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Disposable crockery for Christmas day?

(45 Posts)
Onionringo Wed 21-Sep-16 10:56:30


We're likely to have about 15 people for Christmas dinner this year. We don't have enough matching plates for all of them, and I quite fancy the idea of disposable plates. But I can't see your average paper plate holding a Christmas dinner together. Anybody ever used any better quality ones that worked well?

Just trying to cut corners where I can. Any other tips for dealing with large numbers for Christmas dinner welcome!

LemonBreeland Wed 21-Sep-16 11:03:48

I'm not sure about disposable plates, but I've always used foil cooking trays for Christmas. Just washing the plates and glasses is enough without all of the tins and trays too. Easier to throw them in the bin.

mouldycheesefan Wed 21-Sep-16 11:05:39

Another vote for foil cooking trays

I would not use paper plates they aren't good for gravy!

ArcheryAnnie Wed 21-Sep-16 11:06:46

The main problem with needing plates for a big family event is that if you get regular plates, then you have to store them for the rest of the year, but then paper plates are flimsy and plastic plates are just horrible.

Can I recommend tin plates, like the ones you get for camping? They are sturdy, can easily survive a roast dinner (and the dishwasher afterwards), they will last forever, so you can use them next christmas (and for parties, etc) and - crucially - you can stack loads up on your cupboard and they hardly take up any space, unlike a china plate. Ditto tin camping bowls.

PurpleDaisies Wed 21-Sep-16 11:07:49

I would hate to eat a proper meal off a disposable plate. Don't worry about everything matching. I agree about using foil trays etc to save washing up that way.

When we've done Christmas dinner for a crowd, we've allocated elements to different people so they only need reheating on the day. That cuts down the work.

PurpleDaisies Wed 21-Sep-16 11:08:52

If you don't have enough plates, can't you ask people to bring some?

OverAndAbove Wed 21-Sep-16 11:10:06

I wouldn't do paper for a Christmas lunch (not least because it wouldn't hold the gravy in sufficient quantities!) but why not ask a couple of those who are coming if you can borrow some? Most people have six, eight, twelve plates so you could easily get enough together

sooperdooper Wed 21-Sep-16 11:11:15

I'd ask your guests to bring plates, and not care about them matching smile and I've used foil trays before too and totally agree, for a big Christmas meal it saves a lot of washing up! smile

PikachuBoo Wed 21-Sep-16 11:11:49

Disposable plates for Christmas Day doesn't sound a good idea. You say you have enough, but they just don't match. That's not a problem - lay the table in a pattern. If you've eight of one pattern, you can alternate them with all the different ones.
It will be fine - far better than disposable plates, even decent ones. They're for mass catering and picnics really, not for lunch for 15.

Imnotacelebgetmeouttahere Wed 21-Sep-16 11:13:08

I buy new Xmas plates from Matalan every year blush cheap, not paper and do the job!

Tiggeryoubastard Wed 21-Sep-16 11:13:59

A beatiful, matched Christmas table is beautiful to see. Realistically, anyone that has lots of people over for this one meal a year never had matching. Buy a cheap white set or two for £5/6 from asda, keep it in the attic when not in use. You can't have disposable for a proper meal. It'll make more mess than it saves, and be horrible. Do as others have said, use the disposable foil trays for cooking (and even for serving - if all silver can look nice).

hellsbells99 Wed 21-Sep-16 11:15:22

Costco do some very good plastic plates - we bought some for a 50th party.
But I personally would prefer a Xmas dinner off a proper plate- it doesn't matter if they don't match!

DoItTooJulia Wed 21-Sep-16 11:18:43

Beware foil roasting tins. We had a Christmas Day spent in A and E when my dbro took the foil tray out of the oven (with hot fat in it) he wasn't expecting it to be so light and the hot fat burned him terribly.

I'm sure you're all much more sensible than that though!

PurpleDaisies Wed 21-Sep-16 11:20:20

I put my foil tins in regular ones as liners after having one twist when I picked it up and spill fat all over the floor.

Viiolettheorgangrinder Wed 21-Sep-16 11:52:42

Get everyone to bring plates and cutlery. Get everyone to chip in with washing and drying. Christmas dinner is a special meal so I'd hate to have it on disposable plates etc.

BiddyPop Wed 21-Sep-16 11:54:49

Can you see about any catering hire places locally to you, and hire them for the day? Plates, glasses, cutlery etc? It probably won't cost a huge amount, they will be matching, and you don't have storage problems.

Allocate jobs - so ask 1 family to bring desert and another to bring starters, different side dishes for the main course, or 1 person to bring wine, or a person to bring snacks - that sort of thing.
Or even get some to help in advance or on the day - so someone to peel potatoes, someone to set the table, someone to be in charge of drinks, someone to watch the DCs and entertain them if needed, someone to wash up afterwards (and you are NOT doing washup if you have catered!)....

Have plenty of things like bin liners, washing up liquid, toilet rolls etc. Even if you have a dishwasher, someone will need to wash up some things. But if you have a dishwasher, run it after breakfast (no matter how empty if looks to you) and have it completely empty to take the dinner dishes.

I tend to prep my veggies on Christmas Eve - wash, peel, chop etc - and then either cover with water in their various pots on the stove or put them in airtight containers in the fridge (depending on what they need). DH makes the stuffing the day before as well, and he uses the breadcrumbs we've already frozen earlier (using up heels and crusts of bread).

We also don't overcomplicate the meal. Plenty of roast potatoes, if more than ourselves we also have a good pot of mashed potatoes too, maybe 3 types of veg, gravy, the stuffed bird, sometimes but not always another joint (DH loves spiced beef). Starters some years but often just "party nibbles" served with drinks before the meal rather than a specific course - although either a big pot of soup or cold plates that can be prepared in advance would be the best option for actual starters at the table. Cheese course is vital in our house (maybe 4 cheeses), and desert is Christmas pudding with some icecream.

Lots of soft drinks for children and non-drinkers, or even drinkers to space out their alcohol if they want. Plenty of water too (plain and sparkling). And tea/coffee for afterwards.

MrsDilligaf Wed 21-Sep-16 12:07:09

Disposable plates are fine for a buffet - Christmas Tea maybe? But not the actual dinner. As others have said the plates need to hold a matterhorn of food and gravy so I would be getting some plain cheap white plates from Ikea, Dunelm Mill or wilkos. Plonk them up the loft after Christmas, they will come in time and time again.

MrsDilligaf Wed 21-Sep-16 12:09:50

These would do the job

funnysortofsummer Wed 21-Sep-16 12:14:15

Have used 'real' plates for the dinner but disposable for pudding etc. Cuts down on washing up and clutter in kitchen afterwards. No one tends to care by that stage.

Onionringo Wed 21-Sep-16 14:03:44

I didn't think paper would be any good. I was hoping there might be such a thing as decent plastic ones, but maybe not. I quite like the idea of buying a load of cheap ikea plates. We could store a box full in the loft maybe. I think we have enough wine glasses. Possibly not enough champagne flutes, but might go disposable for them as we tend to have the bubbly while opening gifts and real glasses are just a hazard.

Ta for all the other tips. I've done Christmas for about eight people before, but this year both our families are about and not going elsewhere so the numbers have increased.

BiddyPop Wed 21-Sep-16 14:06:50

Actually, plain white plates with nice coloured napkins/candles/crackers/flowers or whatever in your chosen colour scheme would look lovely. And can be changed annually as the paper napkins/ candles/ crackers etc would need to be fresh every year anyway!

BiddyPop Wed 21-Sep-16 14:08:09

We got a load of cheap Ikea plates a couple of years ago to reduce pressure on running the dishwasher everyday, and they are great!! I happily use them when entertaining as much as just ourselves.

NightWanderer Wed 21-Sep-16 14:10:12

I would go with the cheap white Ikea plates. Then you can jazz up the table with decorations.

TotalConfucius Wed 21-Sep-16 14:26:17

I used to do Xmas dinner for 23 until time/distance reduced it to 6.
I think this is one of the few occasions when you can get away with mismatched plates, and Pyrex jug gravy boats! You can buy up some odd ones at a charity shop and just make up a pattern around the table. White-green-White-blue-white-flowery. Same with cutlery.
Crockery, cutlery and gravy boats were the only 'real' things - all the serving dishes were foil, the table cloths were plastic (with linen underneath). Glasses were rigid plastic.
For speed of service, I used to do 4 'serving stations' along the table each with a foil of potatoes, one each of the veg, and stuffing/pigs in blankets, and a jug of gravy. Waiting for the one big pot of roasties to make its way round leaves people with cold dinners.
My aim on Xmas day was to have plates, cutlery and gravy/custard jugs to wash up. One of the advantages of using the foil is that you can get everything into the foils, maybe even onto the table, cover it all in foil and then either wash up the pots (supervise your willing volunteers I mean) or take 5 mins to have a winebefore sitting down (for more wine).

YabuDabbaDoo Wed 21-Sep-16 14:30:52

Can I just offer my deep thanks to this thread for turning me on to cooking in foil trays for Christmas Dinner?! I am looking forward to Christmas a tiny bit more than usual now!!!

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