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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.

Wall0ps · 14/12/2019 18:56

I love spending Christmas morning in the kitchen. The rest of the family sit on the sofa feeling smug that my sister and I are slaving over the preparation. In actual fact we are dancing around the kitchen in our Santa hats drinking all the good champagne.

ReanimatedSGB · 14/12/2019 18:57

I think some of the mythologising around 5am starts is to do with people buying turkeys that were far too big for their needs and struggling to fit them in the oven along with everything else...

But then I can happily say that I am now 55 years old and I have STILL never cooked a Christmas dinner.

TheHumanSatsuma · 14/12/2019 19:01

It’s just a roast dinner.

Timing is a bit more crucial if you are trying to fit it round present opening etc, but just go with the flow!

I can see it might be a bit frightening if you don’t cook roast dinners normally, though.

ReanimatedSGB · 14/12/2019 19:03

Mind you, I have never found cooking a normal Sunday roast to be that big a deal, either (well, apart from the very first time I did it, which, erm, did involve ringing my mum up for help halfway through.)
Put your meat in the oven, peel the spuds and put them on to boil for a 'few minutes' (ie time for a cigarette and possibly the first drink of the day.)
Drain the water off the spuds into a jug
Then put the spuds in a roasting tin with a bit of olive oil or whatever.
After a while, maybe another cigarette, chop an onion and soften it in a bit more olive oil. Add the water from the spuds and bring to the boil, throw in about 1/3rd of a stock cube, stir in and simmer.
After about 45 minutes to an hour, have a look at it all, turn the spuds over, maybe drain off some of the meat juices into the gravy. Have another cigarette and put some frozen veg on.
Then have your dinner.

kinsss · 14/12/2019 19:08

Women's work and stress again. OMG.

Own worst enemies.

sliceofbeautypie · 14/12/2019 19:15

My only stress is that half my oven doesn't work, so I've one small oven to work with. Doing the veg steamed or mashed, but don't have anywhere near enough space for turkey wellington, ham (just to caramelised the glaze-will be slow cooked), roasties, Yorkshires And cauliflower cheese. Think I'll have to take the meat out and rest it under tea towels while I do the rest, but need to sit down and work out my timings- though with 2 under 2, having a schedule is wildly optimistic anyway! My granny deep fries her roasties, so I might borrow her fryer and do that- if I can accept not have house fat roasties!

LadyCordeliaVorkosigan · 14/12/2019 19:17

If kids are going to wake you at 5am anyway...
Though I've never had to put a turkey in before 7, remove at 12.30, then time to finish roasties etc and eat at 1 (then add an hour of ILs faffing, so 2, but BIL and I got used to just running with it, ie snack all morning and start on the wine, so didn't care).

Tougher if you only have one oven. One of my proudest achievements in life was a 4-course Christmas meal for 8, including one veggie, with only two hobs, a microwave, and, 2 minutes walk away in the rain, an oven that required a 50p coin every 15 minutes. And I went to a lecture while the turkey was starting cooking in the microwave.

I enjoy the cooking. I wouldn't do it if I didn't. And my aim is to live on leftovers until NYE.

YouTheCat · 14/12/2019 19:18

ReanimatedSGB, I like your style. I also factor in cigarette breaks. Grin

edgewater · 14/12/2019 19:20

Yep, roast dinner. That’s why we don’t eat a roast of any kind on Christmas Day.

AllergicToAMop · 14/12/2019 19:20

Bbq works well. Properly wrap the meat in a tray and put it there.

Willow2017 · 14/12/2019 19:21

Women's work and stress again. OMG.
Own worst enemies.

Well there is only me and the kids who do you suggest cooks the meals for us?
Ffs it's not stressful it's a meal. Stop being so patronising. The fact that you felt the need to.say it twice says more about you than the rest of us. Hope it made you feel better than the rest of us.

AuntieMarys · 14/12/2019 19:24

reanimated I'm 60 and never have

GrumpyHoonMain · 14/12/2019 19:25

Christmas isn’t just about the dinner. A lot of people like to go all out for breakfast / other meals / snacks too. When I have family round I usually need to start prepping for 6am to have any hope of having the Christmas pancakes / cooked breakfast out on time. Then we have lunch. The actual Christmas is the least complicated of the lotz

Picklypickles · 14/12/2019 19:30

My dad always comes round for Christmas and he cooks the meat at his house on Christmas eve and brings it round on Christmas Day. Leaves more room in our little cooker for taters and pigs in blankets etc! We really don't make a big song and dance out of it, as long as dp has his pigs in blankets and I've got my sprouts we're all happy, no need for all the extras like sauces and things!

ivykaty44 · 14/12/2019 19:36

I peel & chop all vegetables on Tuesday/Xmas eve before work, make Yorkshire pudding mix and put in water in saucepans and pop in garage

I’ll make stuffing & braised cabbage with apricots on Monday eve. -Sunday evening will be gravy night Saturday night make soup for starter

Xmas eve evening- prep the meat

Christmas Day turn on oven and put in meat to roast - then pretty much everything else is done in the hour and a half before eating

AliasGrape · 14/12/2019 19:44

When we’re hosting we tend to prep Christmas Eve, it doesn’t spoil Christmas Eve for me it kind of makes it, DP and I pottering around the kitchen getting steadily pissed. We make our own stuffing, cranberry and bread sauce, peel and chop the veg and parboil what needs parboiling, and assemble whatever the veggie main is ready for the oven the next day. I would maybe make a desert but more often than not my MIL brings it.

I do the bits I enjoy and that I feel make a difference to my enjoyment of the meal. Some years if it’s been a busier run up than usual, or I’m just not particularly feeling it, I’ll buy more of the ready made stuff.

TatianaLarina · 14/12/2019 19:54

What’s all this cauliflower cheese on Christmas Day? It’s a children’s supper.

Parker231 · 14/12/2019 19:55

Last year we had 12 staying for Christmas week as well as the four of us. What with collecting DT’s from Uni and airport trips to collect family flying from three different countries, we decided that the Christmas lunch had to be as easy as possible. We ordered starters, turkey, vegetables and dessert from Cook. Expensive but gorgeous food and so easy.

ADogInTheManger · 14/12/2019 19:57

What’s all this cauliflower cheese on Christmas Day? It’s a children’s supper.


flirtygirl · 14/12/2019 20:05

Never cooked a roast and don't celebrate Xmas. But this thread is interesting.

We do movies and treats over 24th and 25th. So lots of nice food that I will not be cooking. I batch cook normally so may have stuff from the freezer and nice party food that they sell at Xmas.

Never done a proper roast and have never roasted any meat or chicken. The closest I've come is toasties, yorkies, veg sausage, and two frozen veg.
Fascinating how much work people put into one meal.

countdowntochristmas · 14/12/2019 20:19

Prep for me too on Christmas Eve , peel & chop veg & sometimes cook the turkey but I've started doing that on Christmas morning now after breakfast .
I don't know why people spend hours in the kitchen . Par boil potatoes then bob in oven , same with pigs n blankets , steam cook veg .
I love Christmas dinner only cooking for 6 of us . It's all about the timing get that right and all good .

OhTheRoses · 14/12/2019 20:20

@reanimatedSGB sounds awesome Grin. I think we met at a meet-up. If so, thrilled to see you still around.

TrickyKid · 14/12/2019 20:23

Sounds like she's making it way more complicated than it needs to be.

DancingPyjamas · 14/12/2019 20:47

Crikey. Mine is simple.
Stagger downstairs with a hangover. Turn oven on which is housing a goose wrapped in foil and placed in there the night before.
Go to pub.
Return from pub, throw frozen roast potatoes in oven, microwave steampack veg, make gravy with gravy granules.
Serve up.

zukiecat · 14/12/2019 20:53

It'll just be a normal roast here.

We don't like turkey and beef is too expensive so it'll be a chicken breast fillet each for DD and me, with roast tatties, peas, carrots, green beans and the best part of the meal for me, the skirlie.

It's all very relaxed, food is ready when it's ready, then a wee walk, then back home and just relax.

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