Christmas seems to creep up on us every year, doesn’t it? Once Halloween and Bonfire Night have passed, it feels like we are on a speedy count down to the Christmas festivities.
With only 6 Fridays to go before the 25th December, I don’t think it’s too early to start planning, shopping and organising your home ready for the celebrations.
Perhaps you are considering buying a new sofa to arrive in time? Or re-decorating a guest room. There is always lots to do in the run-up!
If you are entertaining on Christmas Day, you may already be thinking about how you will seat everyone around the dining table and whether you will cook a turkey, goose or something different this year, like Beef Wellington for a change.
Getting the kitchen prepared ahead of time is essential if you want to stay calm and in control, especially if you have a large family to feed – this is true at any time of the year, not just Christmas! So let’s take a look at what we can be doing to make life easier, starting now.
Stocking up on Supplies
It is a good idea to do an inventory of your current kitchen utensils, crockery, cutlery, wine glasses, table linens etc. to ensure you have sufficient quantities and can replace anything that is missing. Do you have a good carving knife, enough pots and pans? Oven gloves and an apron to keep your Christmas outfit clean?
Avoid putting it off and ending up having to do a trolley dash on Christmas Eve! Plan your food needs for the whole festive season – make a shopping list and clip any recipes that you want to use and pop them in a folder.
Try to buy one or two items (non-perishable) each week from now on and put them in the store cupboard – it will spread the cost and should help you avoid a stressful ‘mega shop’ closer to the day.
It is also a good idea to use up whatever food is in the freezer to clear some space.
Baking and pre-cooking
Bake some Christmas foods and freeze them. If you know you will be having a frozen turkey, work out when you will need to start defrosting it and make a note on your calendar. A double oven like those available from Amica can be a real asset when cooking a Christmas dinner. Having two cavities – one usually fitted with a grill – you are able to either cook double the amount or perform multiple cooking functions at once, with handy toasting, browning or defrosting options. The top oven is great for keeping food warm and is also handy for heating plates.
You can roast the meat the night before if you wish which will keep the oven free the next day for the other stuff you need to cook.
Veg can be prepped or even cooked the night before, too. But if you prefer not to do that, but know that cooking everything the next day could be a bit too much, then why not ask guests coming to dinner to bring a dish to share the load?
And get the family involved – children love making mince pies, spooning the mixture in and cutting out star-shaped pastry lids. Dust them with icing sugar for a snowy look!
Closer to the time I shall be looking at creating a beautiful table setting – this is one of the things I really enjoy about organising Christmas Dinner! I particularly love a Scandinavian style table setting with a natural centrepiece, white linens and lots of candles. There are many lovely ideas over on my Christmas Pinterest board to get you started.