Christmas dinner for 6 adults and 3 kids >.<(27 Posts)
So I decided that I'd do Christmas dinner for my lovely grandparents and my Dad & SM. (Grandma hasnt had anyone cook her Xmas dinner for, oooh,, 40 years?!)
First Christmas as Husband And Wife. My husband is going to divorce me after Christmas.
So for you experienced, massive Xmas dinner cooking folks. What the fuck do I do ?!
Cook and slice meat the day before, just bring out beforehand to get the chill off.
Stuffing balls and pigs in blankets made the day before, placed on trays, covered and popped in the fridge.
Veg all prepped the day before. If you have a big enough steamer this will free up loads of room.
I would go for soup as a starter as it will be easy to prepare in advance and heat up quickly.
Pudding is down to your own personal taste really. I would buy ready made custard and ice cream. For ease also buy a frozen dessert that can be served cold such as a pavlova (just remember to take it out in time!) Christmas pudding takes a few minutes in the microwave.
All food set out in dishes for people to help themselves with gravy in a big pan with a ladle. It's not exactly elegant but ensures you have a fighting chance of having hot food
Above all relax and accept any (useful) help
and alcohol you are given.
In all honesty if you have your timings vaguely close it is one of the easiest meals to prepare for a big number
The first time I cooked Xmas dinner, I cooked for 12 adults and 2 children!
Dd2 was only 10 weeks old and still BFing!! Dd1 was just 5!!
It went surprisingly ok, I did a turkey crown, gammon joint, beef joint and a three bird roast, then roast tatos (goose fat) mash, carrots, parsnips, peas, Brussels, yorkies, pigs in blankets and braised red cabbage.
I also did a nut roast for vegetarian (except chicken and fish) SIL
Timing was key. I prepped as much as I could the night before, and DHs job was to keep everyone out of my bloody kitchen and their glasses sufficiently topped up!!
I did homemade celery soup and croutons to start which was a hit, and I made sure that the dishwasher was on a quick cycle and was emptied immediately so I could refill it and not end up with mounds of crockery everywhere!
For serving, I got everything in to serving bowls, meat platters etc and then served it all carvery style IYKWIM.
Desert was cheesecake, Xmas pud or trifle, followed by coffee, mince pies and cream and after eights.
I was amazed I did it to be honest!!! Nobody died either
As for tables, I have two ikea jokkmokk tables - both four seater. I have them together in a long row as an eight seater, or together in a square as a six seater. Cheap and cheerful at £90 each for table and four chairs!
Oh can I also mention, it's my birthday on Xmas day too
Never quite sure how I got that gig!!!!
These are all fabulous !
The idea is to have the table as an investment so we can host various gatherings.
My Mum and SD have divorced and so have sold their humongous house in which we all used to gather (am still very close to SD and step family) so we are sort of trying to take that on ! As well as my Grandparents on Dads side getting too elderly to host that side of the family in their huge bungalow, our house is pretty much central base for both sides of my family these days and DH is one of 4 siblings so will come in handy for seeing his family too.
I like things that can be prepped in advance. These things are my favourites.
(should have said, I didn't bother with the avocado, and made the croutons a few days before too)
I cook for loads and my tip is don't plate up put it all out for people to help themselves. I make my gravy up early put it into a slow cooker then when the meat is roasted add to gravy and I've some insulated serving dishes for the veg. Then you don't have to time everything down to the last second.
Not sure if you are planning a starter, but would really recommend this (assuming you like seafood!) - seafood platter. Looks fabulous, but there is no cooking involved, and you can make the sauce the day before, then just leave it on the table for people to help themselves with a glass of champagne while you cook in peace. Stops people getting too hungry if your timings go awry
as mine always do.
Don't know if IKEA do a table for 8-12 but I have a NORDEN (bought about 6 years ago) that I can seat 8 -10. (Depending on if they are adults/children. DC would have a stool rather than a seat)
But I could buy a smaller table with a drop -leaf bit (and leave it folded like a sideboard if I didn't need it)
But if you just need for a day or so, why not hire one?
HSS or similar would have trestle tables. Once it's got a table cover on, who's to know?
Oh yes I prep all veg whilst waiting to be Santa...with a small port and carols on the CD player....it's actually one of my favourite bits of christmas!
Do as much prep as you can on Xmas eve, so you aren't spending all of Christmas Day in the kitchen.
My mum once hosted an m & s Xmas, where everything came in foil containers which could be thrown away afterwards. Made things so much easier.
Veg can be chopped and stored in water.
If making a starter like prawn cocktail, this can be made and stored in the fridge.
I cook my turkey on Xmas eve, carve it and reheat in gravy on Xmas day. This also stops it drying out.
Cheat as much as you can and buy ready made eg cranberry sauce etc (unless you make it and freeze it).
I cook turkey on Christmas Eve.... Carve it and store in cold garage/fridge. That gives me my oven free for all veg etc on the actual day. And means I can serve at 1 without getting up at some ungodly hour... I serve at least 10 for Christmas (most was 16) and I like leftovers so no room for anything else in the oven once the bird is in.
I cook stuffing on the day and never stuff the main turkey cavity as it seriously extends cooking time. I stuff the neck with sausage meat tho...yum
It also means I can deal with the carcass and make stock the day before so clearing up on the day is reduced.
That sounds like a good husband ! I shall tell mine to do the same. Keep my glass topped up and maintain a perimeter, hahaha. :D
DH knows not to piss me off when I am cooking Christmas lunch! He just regularly delivers alcohol and leaves me in peace.
@Anne hahaha yes I was joking. I will be a control freak monster, but he does know how to handle me when that happens !
And yes definitely order food. I worship at that alter religiously.
Just time your collection well.
I think Grandma will insist on at least making the pudding, so I don't have to worry about that, was going to buy a chocolate cake and ice cream for kids to eat (she laces every puddingwith loads of alcohol :D )
I'll leave the carving of any meat to my DH (I'm rubbish and clumsy.)
Fortunately its only me thats restricted (Gluten Free) and I'm getting rather good at adapting to that now !
I was thinking of doing the following the day before and sticking it in the oven to re-heat:
Broc & cauli cheese bake
DH loves roast parsnips (and he has a massive aversion to anything "green" meaning vegetables in general. He's 6"6 and like a rake.
bastard can eat owt he wants and not put an ounce on ) So gonna do roast parsnips & carrots. My current fave is savoy cabbage with loads of butter and pancetta. Goose fat roast tatos. Mashed tatos. Yorkshires. Turkey (probably a crown) Beef Wellington (from Morrisons or similar)
We're doing the kitchen up in November: ripping some cupboards out to make more space for a big dining table and making new cupboards where the monstrosity of my old boiler used to be. Hoping to find a table in IKEA that can sit 8-12 people. Desperately need more plates/cutlery/bowls etc but we've budgeted for those already, just need to pick some.
Thanks ! Keep the tips coming.
Actually, just realised you may have been joking about the divorce. Apologies if so.
I would order everything from M&S.
Then I would tell DH to piss off and not spoil my Christmas.
Why are you letting him eat with you when he is divorcing you?
I typically cook Christmas dinner for between 20 and 30 on Christmas Day.
I do 90% of prep on Christmas Eve.
I have a detailed plan of my timings, so I don't have to think I just pop in and out and put bits in the oven when necessary.
Mines slightly different as I do have to batch cook and my mum and sister(s) help,u but really it's just planning.
Panic yeah not
First- where are you going to seat everyone
Have you got enough cutlery, plates, bowls, glasses.
Big serving platters
(You could borrow these from family/friends)
Is anyone allergic to anything or restricted diet?
Are you doing a full 3 course or main + puddings?
If it's a turkey roast, do you want to carve it at the table or slice it up beforehand?
Have you got enough oven space and oven dishes (you can use foil for some things but they don't transfer the heat as well as metal)
Some things you can make or buy now.
Christmas Cake and puddings (much nicer to make your own)
Work out what weight of turkey you'll need and maybe buy a turkey crown for less waste?
Ham? You can cook the day before
All your veg. (Decide what you want)
Candles (maybe flameless ones if there are children)
Ps if it was left to me, I would take the 'buy from marks heat in oven' option!
Have just asked dh (who cooks for our family) and his advice was to plan. Get everything you can do in advance done (i peel and chop things the night before), and to write timings down so you know what time to start cooking, when to put potatoes in, veg on, meat out to rest etc. It's never failed him yet. And then I'm in charge of dessert and the supper.
Sounds like you're going to have a lovely Christmas and your grandma will enjoy a year off
I'm not a natural cook but I've done it for 9 the last few years. My main tip is put the turkey on about 8/9ish then you can take out of the oven when done (depending in size) cover in lots of foil and you have your oven free to do the other stuff. You can let it stand for a good few hours.
I've done Christmas dinner for 5 adults and a baby....
Bought a turkey joint to feed four (I'm veggie). Covered in foil and cooked at the bottom of the oven for longer than it said to.
For myself I had some sliced stuff.
Roasted parsnips and potatoes together in a large pan in the middle of the oven. One large saucepan for the green veg. One small tray in the top of the oven with yorkshire puds on.
Plates to warm in top oven.
Gravy in small saucepan on hob.
As dinner was plated up (by DH), I washed the large pan, and put the Christmas Pud on. By the time we'd eaten dinner and washed up (and sat around going 'phew, I'm stuffed' for a bit), it was time for pud.
The baby had mashed up bits of my dinner. And fruit for pudding.
This year it'll be similar, four adults and a toddler.
Practice a big roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings a few times in advance over the next two months (you can use the leftovers for loads of other meals during the week so you won't waste anything).
Once you're a really experienced roast dinner cook then it's just a question of putting the turkey in the oven x hours earlier than you would put a chicken. Buy ready made stuffing (and don't forget to add the weight of the stuffing into the turkey cooking time calculations), and I'd buy ready made red cabbage/bacon chipolata rolls/bread sauce and maybe even gravy if you're not confident about your gravy making skills.
Thanks Olivo ! Gonna check out M&S online now (my local one is v.small) Id like to pre-order as much as I possibly can and just have it all delivered to me without any dashing around getting frazzled in supermarkets.
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