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How to do Christmas food without being tied to the kitchen?

(8 Posts)
StockingFullOfCoal Sat 06-Dec-14 19:38:58

Last year I hosted for the first time. 12 people. All went smoothly, but I barely had time to do anything else once cooking started at 9am (despite doing the turkey crown the day before.) ExDP picked DDs up at 3pm and I ended up in tears because I'd barely seen them. This year he has opted to "just pick them up on Boxing Day morning" and have them till Sunday evening, fine, whatever, I get DDs all to myself all day for the first time in 3 years grin BUT. I do not want to be tied to the kitchen all day.

I have DH, 2DDs 6&4, DSS12, DSis and DNeph4, possibly my DDad and DSM, best friend and her DP, and other visitors throughout the day - we have an "open house" policy this year: nothing formal, just letting people drop in as and when they feel like, with plenty of food on offer.

I was thinking of doing the turkey in the slow cooker overnight, sticking potatoes in the steamer, roasts/yorkshires/pigs in blankets in the oven. Basic veg - peas, broccoli. Fresh gravy from Sainsburys. Dinner around 1-2pm.

www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chocolate-recipes/the-best-cherry-and-chocolate-cheesecake

^That for pudding. (Made by another DSis, I am fucking shite not very good at baking, she's absolutely brilliant and it doesn't piss me off not one bit even though she is only 18 and I'm 28 nope not one bit

From 4:30pm onwards: cooked ham, leftover turkey/pigs in blankets, prawn cocktail (family favourite), crusty bread, Lurpak, Pringles, salad, various pickles, baked camembert with bacon, baked camembert with chorizo, other cheeses, mince pies, chocolate fudge cake (made by DSis&DNeph).

I'm thinking none of this will take any longer than a usual Sunday Roast/family gathering and I won't be glued to the oven for hours and hours on end. DH can't help as he just gets yelled at control freak but he does sort out the huge stacks of pots left by my frantic cooking.

marne2 Sat 06-Dec-14 20:12:12

Prepare all veg and potatoes the day before, use disposable trays to save on washing up, buy a pudding or make the day before. I find it quite easy and I don't spend much time in the kitchen at all, washing up is the worst bit ( I don't have a dish washer ).

bryonyelf Sat 06-Dec-14 20:28:24

DO NOT do your turkey overnight in a slow cooker. You will make everyone ill. Roast it the day before and slice. Cool and then reheat the next day in the oven with gravy.

That leaves you veg. Buy it all prepared or prepare day before.

bryonyelf Sat 06-Dec-14 20:29:37

You shouldn't need a spread like that at half 4. What time are you eating your main meal?

superram Sat 06-Dec-14 20:32:59

Do dinner, any other guests can have mince pies, cold leftovers and nice bread or cheese. Do not prepare anything else for 'droppers in' they will have eaten hoardes at home-it will be wasted.

chocoluvva Sat 06-Dec-14 20:42:49

You could cook your veg the day before and reheat on Xmas day. It will reheat in the microwave very well.
Get some of the others to set the table, look out drinks, chairs, crackers etc.

NoraRobertsismyguiltypleasure Sat 06-Dec-14 20:49:25

It depends how traditional you need to be. We are only 5 and a half (one toddler) people this year and no one is that fussed about turkey, so we are buying a large chicken and then roasting it with all the root veg and potatoes in one large roaster. Cooking some broccoli and maybe brussels on the hob. I bought a nice xmas pud from the local deli and will make a choc log. This means that on the day my dp and I will only be in the kitchen for about 30 mins total for cooking and preparing. Washing up will be minimised because of only one mucky pan.

Oldraver Sat 06-Dec-14 22:22:03

Delay the main meal till 5-6pm...trying to do all that food in one day will be a stress.

We dont do turkey and usually have stuffed duck (and recently added in some Fillet of Beef) and it tales two hours tops..

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