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To think Christmas dinner is actually a posh Sunday roast?

180 replies

wineoclockthanks · 14/12/2019 17:07

I was chatting to a friend who was stressing hugely about her Christmas dinner (for 6 people). She was saying she would have to be up at 5am at the latest to start preparing and would need to be in the kitchen for at least 5 hours etc

I know everyone does things differently but I'm not quite sure what the heck she'll be doing in there.

How much time will you (or your other half) be spending in the kitchen?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Tenpenceabag · 14/12/2019 18:09

YANBU. Its essentially like a big roast. We dont do starters as there is always other opportunities to overeat! Turkey does take a long time but I think the earliest we put it in is about 8.30 -9am for a 2.30pm dinner. But once it's in the oven you dont have to babysit it, I'm sure we don't enter the kitchen again for a good few hours.
How do people fit everything in the fridge?

Willow2017 · 14/12/2019 18:10

My last kitchen was tiny no room on worktops and no table but I still managed a decent Xmas dinner. If you are organised there's no need to be up at 5am to start cooking.
Just work.out timings prepare in advance as much as possible and go.with it. It's not the end of the world if it's not some idealised 'perfect' dinner with 15 veg, 10 sauces and stuffing and 8 puddings. Enjoy the family being there, rope them in, instead of stressing and spoiling your own Xmas day.

CherryPavlova · 14/12/2019 18:10

I am cooking for 17. I shall pop the turkey and Gammon in early before church but other than that, it will be three or four of us pottering around in the kitchen for about an hour and a half as most is already prepared and in the freezers. Just sprouts and gravy to do on the day really. Mainly it’s a glass of wine whilst we warm plates and serving dishes.

madcatladyforever · 14/12/2019 18:11

Only in england would you have liquidised bread.

ClaraThePigeon · 14/12/2019 18:12

I'm sorry to hear about your Grandmother and it was very nice of you to do that. I'm impressed that it only took you five hours. I'd still be in the kitchen by the time the follow Christmas rolled around if I tried that. Thankfully I don't think I like anyone enough to attempt it.

ClaraThePigeon · 14/12/2019 18:13


bridgetreilly · 14/12/2019 18:15

I mean, my grandmother once served 13 kinds of vegetable just on a normal Sunday, so I'm going to say 8 on Christmas Day is perfectly reasonable.

Planning ahead is definitely the key. Starters, puddings, side dishes and preparing the vegetables can all be done in advance if you choose wisely. Don't pick things that need lots of last minute attention. No one needs to be up at 5am. We used to have to have Christmas lunch at 12 because my dad would have to be at work by 4pm, and even then nothing needed to be in the oven before 7am.

M0reGinPlease · 14/12/2019 18:15

I know someone who cooks the entire Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve, plates it up for the whole family, covers the plates and pops them in the fridge. Christmas Day when they want to eat, she makes the gravy and pops the plates in the microwave.

AllergicToAMop · 14/12/2019 18:15

My mum used to start the turkey at about 5am on Christmas morning. That's how long to make sure it was properly cremated and as close to cardboard as possible by 3pm when we sat down to eat.

That made me properly giggle.

Sexnotgender · 14/12/2019 18:16

YANBU, it’s just a roast.

People definitely over complicate it. I’m doing fillet of beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and various vegetables. Nothing complicated whatsoever.

kinsss · 14/12/2019 18:16

Christmas dinner is just that because it's a get together and has been hyped up.

Best Christmas dinners were where things went wrong. Hilarious but no instagram etc back in the day

AllergicToAMop · 14/12/2019 18:17

Only in england would you have liquidised bread.

Wait. Is it really what bread sauce is? Just that? We tried to figure it out last Christmas.... It was yucky

christmasathome · 14/12/2019 18:18

Yes of course its just a posh sunday dinner but this is what takes time. There is more variety of dishes and those tend to have more ingredients so take longer to prepare. It does take us hours but its not all spent in the kitchen.

SarahTancredi · 14/12/2019 18:19

I think people make it far more difficult and time consuming than it needs to be. No one can tell homemade stuffing from a bought one once its covered in gravy or shoved inside a turkey .

No one cares really as long as theres enough pigs in blankets and roast potatoes.

I do the ham overnight in the slow cooker then quickly glaze and shove in the oven for 20 mins in the morning.

It takes like 5 mins to eat so stuff spending hours. People just want hot food on a plate and to eat it. Not lots of fancy stuff and multiple options that take so long to bring out or find room.for on the table or explain to everyone what they are and play pass the parcel that it's all gone cold by the time you have finished. I'm.a big fan if keeping it simple . And I never bother with pudding none wants it

ShowOfHands · 14/12/2019 18:19

Thank you Clara. I did quite a lot of prep the night before whilst listening to carols and waiting for the dc to nod off. Lots of veg peeling, starters, marinading etc always happens the night before. I par boil and freeze some stuff in advance too.

I won't make that much effort again, simply because it was a very special occasion and out of the ordinary for all of us. It's a lovely memory, particularly right now when I'm feeling particularly sad about her no longer being here to celebrate with us.

Babybel90 · 14/12/2019 18:20

So you start roasting the turkey then pop back in the kitchen at intervals to shove the pigs in blankets in and cook the veg, it’s only as difficult as you make it!

MulticolourTinselOnTheTree · 14/12/2019 18:21

My dad will get the veg prepped day before, and I'll cook at his house on the day. 2 hours max (there will only be 5 of us, I'm not going overboard).

Although I have thought of a couple of things to make it even easier. I have reached the age of 51 and until last night I had never tried baked Camembert. Was delicious, wish I'd tried it years ago. So instead of a facy starter, I'm contemplating shoving a cheese in the oven and serving with some good bread, etc.

Fairylea · 14/12/2019 18:21

I guess it gets more complicated the more people you have to cook for but for us there’s only the 4 of us and we basically just do a normal Sunday roast type thing but with turkey. I buy Tesco finest pigs in blankets which are pretty good and do everything with minimal effort. I guess we’re all different but I want to spend time enjoying stuff with the kids not standing about sweating and faffing in a kitchen.

MilkTrayLimeBarrel · 14/12/2019 18:22

@Allergictoamop - no - bread sauce is DELICIOUS! Try making your own rather than buying - it makes all the difference. I eat it all year round - my father used to like it with sausages too!

kinsss · 14/12/2019 18:22

Women's work and hassle again.

ClaraThePigeon · 14/12/2019 18:23

It is a lovely memory. I'm sure she treasured that for the rest of her days, as did everyone else who was lucky enough to participate. What a wonderful thing to do for your family. I was very close to my Grandmother and cared for her until the end of her life so I understand how you feel losing such a special relationship,and you have my very sincere sympathies. Thanks

ClaraThePigeon · 14/12/2019 18:25

I might have to take your advice and try prepping as much as possible the night before too.(Why didn't I think of peeling and chopping the night before?) I have various disabilities so it can be something of a chore and that'd make it considerably easier.

sadeyedladyofthelowlandsea · 14/12/2019 18:29

@Multicoloured - stick some bacon lardons on top of your Camemberts before you stick them in the oven, serve with warm crusty bread & onion and/or mango chutney. It's HEAVEN.

AllergicToAMop · 14/12/2019 18:32

@MilkTrayLimeBarrel I just had a look at a recipe on BBC and you know what... I believe you! It sounds lush!
We made a mistake with buying the packaged thing I guess.

tillytrotter1 · 14/12/2019 18:34

And actually I wouldn't be the only one in the kitchen anyway!

Nothing worse than 'helpers, I like the place to myself, that way I know what's going on, no-one adding more salt 'because they need it'.

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