sauces, you need to start by figuring out what will be on the menu. If you’ll be cooking up a starter and a dessert too, don’t forget to include these.
Write a list
Next, you’ll need to get organised by writing a list of everything you’ll need. Go through every item on the menu, working out the ingredients that go into them- not forgetting things like herbs, spices and seasonings. Writing an extensive list means it wont get to Christmas morning and you’ve forgotten something important.
Prep what you can the night before
Cooking a full Christmas dinner is such a lot of work, as there are so many different elements that need to come together. Make things easier for yourself by prepping- could you cook desserts ahead of time? Are there any trimmings or extras that can be cooked ahead, stored in the fridge then reheated on the day? At the very least, have all of your vegetables prepped and chopped the night before as this job alone can take a lot of time.
Make sure you have enough equipment
Chances are you’ll be cooking for more people than you usually do at Christmas, so make sure you have the right equipment. From plates and serving ware, to trays and dishes to cook lots of different things in the oven. Speaking of the oven, work out if you’ll have enough space- if you have a very large turkey then there might not be much room for anything else. Something like an additional tabletop oven could be the answer, you can read about this Breville oven here but there are lots of similar models.
Get the seating arrangement right
Finally, do you have enough seating for everyone to sit and eat their dinner? You might need to dig out some spare chairs and squeeze people around the table, or perhaps you could buy an inexpensive childrens table for all the kids to sit at. If you really dont have enough space, you could consider serving people in settings and stagger the times. One group could eat at say 3pm, and the next at 3.30 when the first group have finished.