Christmas Cooking Tips
Christmas should be about the whole family enjoying the festivities, but more often than not, cooking the Christmas lunch provides a fair amount of stress. Whether cooking on your own, or cooking with the family, something always seems to take longer to cook than you thought it would, messing with your timings.
In an attempt to reduce your stress this Christmas, here are some top tips from Lorraine Pascale:
- Think Practically
Before you plan your menu, consider the size of your oven and the size and amount of tins, pans and hob space you need. A large turkey is a big thing to cook, and if you don’t normally cook for a large number of people, your largest roasting tray may not be big enough, but a new very large roasting tray may not fit in your oven.
- Get Organised
You can never be too prepared when it comes to a big meal like this. Make sure you have your menu planned fully and read through all the recipes you are using thoroughly, rereading any instructions that aren’t clear. Write a list of all the ingredients you are going to need, then cross off the ones you already have. Write a prep list of all the jobs you are going to need to do to make the meal. Ticking them off the list as you do them will give you great satisfaction.
- Don’t Do Too Much
Fewer dishes cooked with care and love will always win over lots of dishes cooked badly. Don’t overstretch yourself. A roast with three interesting vegetable sides can make a perfect plateful.
- Cook The Food You Like
Don’t feel pressurised into cooking with new ingredients you’ve never tried and may not like just because it’s Christmas, the big day is not the time to have your meal ruined by finding out you hate chestnuts! Choose ingredients and flavour combinations you already like and choose recipes you like the sound of and can visualise eating, rather than traditional recipes you feel you should be cooking. This is particularly true with dessert, and the traditional offerings are no longer the favourites so choose something you like.
Many hands make lighter work, so use all the help you can get. Get kids involved with some of the preparation and they’ll get a sense of pride over the meal and are more likely to try vegetables they’ve prepared themselves.
- Be Flexible With Your Mealtime
Don’t feel you have to race to get things done on time – accidents happen in the kitchen when you’re in a hurry. Think about making the main meal time later than is traditional and serving or getting someone else to make a late morning brunch earlier in the day to keep everyone going. Eating later in the day buys you more time to cook happily at your own pace, rather than feeling like you’re pushed for time.
For more tips, click here.