Easy Christmas Dinner

Oooo the dreaded Christmas dinner conversations have started.  I normally cook for between 10 & 12.  This year I have 10 to feed.  Given that 7 of them are my own children they’re quite used to my cooking.  We don’t do dinner before 5.15pm.  Christmas day is no exception.  I do the majority of the prep work the night before.  That’s maybe not the greatest of ideas since I’m half cut from lunch with my sister but it works for me.

I boil a huge ham the night before.  On Christmas day I pop it into my smallest oven 20 mins before dinner.  I par boil my potatoes, Brussel sprouts & carrots the night before.  I almost had a fucking breakdown one year when my potatoes just wouldn’t cook.  I would never, ever go through that again.    My family are big meat eaters so we have ham, beef & the biggest Turkey I can find.  I have 3 ovens; I know we don’t all have that luxury but I have cooked for the same number with one.  I use one for turkey, one for ham & my final convection oven is for my beef, potatoes, pigs in blankets & Yorkshire puddings.  I buy Yorkshire puddings because it’s a busy day, call me lazy,.  I make my beef & turkey gravy when all my meats are resting.  My veg gets glazed when everything else is finished.  I only cook things I know will be eaten.  That means no stuffing (Yuk, hate it), no cranberry sauce (never understood that) & no bread sauce. I once had someone who asked why I didn’t cook parsnips.  I don’t like them so have never bought them.  They didn’t get invited again.  We do eat horseradish but Asda do a fabulous jar & I always have it anyway.

The most important thing for me is keeping calm & keeping everyone out of my kitchen.  I hate people pottering about when I’m cooking.  I set my table in quiet moments.  I love setting out my charger plates, napkins & glasses with my fabulous cutlery.  I also remember to heat my plates up.  Who would eat Christmas dinner from a cold plate.  Cooking isn’t difficult or taxing.  The thing that always bothers me is how to dish up.  I hate serving everyone.  I’ve tried putting it all onto serving plates/bowls but it turns into a bun fight.  I’ve never got the serving thing right.  i don’t expect it’ll be any different this year,.  There will be a moment when I look up & everyone will be eating.  That’s the moment that becomes a Kodak one, the memory I’ll treasure.  That for me is what it’s about.  Hearing my children laugh & giggle is priceless 🙂

The washing – up is never done by me.  My 2 eldest daughters did it last year & moaned for the next 6 months.  I do use disposable tins inside my own.  It’s amazing the difference it makes to the washing up.  Just pull them out & bin them.  My own tins come out almost clean.  I might just pay my 2nd son this year to do the dishes.  Think it’ll be the best fiver I could spend.

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