Even though Christmas is over for this year, the feeling of dread mixed with anxiety and stress is still fresh in your mind. And the mere thought that you will effectively be responsible for the success of Christmas for your entire family for next year is starting to haunt you now.
There is a huge amount to consider and prepare in the build-up to the big day, and to ensure that you don’t have an emotional breakdown at some point between Morecambe & Wise and whichever Christmas episode of Only Fools & Horses they’re showing, you will need to make sure you’ve prepared right down to the smallest details, and well in advance.
The Ingredients – Fresh versus Frozen
It is an occasion that only comes around once a year, so everyone always wants their Christmas dinner to be deliciously ostentatious. It is certainly not a time to be counting calories, so make sure you buy in plenty of fantastic food for you and your loved ones to dine on.
Of course, frozen and pre-prepared food can never match up to the quality and taste of fresh ingredients, and although the extra time you need to spend preparing the vegetables and Yorkshire puddings may seem like a chore, it will pay dividends when it comes to eating it.
However, if you’re not experienced in preparing fresh food or you don’t feel confident with your cooking it may be best to plump for the frozen options. You may not achieve quite the same flavours as you would do with fresh produce, but this is a far better option than trying to do more than you can handle and ending up with a meal that even Tiny Tim would turn his nose up at. Stick to what you feel comfortable with and you will deliver a creation to be proud of.
They say that a bad workman blames his tools, but it is difficult to prepare that perfect Christmas meal without the right appliances.
Even the most succulent turkey and the freshest roast potatoes won’t taste great without a quality oven that can handle everything that goes into the Christmas dinner. You will also need to bear in mind the size of your cooker to ensure that you don’t buy a turkey too large or leave yourself without enough time to get everything cooked due to a lack of capacity.
However, you also need to make sure that you can store everything properly, and this will come down to the size of your fridge-freezer.
You need to buy your turkey well in advance and keep it frozen, so it is imperative that you take note of the size of bird you can store, bearing in mind all of the other ingredients you will need to keep frozen or refrigerated.
The exact preparation process you will need to undertake will depend on exactly what food you’re cooking, and it would be wise to try and find a step-by-step guide in a cooking book or online if you don’t feel 100% confident. However, there are some hard and fast rules that you should stick to when preparing your Christmas dinner.
Plenty of variety – it is the spice of life as they say, and it is certainly true when it comes to your Christmas dinner. There are a whole range of different foods you can make use of for many different courses, so don’t shy away from creating as audacious a feast as possible.
Prepare everything in good time – with so much to get ready you will want to leave yourself as much time as possible, so prepare as much as you can in advance.
Remember to relax – it will inevitably be stressful, but it is important to try to relax and enjoy it as well, and keep what’s important in perspective: that you’re surrounded by family and friends at the most wonderful time of the year.
This guest blog was written by John Rooney on behalf of the Online Kitchen Store, suppliers of contemporary fitted kitchens and appliances to help your Christmas dinner run smoothly.