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.