Karen Wright: Tips for a stress-free Christmas dinner
All the store cupboard shopping is done and away in my designated Christmas
cupboard. I have pickled onions, red cabbage and beetroot and made a couple of jars of chutney for
good measure. I have dug out my table linen and put my best glassware through a dishwash cycle,
the tree is up, and my presents are wrapped, now have a forgotten anything?
Lists! For busy events I always have a list or two on the go. It is so helpful to be able to make a list, I
find it does focus my attention. So, I may have a Christmas food shopping list and a thing’s to do list.
The shopping list enables me to decide exactly what is on our Christmas dinner menu and not go off
like hells bells buying all manner of things that I don’t really need. It is very pleasing when you can
cross off the things and start seeing that you are almost ready for the big day.
This year I have had lots of people asking for my tips for a stress-free Christmas dinner. It is a strange
phenomenon that such a joyous time is now considered to be stressful. My biggest tip therefore is to
try to relax. None of us need to feel that our food and table should look like something out of a
glossy magazine. If you don’t want to cook from scratch, just don’t. There are tons of excellent things
in the shops you can buy, and you just heat up and serve. Really it is not about the food it is about
the people around you, and of course thoughts must go to those who are not able to be with loved
ones for whatever the reason. After that, my tips are to do hat you can the day before Christmas. I
lay the table, prepare my vegetables, cook any that are suitable and reheat before serving. This year
I will be heating my pudding up in the slow cooker, so that can do its own thing in a corner
somewhere, so that is a good tip. I do a starter, but it is one that can be made earlier in the day and
kept in the fridge, its prawn cocktail by the way, very retro! Speaking of retro, if you like a sherry
while you prep, just have one and enjoy yourself.
From my house to your house, Merry Christmas everyone.