Christmas dinner is arguably the most important meal of the year, so if you’re responsible for cooking it this Sunday then the pressure is on! You’ll need to get the meat cooked just right, get all of the vegetables hot (but not overcooked) at the same time, not to mention all of the added extras. It really is a feast, with lots of different components to think about! There’s more than just the food to think about too. Here are some of the ways you can ensure it’s a meal to remember.
Buy a meat thermometer
A meat thermometer is the only reliable way to check that meat is cooked. You don’t want to give people food poisoning, and make it a meal to remember for all the wrong reasons! If you’re cooking poultry this is especially important; there’s a lot to remember to buy at Christmas but make sure this is a priority.
Serve a starter
Many people skip Christmas day starters since the meal itself is so heavy and filling. But serving up a starter means your guests can eat this, while you’re in the kitchen putting together the finishing touches to the meal. Keep it light, a small salad or a seafood dish like prawn cocktail works well.
Decorate your table
A beautiful festive table is essential for Christmas dinner. You can buy tablecloths and tableware from just about anywhere at this time of year, and you can make it as inexpensive or luxurious as you like. For your centrepiece, how about a living arrangement? You could go to a florist and have them put together a lovely festive table bouquet for you. Or you could go on a walk, collecting holly, twigs, and pine cones and make something yourself. If you’re particularly crafty, you could make personalised placeholders and napkin rings for everyone too! Putting Christmas crackers at the table is a fun way to start the meal, you could even leave little table gifts for people as a special touch.
Do something different with your sprouts
It’s a festive running joke that no-one really likes sprouts, but we all eat them just because it’s Christmas. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Sure they might not be at their most appealing when they’re boiled half to death and stinking to high heavens. But there are a ton of different ways you can serve sprouts that are far more delicious. How about oven roasted with some chestnuts, or finely sliced and sauteed with some butter and bacon in a pan? This site has lots of ideas.
Don’t forget about dietary requirements
Will you be hosting for anyone who’s vegetarian, vegan or has an allergy of some kind? If so, remember to cater for them. Instead of handing non-meat eaters a plate of vegetables, why not buy or make a delicious nut roast, or another meat alternative? Don’t forget extras like gravy, which you will need to buy or make specifically without meat. For those with allergies, be sure to find out about their condition first, so you know exactly what they can and can’t eat.
Are you cooking Christmas dinner this year? If so, for how many guests?