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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.

FruitcakeOfHate · 14/12/2019 20:54

I loathe Christmas. And also roasts. So we always have something else. This year it's curry.

MrsPelligrinoPetrichor · 14/12/2019 21:01

I think some people like making a big drama about it all then moaning about how stressful is all was afterwards. It's as stressful as you make it.

Lindy2 · 14/12/2019 21:11

I find mostly it's about sticking things in the oven at the right time. I prepare everything beforehand and freeze it. Defrost it Christmas Eve, stick it in the oven Christmas Day Voila - lovely lunch.

The amount of time I spend in the kitchen is generally proportionate to how annoying my family are being (mostly MIL). I find just nipping to the kitchen, as and when breaks are needed, and having a swig of bucks fizz whilst I'm there tends to make a Merry Christmas all round.

bridgetreilly · 14/12/2019 21:52

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.

That sounds grim.

bridgetreilly · 14/12/2019 21:58

Am I the only person that can't think of 13 veg dishes that I'd want to eat with a Christmas dinner? Even 8 types is pushing it. I need a list to see what I'm missing out on.

I'm not promising you'd want to eat them all (I didn't) but I think it was something like:
Roast potatoes
Roast parsnips
Roast onion
Mashed potatoes
Green beans

lazylinguist · 14/12/2019 22:01

People go to great lengths to make it a very special roast with all the trimmings, lots of different veg, really good gravy etc etc, and often for far more people than they'd normally cook for (who may have different veg preferences etc) because it's a special occasion which happens only once a year. Not sure why that's so hard for people to understand really. I've never cooked Christmas dinner, but am perfectly capable of seeing why it would be much more effort than a normal roast dinner.

kateandme · 14/12/2019 22:09

i think in the moemnt its a bit more eeek because of the extra dishes and the balancing act.but no i dont get it.
my grandpa did all these sides whenever we went to visit with the stress at all.and i think that rubbed off.
also its scary how many people cant cook.
or how many dont need sit down for proper family it becomes somthing huge.
and the pressure of the all builds.
but no the meal itself isnt a big deal.but do we take it for granted becasue we have grown up having these meals in our family?

kateandme · 14/12/2019 22:14

bridgetreilly ill see you those but have to add:
braised red cabbage
roast red onions and sweet potato

SarahTancredi · 14/12/2019 22:22

also its scary how many people cant cook.
or how many dont need sit down for proper familymeal.soit becomes somthing huge.
and the pressure of theday.itall builds

All the more reason I think to keep it relatively simple. Anyone who works in health care, catering, retail etc knows that xmas day is likely the one day off . If like in our house it's one one out, the last thing everyone would really want is the one day they could all be together, to be spent with one.person permanently in the kitchen or stressed. Lower your standards. Really it's ok.

ivykaty44 · 15/12/2019 07:57

Cauliflower cheese prepare the cheese sauce before hand
Ratatouille - can cook before
Brussel sprouts shredded & cooked with bacon & pomegranate

ghostmouse · 15/12/2019 08:49

All we have is a normal roast dinner with a few extra bits like pigs in blankets. I cook the veg from scratch it I buy the stuffing, gravy, sauces etc.

I neither have the time nor the inclination to farting about with posh, wanky stuff that no one will eat and spending Xmas day relaxing with family and kids is my priority. I've even cooked my turkey the day before to give me more time with the kids.

I used to work in retail and had 1 day off over Xmas. If I'd have spent most of that in the kitchen id have been so upset

LadyRoughDiamond · 15/12/2019 09:03

Your friend needs the Lady RD guide to Xmas:
Prep veg and the Turkey (stuffing etc) the day before over a glass of champagne;
Instead of a starter do picky bits (m&s canape thingies) that you can all nibble whilst drinking a glass of champagne;
Have fun doing the table with the kids (and champagne);
Let the rest of the day pass in a fug of alcohol and Quality Street...

gamerwidow · 15/12/2019 09:11

Some people like to make things hard for themselves. Xmas dinner is mostly about timing and making sure you don’t run out of space in the oven. I always do a turkey, pigs in blankets and special veg but there’s no way I’ll be getting up at 5 to cook it. My family would not eat 13 different veg dishes even if their life depended on it though so maybe I get off lightly.

gamerwidow · 15/12/2019 09:12

We don’t do a starter either (unless you consider 1/2 a box of quality street a starter).

SimonJT · 15/12/2019 09:24

It’s just a roast dinner with a few extra bits. I don’t understand the british obsession with a roast and poultry, it’s one of the most boring tasteless meals out there.

madcatladyforever · 15/12/2019 09:27

I prefer to spend xmas on my own, I go and see everyone in the new year.
Last time I went it was like animal house - my mother has tourettes (no swearing thank God) which gets completely out of control. my stepfather can't cope with the stress and is a shouty bad mood and my nieces and nephews go feral because of e numbers. I can't cope with it.

CountFosco · 15/12/2019 09:38

Some people don't like cooking and find it stressful cooking such an important meal that is loaded with sentiment. Some people find it hard work cooking for more people than normal. Some people are cooking for very large crowds of people and even if they are confident cooks it is still a lot of work.

I love cooking and e.g. had 30 people at the house in the summer for a big meal. I spent the entire day before the day of the party preparing food. Lots of work but a pleasure and we ate left overs for the two days afterwards!

Last Christmas we had all of DH's family staying for a week so I was cooking for 12 people twice a day. It was exhausting, I got up on Boxing Day and had to immediately start cooking a big meal again, the dishwasher was run at least 3 times a day, we couldn't eat left overs because there wasn't enough for everyone. Don't assume everyone is as just cooking one roast meal for 6 people.

Ithinkwerealonenowtiffany · 15/12/2019 09:45

I make a roast dinner every week. Nothing to it. Easily done. Don’t understand why people are fretting over cooking a meal.

TatianaLarina · 15/12/2019 09:53

You don’t have to cook the whole meal yourself any more. You can buy the whole thing ready prepared from M&S, Waitrose or Cook. All you need to do is shove it in the oven.

NoCryingInEngineering · 15/12/2019 09:54

We've got 10 to cook for from Xmas Eve to the 27th, and 12 for Christmas dinner itself. I've got a few things made and in the freezer already. SiL will bring Xmas pudding and Xmas cake, MiL will peel veg as asked and FiL does the washing up. So it's not generally massively stressful.

The worst bits always are making and decorating DHs birthday cake (because it's not usually possible to start till the kids are in bed and has to be done by 11 if I want to go to midnight mass) and tea on the 27th, because of using up leftovers and because I'm kinda done with PEOPLE by then

ADogInTheManger · 15/12/2019 09:56

I make a roast dinner every week. Nothing to it. Easily done. Don’t understand why people are fretting over cooking a meal.

Not everyone makes a roast dinner regularly so timing can be more difficult for them. Oven space can be a factor too.

AllergicToAMop · 15/12/2019 10:19

I have to say that I am not a fan of pre prepared bought veg. I am pretty sure last time I bough pre done parsnips, it was actually petroselinum... Hard, not sweet no matter how long it was in the oven! Only pre done veg I never had a problem with are roasties.

TatianaLarina · 15/12/2019 10:28

I don’t like precooked veg either (nor do I own a microwave). But for people who don’t cook - it’s ideal.

I’ve had Aunt Bessie’s roast parsnips and they were great. And actually Cook parsnips were fine too but have cheese on them which is ick.

ThinkIamflyingundertheradar · 15/12/2019 10:31

It’s not even a posh Sunday roast, that would be a rib or fillet of beef . It’s just a Sunday roast. That being said I do find it takes longer than other Sunday lunches just because there are more people. Instead of cooking for 6 or 8, it’s often 12 or 14 which requires a lot of veg prep and a lot of juggling of oven & hob space. I cook ahead as much as possible but it still means 3-4 hours in the kitchen beforehand. Not to mention repeated dishwasher loads afterwards.

GooodMythicalMorning · 15/12/2019 10:32

Yep big roast dinner. most of mine is bought and frozen. A lot less to prep. will only be the taters which fil is giving us, turkey and stuffing. making it easy this year. Just buying in desserts to save effort. Only four of us and possibly mil so not going overboard.

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