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Logistical help please! How do I seat all these people?

(14 Posts)
msrisotto Thu 20-Nov-14 18:36:28

So, I may have been taken up on a flippant offer to cook for 12 on boxing day. shock

I need help with logistics please!

I have one dining table that normally seats 4 but could seat 6. My in laws live close by and could bring a collapsable table and extra chairs. My dining chairs aren't very comfortable though and I only have one 3 seater sofa.....How can I seat 12 people after dinner? They're adults/older adults so can't sit on cushions on the floor!

I also have one oven - how do people manage cooking a joint of meat plus other oven cooked stuff like cauliflower cheese? One four ringed hob. I've struggled cooking for 6!

Chottie Thu 20-Nov-14 18:53:32

when I was a child we used to have two tables, one for the adults and a little one in the corner for the children. We loved sitting at our own 'special' table. If you are cooking a joint of meat, you can cook it, take it out and leave to 'rest' wrapped in foil whilst you turn up the heat and cook cauliflower cheese and pots. Make sure all the serving dishes and plates are warm and you have plenty of hot gravy.

TywysogesGymraeg Thu 20-Nov-14 18:59:36

After dinner I would use deck chairs for sitting on.

And if you can't fit cauliflower cheese in the oven, cook something else!!

Roast pots in the oven with the meat, and therefore room for 4 veg on the hob. If you want more veg choose things you can cook together like peas and broccoli.

SnowInWinter Fri 21-Nov-14 08:20:45

We have got round this before by borrowing tables/chairs. Also using garden furniture which gets brought in on Christmas eve to be cleaned and to dry off.

Children can be sat on cushions at the coffee table (if you have one) and deck chairs/patio chairs get brought in for the table and then moved to sitting room or wherever for afterwards.

Honestly I find that not everyone stays in one place at a family gathering, you usually find them alternating between the kitchen dining and sitting room so wouldn't worry about chairs not being comfortable. You could also stick a cushion on the chairs seats if needed. We usually have people sitting on the arms of the sofa/floor if they are just passing through.

Food wise, I have always managed with a single oven previously. which is used to cook the meat, roasties, parsnips, pigs in blankets etc. The trick is to work out how long everything needs, and the latest it can go in the oven (I always write it down) then put it in the oven in stages. (always put the meat in first)

As soon as its cooked either leave in the baking trays or move to serving dishes, cover them in foil and stack one on top of another, they do keep warm for quite a while. Same goes for stuff cooked on the hob.
If anything has cooled down too much, you can give it a quick blast in the microwave but I don't usually have to do this.

Also make sure everything is prepped and ready in trays/pots well in advance of it actually needing cooked. Saves a lot of faffing around.

lilolilmanchester Fri 21-Nov-14 09:35:30

If Boxing Day rather than Christmas Day, couldn't you do a fork buffet instead of a roast so not everyone would need to be seated?
If you do want to do roast, as others have said, you can cook cauliflower cheese while the meat rests and turn up the oven to finish off the potatoes. Other veg can be cooked on hob or invest in an electric steamer. Ratatouille can be made ahead and reheated and is about different to veg people will have had on Christmas Day.

storminabuttercup Fri 21-Nov-14 13:29:03

Does it have to be a roast? Could you do a nice buffet? Much less stress. I'm doing similar on Christmas Eve with a few more people and doing hot roast pork sandwiches and snacky stuff. smile

momb Fri 21-Nov-14 13:38:32

Do some veg which can be cooked in advance and reheated in the microwave: creamed potato, braised red cabbage, leeks in cheese sauce etc can all be left in the fridge until the last minute and just blasted. Then you only need to do fresh greens and whatever veg you are roasting.

Rest your meat while the roast spuds are crisping, and you'll have lots of time to make gravy etc.
I had a single oven/4 ring for many years and have used to cater for 12 every week.

momb Fri 21-Nov-14 13:40:24

Just read ther whole thread and I agree with the others BTW: why do a second roast at all? Curry is traditional in our house: three different sorts with pilau and steamed rice, chapatti or naan (I buy these) and loads of accompaniments. You can prep almost everything in advance and it keeps warm well.

curiousgeorgie Fri 21-Nov-14 13:40:47

Could you hire a table and some chairs? My parents do this so everyone can sit together... Then later on they move some of the chairs into the living room and have loads of cushions on the floor... It works well. They take their table legs off and store it in the shed or even the bedroom..

Finnellajoe Fri 21-Nov-14 13:50:23

If you are doing a roast, I would cook before and then cover well. If it is a large joint/bird it will stay warm for ages if it is wrapped well enough.

Or as others said, do a buffet.

msrisotto Fri 21-Nov-14 14:01:17

Thank you everyone. The number is up to 13, possibly 14. I'm not too worried about the food aspect, it's more the seating. I don't have deck chairs. Haven't thought of hiring chairs, where would I go about doing that?

momb 12 every week? shock and [faint].

LittleMissGreen Fri 21-Nov-14 14:13:56

Do any of your guests have a chair/beanbag/floor cushion they could bring with them in boot?

JunkBox Tue 25-Nov-14 09:27:33

I'm sure your guests would happily bring a chair each, we used to take our patio furniture along to my mums and there was always someone sitting on the Lloyd loom washing basket!!grin

Also its a common sight in our town to see other families carting tables and chairs through the street on Christmas day!
Wouldn't be Christmas otherwise! smile

msrisotto Tue 25-Nov-14 17:31:10

Thanks all. People will be bringing chairs! I think my family have previously set a really high bar so it'll be a bit of a bump for them not to have a sofa or comfy chair each!

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