11 Dec Tips for hosting this Christmas
If your heart rate is starting to amp up when you think of family and friends descending on you this year, we have a few kitchen tips to help you glide through it!
There’s so much you can do ahead of the big day. We are big fans of make-ahead gravy (it is vital that you have enough of this!), you can also pre-prepare your roasties and freeze them. Ask a family member to prep veg the day before, make puddings in advance and most importantly, be real. If you don’t really enjoy the catering side of Christmas or you have too much on. Don’t beat yourself up by trying to make everything from scratch. Embrace the wealth of choice on offer in the shops, or ask guests to contribute different elements.
On that note, don’t try to do everything, delegate! Guests are more than happy to bring things and/or help on the day. In fact, most people feel uncomfortable watching a host fly around madly, when they’d be happy to help. The really good guests also know just to top yours and their own glasses up too!
Make a list
Write down what needs to happen and when. You’re more likely to retain the information if you’ve written it down and you can just set alarms at various times to prompt your next action. This will stop you clock watching and reduce your stress levels as the meal takes shape.
Don’t stress about this. We’re not sure that it is actually possible to time a Christmas dinner to perfection, and enjoy yourself at the same time. So relieve yourself of that burden. It will be ready when it’s ready and your family will have pilfered enough Quality Streets in the morning to tide them over. Your meat will happily rest whilst you faff about rejigging everything in the oven and willing the roasties to hurry up. The veg may not all be ready at the same time, so it will be calmer all round if you accept that now.
Give yourself a break
Just as there is no such thing as a normal or perfect family, you don’t need to create a perfect Christmas. What you can do is feel nice and prepared for the big day. You can choose not to worry about the fact you forgot the cranberry sauce and you can feel justified in downing tools for a bit to enjoy some present opening. You can wish that you’d remembered to do this, that and the other. Really you just need to make sure you have checked in with the people most dear to you, whether near or far and that you’ve taken a moment to pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
If lunch is looking like it’s going to be delayed…
May we recommend this Pecan and Sweet Chilli Baked Camembert, trialled at our canape event last year, it was the absolute favourite for everyone.
- Cut your camembert in half.
- Tip a bag of plain pecans into a mixing bowl. Add a few tablespoons of apricot jam and sweet chilli sauce. Now, mix together until the nuts are well covered.
- Spoon half your mixture onto the bottom half of your camembert. Pop the other half of the camembert on top.
- Spoon the remaining mixture on top of the Camembert sandwich.
- Place slices of ciabatta all around the Camembert and pop in the oven for about 15-20 mins at 180 (fan oven).
- Simply top up your wine and wait until the buzzer goes!
So, go forth and conquer Christmas! We are shutting for the Christmas break at 4pm on Saturday 21 December, and will be back on Monday 6 January. If it’s your kitchen that causes you Christmas stress, we can help with that for next year! Book an appointment with us in January via firstname.lastname@example.org.