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Hosting Xmas for the first time!

(29 Posts)
CatchingBabies Sat 17-Dec-16 16:29:19

Ok so I've never made a Christmas dinner, never had it at home and never hosted for others and I'm doing all 3 this year, help!

I've come up with a menu, how does it sound? Anything I'm missing that will be expected? Also how do you cook turkey? I'm a vegetarian but making it for others.

I'm planning on doing as much as possible the day before, prep the veg and make the soup etc. anything other tips to make it all go well?

Starter - Butternut squash soup with bread rolls

Main - Turkey, roast and mashed potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, honey roast parsnips, broccoli, cabbage, carrot and swede mash, stuffing, gravy and mint sauce.

Dessert - Chocolate fudge cake with ice cream.

Drinks - Strawberry champagne and dizzy apple juice for the kids.

CatchingBabies Sat 17-Dec-16 16:30:16

Fizzy apple juice that should say lol

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 17-Dec-16 16:47:17

Are you doing a vegetarian main course?
(DH and I are vegetarian but I do cook turkey/chicken for those who eat it)
There's loads of guides online or on the packaging if you buy it prepacked/ask the butcher.
Your turkey needs to come out of the fridge a while before, I don't do any brining or stuffing, but I do put bacon over to keep it moist, then when you take off the foil, it'll crisp.
You cook it then cover in foil and a clean teatowel to rest.

Lots of your veg can be prepped the night before , and your carrot/swede mash can be cooked ahead and reheated.

Personally, I don't do a starter, everyone is too stuffed from breakfast. There's more than enough in 2 courses.

I steam most veg , takes a bit longer but easier to control.

Are you doing sprouts? (Sprouts and chestnuts here fgrin ) Red cabbage? Bread sauce?

Christmas pudding or does no-one eat it?

Have you got emough plates,cutlery,glasses?
Big plates for serving
Gravy boat
Serving spoons, or tongs
Sharp knife for the turkey
Tablecover, napkins
Big jug of iced water

Clear enough space to put things out.
Fill the sink with hot soapy water , to put things straight in.

If you can put the plates into the dishwasher on a short cycle so you have hot plates.

I have a blackboard in the kitchen, everything gets writtten on, the time they go on and come out the oven
Its a glorified roast at the end of the day.
Enjoy it, plan ahead and don't worry [fwink

Happymac1 Sat 17-Dec-16 16:49:59

Pigs in blankets

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 17-Dec-16 16:53:32

Christmas crackers too (of course) and if your guests are ok, candles on the table (we eat after dark and before Dr Who, so always candles). When the DC were little, I did floating candles in a bowl of water. But there are good quality 'flameless' ones (try The Range)

SealSong Sat 17-Dec-16 16:56:09

Cranberry sauce for the turkey, and stuffing balls.

CatchingBabies Sat 17-Dec-16 16:56:20

No one eats Christmas pudding. Will add pigs in blankets to the list and also sprouts (how did I forget sprouts!). Not doing a vegetarian main course as it's only me and I'm happy with the sides as a meal.

I've got crackers and bought a second plate and cutlery set as didn't have enough.

moomoogalicious Sat 17-Dec-16 17:00:23

Dont do soup and bread rolls for statree. People will be stuffed before they've had the main. Personally I would forget a starter completely.

Bacon on the turkey. Remember to let it rest before carving.

Cheese and crackers and coffee a little bit after or as an alternative to pudding

anotherBadAvatar Sat 17-Dec-16 17:02:13

Do You really need 5+ different vegetables? Cut down to roast parsnips, sprouts, swede mash and carrots? People will want to fill up on potatoes, Yorkshires and turkey. Will save on some of the prep. We ALWAYS do too much veg.

Empress13 Sat 17-Dec-16 17:12:36

Sorry but I HAVE to have roast potatoes in goose fat ! Mash is too major stream eg sausage and mash .

Yes hogs in duvets and cranberry jelly not mint sauce ! Mint sauce goes with lamb.

Empress13 Sat 17-Dec-16 17:13:24

That should say mainstream lol

Ps mash and mashed swede ?? Too much mash for me

MTWTFSS Sat 17-Dec-16 17:18:42

In our family we eat the the starter and main course from 1pm, then have dessert later at 5pm.

Greeneggsnoham Sat 17-Dec-16 17:19:38

Cranberry sauce and bread sauce can be made ahead and put in the freezer (cranberry sauce is really easy to make and looks beautiful).
I've made a cauliflower cheese too (now in freezer) same for red cabbage. Takes a lot of stress out on the day.
Stock up on tupperware from the pound shop if you are going to freeze things.

CatchingBabies Sat 17-Dec-16 17:35:20

Thanks this is really helpful.

A starter is a must as we spread the meal out. Usually starter, then some presents, main meal and dessert later. Any alternatives to a starter if soup is too filling?

Going to scrap the cabbage and have red cabbage to add instead. Also adding cranberry sauce, no one likes bread sauce so can skip that.

Do you think I need an alternative for non-drinkers to the champagne? I'll have a kids drink but I thought maybe a nice non-alcoholic drink?

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 17-Dec-16 17:38:02

My DBro has mint sauce with turkey (for shame fgrin )

I love swede done in the food pro with a tiny bit of butter, black pepper and nutmeg

Oh, yes, cauli cheese.

I've never done pigs in blankets but I did oven cook some of the tiny cocktail sausages (those snazzy Sainsbury Free Range ones) , they went down well.

And we have Yorkshire Puddings - this year I might try cooking/freezing some the day before.

Florin Sat 17-Dec-16 17:44:25

How about for starter some preprepared starter from marks, they have some nice fish things for those they eat it. We also eat spread out starter (from M&S for lunch) main at 5ish then pudding a bit later and cheese to nibble on through the evening.
Forget the mint sauce that is for lamb you need bread sauce and cranbrerry. Both can be bought pre prepared.
Is strawberry champagne the only alcohol option? I personally would find that quite disappointing as it is not something I would drink. We have champagne to begin with in the morning then red and white wine for the rest of the day. A gin and tonic will also feature at some point. For the kids I would ask the parents what they like as they are all different.
I would get some nice fizzy water for the adults but again ask them what they would like.

CatchingBabies Sat 17-Dec-16 18:13:17

Everyone is bringing their own alcohol and I've got some soft drinks for mixers, a couple of bottles of wine and a few spirits in anyway. I mean with the meal. Wondering if it's a bit rubbish for the non-drinkers to end up with lemonade etc.

Kirriemuir Sat 17-Dec-16 18:15:27

No need for mint sauce. That's for lamb, not turkey.

chipsandpeas Sat 17-Dec-16 18:16:17

maybe get some j2os or shloers for the non drinkers

Florin Sat 17-Dec-16 18:50:35

Again I would ask them what they would like. My preference if I wasn't drinking would be Rose's lime cordial with fizzy water or fizzy water with nice bits in it maybe a slice of lime or cucumber or rosemary.

lozengeoflove Sun 18-Dec-16 15:15:33

Best tip I got last year when hosting Christmas for the first time was to set the table the night before.

It saved so much time. Also, I loved doing it late on Christmas Eve, when everyone was in bed and I could just take my time and enjoy getting it just right fblush

katienana Sun 18-Dec-16 22:56:21

Sprouts, brocolli and carrots. Roast spuds and parsnips. Turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets. Gravy and cranberry sauce. Yorkshire pudding. How will you make gravy vegetarian? Or will you not have any?

Dottydoodoo Mon 19-Dec-16 07:05:40

I'm hosting for the first time this year too! Loads of helpful tips on here, thankyou.

Dottydoodoo Mon 19-Dec-16 07:08:01

Oh yes was going to say, I'm a non drinker and would be quite happy with lemonade. Much more luxurious than the Robinsons orange squash I had at sil's a couple of years ago fsmile

CatchingBabies Mon 19-Dec-16 21:12:25

Good luck dotty! I'm terrified I'll mess it all up.

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