Preparing the perfect Christmas dinner

December 7, 2017
Christmas dinner

Preparing the perfect Christmas dinner takes preparation. It is one time of year all the family are together and it is important to make it special.

Christmas is a time for families. Making Christmas dinner involves catering for large numbers. All the family congregate in one home. Cooking a meal for large numbers of people brings its own pressures. Where will everyone sit? Will I have enough food? Will the turkey fit in the oven.

Preparing the perfect Christmas dinner can be done. You just need a little planning and preparation.

Christmas dinner

Preparing the perfect Christmas dinner

I have many memories of Christmas dinner over the years. As a child I would help my mum prepare a big dinner for our family and grandparents. She made everything look so easy. When we got older we had our own children to create traditions for. Finally there came a day when I had to cook Christmas dinner myself. Only then did I realise how much work it involves to make the dinner look effortless.

It is worth making the effort though. When everything is ready on time and the whole family enjoys it you get a real sense of achievement. You know you are making happy memories that your children will look back on later in life. There is nothing as special as memories of Christmas with your family.

The Ultimate Christmas Dinner Guide

It doesn’t matter if you are a veteran at preparing Christmas dinner or it is your first time. There are always handy hints that you can pick up. This year Hello Fresh have put together a handy cheat sheet. The Ultimate Christmas Dinner Guide will help you to prepare the perfect Christmas dinner.

Hello Fresh Cheat sheet for Christmas

The cheat sheet includes a timing guide which will help you get everything read at the right time. There are also fail safe recipes for the big day. You can make these in advance which allows you to get dinner ready without feeling flustered.There are even tips on how to make the perfect roast potatoes and cook your turkey to perfection.

If you are worried about cooking Christmas dinner the ultimate Christmas dinner guide will set your worries to rest.  It has everything you need in one place.

Christmas dinner

Hello Fresh are well used to helping people prepare meals. They provide recipe boxes for families which contain all the fresh ingredients you need to cook meals for your family. If you struggle with fresh ideas for meals it is worth giving them a try. There are three boxes, the Classic box, the Vegetarian box and the Family box. The boxes cater for between two and four and have everything you need to make three meals. For Christmas why not try the Christmas box with everything you need for Christmas dinner for four to ten people. The boxes look fab and are something I would love to try.

Tips to help you prepare the perfect Christmas dinner

Where are you having Christmas dinner this year? I am having a quiet Christmas at home with my family and am looking forward to it. Over the years I have learnt a few ways to make organised the Christmas meal more easy. Here are some tips to help you prepare the perfect Christmas dinner.

Plan the menu

Over the Christmas weekend there is usually a lot of cooking. We usually have roast ham on Christmas Eve and turkey on Christmas day. On Boxing Day we have leftovers. Plan the menu in advance. Write down exactly what you are cooking for each meal on those days, not just the big meals. Don’t forget to include snacks and nibbles.

Christmas turkey

Write a shopping list

Now you have the menu you can write out the shopping list. Go though each of the recipes and work out what you need. Put the items on a list. Divide the list into two. The things you can get well in advance and the perishables.

Once you have your list get as much in advance as you can. People tend to panic near Christmas and more than they need. The more you get now the less time you need to spend shopping nearer the time. A little hint, if you make your own sage and onion stuffing buy the sage now. Every year this is impossible to find nearer Christmas.

Make sure you have other essentials

Make sure you have plenty of room in the fridge for all the fresh ingredients. You may need to store drinks outside in the garage to help keep them cool. Check you have plenty of cling film and silver foil for the leftovers. Make sure you have a roasting tin big enough for the turkey and that you have enough tableware, plates and glasses for all your guests. Now is the time to buy or borrow if you don’t.

Calculate the cooking time for the turkey

Don’t be scared about cooking the turkey, it is just like cooking a big chicken. Work out if you want to cook it slowly at a low temperature or for a shorter time at a higher temperature. Check the weight and work out how long to cook it. Once you have worked this out you can calculate the timings for the rest of the meal.  Write this out on a big of paper so you know exactly what to do when. This will make things run smoothly and prevent distractions.

Prepare as much as you can in advance

There is plenty that can be done ahead of time to stop you being in so much of a rush on Christmas day. I always make stuffing the day before so I can just pop it into the oven. Peel potatoes and chop vegetables ahead of time. If possible get the family to help. Giving everyone a job to do will help keep them out of the way and prevent you getting flustered.

Do remember that even the disasters can make memories that are talked about in the years to come. Like the time my dad overdid the brandy on the Christmas pudding and nearly set the table alight. We still laugh about it now.

What are you planning to cook for Christmas? Do you have any tips to make the day go smoothly? Let me know below.

This is a collaborative post.

4 responses to “Preparing the perfect Christmas dinner”

  1. Galina V says:

    What a feast! And there’s red cabbage too! I love red cabbage, but my guys make faces at it, so I hardly ever cook it. When I cook, I don’t like to be distracted. I switch on the radio with Classic FM, and cook to my heart’s content.

  2. Ushmana Rai says:

    Thank you so very much, Alison. Just the perfect kind of blog post for the holiday season. Yes, dinner preparations need a perfect system and without proper planning, it can all not go well. Thank you for your speculations, all the love from Nepal and Happy holidays! xoxo

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