Okay, so Christmas this year is going to be a pretty freaking weird one. That’s a given. Will we all be able to spend it with family? No. Does it feel like this mess is a never-ending cycle of shit happenings? Yeah, kind of. But nevertheless, a festive event is fast approaching and restrictions or no, we’re all entitled to a tasty feast, if you ask me.
If, however, putting together an impressive Christmas lunch or dinner is new to you and you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the task, fear not. I’ve gone ahead collected some advice from a few people in the foodie business.
Here’s what they had to say:
Plan out an appropriate amount of food:
Cooking a Christmas meal will quickly feel overwhelming if you don’t carefully plan out how much food you actually need.
Best shared that:
“It’s a good idea to plan out by weight by how much each person will consume and then multiply that by the amount of people you’re catering for. For instance, people will eat about 100g of potatoes and might eat 300g of turkey, so when you do some simple math on that you can work out exactly how much to purchase to save the guesswork and the stress.”
By having a solid idea of portions, you can properly plan out a grocery list, too.
Get your shopping finalised as early as possible:
Especially in times as odd and uncertain as these are, it’s a good move to make sure you’ve got your produce and ingredients ready to go well in advance. Grocery stores are mostly closed Christmas Day, after all.
“When you’ve finalised your menu, start your shopping as soon as possible to avoid rushing at the last-minute,” Best said.
Prepare as much food as you can in advance
In the end, you want to be able to enjoy your Christmas (or festive event). So, try and get as much Christmas cooking sorted beforehand as you can.
Andrews shared that it’s a good idea to prep items like your veggies, sauces and dressings the day before.
“Wash and scrub your potatoes, and trim beans, broccoli and asparagus so everything is ready to go. If you’re serving cold salads or seafoods, make the dressing or sauce store in a jar so it’s ready for a quick shake before pouring over your dish and serving,” she said.
If you’re hoping to set up a cheese board, Andrews also suggested getting that sorted well before people arrive on the day. Pop your cheeses out a little ahead of time, so they can reach room temperature, “then cover and keep chilled”. That way, people have something to nosh on as soon as they walk in the door, and if you’re finalising the main meal you don’t have to feel as rushed.
Got any other tips for cooking for a crowd? Share them below.