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con someone talk me through Christmas food...need help catering for 8.

23 replies

Toowittoowoo · 28/11/2015 08:01

I have finally wressled control of Christmas away from DM &DF/DMil&DFil so we won't have to take 2 kids and all their presents away for Christmas day this year. In order to do it however I have to invite all of them to our house. So, I have 4 guest, DH, me, DD1 (5) and DD2 (2) for xmas eve, xmas day and boxing day. Now I need to work out what food I need to provide and when/how I need to cook it. So far I have

Xmas eve:- spaghetti puttenesca or spaghetti carbonara (as they are easy)

Xmas day breakfast: I've bought a big panettone (and some crumpets for the kids).

Xmas lunch:- now this is the complicated one! We'll be eating at 1pm.
Turkey - how big? Will I get a turkey crown big enough? Can I cook it on xmas eve?
Roast pots :- 1 potato each?
Roast parsnips:- half a parsnip each....maybe less as the kids won't eat them
Gravy:- can I buy it?
Pigs in blankets:- I need left overs so err...3 each? How does the bacon stick to the sausage?
Stuffing:- any tips?
Veg:- carrots, broccoli, peas?
Cranberry sauce and bread sauce.
If I have oven space I could do cauliflower cheese maybe....
Xmas pudding and trifle for dessert.

Xmas tea:- bread rolls, left over meat, pickles, cheese, salad and a big pork pie. Mince pies and left over dessert.

Boxing day....Errr re more leftovers? Do I cook something else? What kind of thing is appropriate for boxing day?

Any tips would be gratefully received!

Not quite sure where to start though as I don't think our oven is big

OP posts:
Toowittoowoo · 28/11/2015 08:04

Oops! Sorry random last sentence related to the turkey.....sorry was meant to be deleted but was obviously hanging about at the end the post......

I don't think the oven is big enough to cook that many roasties and a turkey though!

OP posts:
ginmakesitallok · 28/11/2015 08:05

1 potato each? Are you mad? Grin

ginmakesitallok · 28/11/2015 08:06

You can do your roasties when the turkey is resting.

FishWithABicycle · 28/11/2015 08:15

Over cater. Don't be parsimonious with the potatoes or the parsnips. Christmas dinner should not require any guest to wonder what the ration is. Leftovers can be used in ingenious ways if there are any.

Could you get one of those worktop IR ovens for roasting the veg if the oven is full of Turkey?

dementedma · 28/11/2015 08:17

I buy a Turkey crown or butterfly so quick to cook, easy to carve and no waste. Cook it on Christmas eve and serve cold. Everything else is hot so not a problem. Have done this for years!
Buy a tub of decent gravy and add a glug of port or some such if required. Buy cranberry sauce. Bread sauce is like sick so don't bother Grin. Make red cabbage ahead and freeze it. Just needs reheated. Pigs in blankets and stuffing just go in the oven, wrap the pigs in the blankets tightly and it will stay on, bung stuffing in loaf tin or as balls on a tray. Forget cauliflower cheese. Do honey roasted parsnips and carrots in same tray.More than 1 roast potatoes each!

Higge · 28/11/2015 08:21

Yes over cater - how else do you expect leftovers? I'm not sure one panettone is enough for breakfast either - even the large ones - you need something savoury on offer - bacon sandwiches/stables egg and smoked salmon? Relying on leftovers for 2 meals is risky - you need a back up for Boxing Day - to bulk things out if needed. What do your parents usually serve - what kind of food do you like?

Joskar · 28/11/2015 08:30

Boiled ham is fine and handy. Make in advance, slice and freeze. Eat with chips/boiled new potatoes and any leftovers from Christmas lunch. Use the stock to make soup which is another very handy thing for the freezer.

ReluctantCamper · 28/11/2015 08:32

Could you do a curry for Boxing Day? My sons favourite meal is chilli, so when I do Xmas, that tends to be boxing day's main meal. Could you buy or cook a ham? Useful for padding out leftover type meals, looks beautiful and is something new when you bring it out.

I often make chestnut ice cream meringue cake when I'm catering, as it sits in the freezer until you're ready.

Buy some salad for the left over meals. By Boxing Day you'll need some roughage!

Toowittoowoo · 28/11/2015 08:56

Oh no I meant 1 whole potato each - so that would be at least 4 or 6 large roasties each. I know I'm inexperienced at this xmas dinner but I would never only serve people 1 roasties - good gosh - I am shuddering at the thought!

I love the idea of red cabbage. I have made good ones in the past but had forgotten. I can make it in the next couple of weeks and freeze. Excellent idea.

Take your point about breakfast. I could do smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels and buy some posh cearal as well as the panettone. Last year the kids were very hyped up and badly behaved so I don't want to make it too stressful and complicated for myself as it will just confirm DM and DMil's suspicions that I'm not capable of doing my own Christmas!

Boxing day - how about if I make soup in advance and freeze for lunch. That can be served with nice bread from the breadmaker and left overs if people prefer (my parents like leftovers on boxing day!). DM always says that she likes boxing day food best!

Evening meal could be a lasange that was also made in advance and frozen?

I think I should start eating the food in the freezer to make room!

Have I forgotten anything?

OP posts:
calzone · 28/11/2015 09:02

You haven't got anything to drink.....

Fresh orange
Good coffee
White wine
Red wine

Though I hope people are bringing things as well.

Toowittoowoo · 28/11/2015 09:10

Procsecco - I have 2 bottles and I know DM will bring some too.
Juice - forgot that, thanks, I will add it to my list!
Coffee - always!
Red wine - DH has sorted that and therefore assumes that xmas is sorted!
White wine - forgot that too....will add to list!

OP posts:
ReluctantCamper · 28/11/2015 09:35

Box of good chocs for Xmas evening after the kids are in bed? Cheese, pate and port? I'm just suggesting things I like now!

sacbina · 28/11/2015 15:35

Marking my spot as i've the same problem with 13!

BrieAndChilli · 28/11/2015 15:53

Last year I had 7 adults and 5 children for xmas.
I did
Pizza, onion rings, chicken goujons, garlic bread, salad, a potato wedges for xmas eve tea
Followed by gingerbread ice cream and mince pies

Xmas breakfast was bagels, xmas tree chapped crumpets and Danish pastries.

Xmas dinner was soup or prawn cocktail. turkey crown, ham joint, pigs in blankets, roast spuds, honey parsnips, carrots, brusselnsprouts, cabbage, cauliflower cheese, peas, mashed swede, gravy, cranberry sauce, bread sauce and stuffing
Followed by xmas pud, trifle, choc orange cheesecake, or ice cream

Xmas day evening was cheese and crackers, leftovers, but we space out xmas dinner so starters at 1, main at 2, pudding at 4 so people just then picked of hungry

Boxing Day I just laid out a buffet of left over cold meats, Pringles dips, picky bits, rolls, quiche, cheese selection, crackers, the puddings, olives, salad etc etc and people just help themselves from about 11.

WonderOnTheUp · 28/11/2015 16:27

When I've cooked for a similar number in the past we had
Turkey - cooked on day
Red cabbage - made in advance and frozen
Roast pots - par boil and freeze in advance then cook from frozen
Parsnips, carrots, broccoli, pics in blankets and stuffing cooked on the day (we buy pigs in blankets and stuffing ready made)
I also made the gravy in advance. It made the dinner less stressful.

I the evening we usually have cheese board, crackers etc and chocolates

Boxing Day would be all leftovers plus cooked a ham on the day and made potato dauphinois - made the kitchen smell lovely!

Christmas Evei would keep it simple, a pasta dish with garlic bread and some chops and drinks would be good Smile

Christmas breakfast is usually a tin of biscuits in our house but bacon rolls or something would go down well!

whois · 28/11/2015 21:14

I think lasagna would be great for Christmas Eve, or the pasta you had planned.

I would have more than 3 pigs in blankets! Go for 5 per person I reckon.

Boxing Day soup is good, but I'd also have some ham as well. Having some of that part baked bread in is good to have with Boxing Day leftovers.

Don't forget a couple of slabs of different cheeses and lots of biscuits. And port.

I wouldn't bother with pannatone for breakfast personally, unless you really like it. I think 'normal' breakfast stuff like granola and yogurt plus backed and cream cheese and smoked salmon is great.

whois · 28/11/2015 21:15

Also don't forget a big big of 'kiddie friendly' chocs, and a big box of grownup chocs. What about something for the kids to drink with Christmas dinner? Also maybe something non alcoholic like sparkling water and a posh cordial.

Doilooklikeatourist · 28/11/2015 21:23

Make christmas dinner For about 2 pm
Have the breakfast you suggest with added chocolate
Do not cook the turkey the day before
A 12lb turkey doesn't take that long to cook
Prep the veg the day before , loads of potatoes , cheap and everyone likes a roastie
Brussels sprouts (1 each )
Red cabbage
Stuffing , pigs in blankets , easy to do . Or buy from Marks /tesco
Christmas pud , ice cream , buy in
Supper , get some of those bake your own bread rolls , some pate and cheese

Boxing day is the best meal of the year , cold turkey , bubble and squeak
Too delicious for words

Doilooklikeatourist · 28/11/2015 21:25

with added chocolate
Should have prevewed

dementedma · 28/11/2015 21:50

1 sprout each???

whois · 29/11/2015 06:44

1 sprout each???

I know right! Why would you cook just 8 sprouts???

Just buy a bag and do them all with chestnuts and lardons.

Higge · 29/11/2015 08:41

Wasn't the one sprout each a joke?

Doilooklikeatourist · 29/11/2015 17:58

Thanks Higge
At least someone gets my joke
Envy that's my sprout face

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