By Karen Ciano of QUINCY LANE.
Christmas Day is one of the busiest and most stressful days of the year, so why do we make it even more difficult for ourselves? Don’t we want to relax a little on the day and enjoy it with our family and friends.
We are lucky to celebrate Christmas in New Zealand and Australia, with our ‘Summer Christmas’ we can enjoy a casual less formal dinner. We should use this to our advantage and plan a menu to suit our weather and surroundings.
I have put together a few ideas to help create a stress free Christmas Dinner.
Keep it simple and use good quality fresh produce.
Plan your menu early, so you can prepare, write lists and shop for all your non perishables as early as possible.
Don’t try new recipes on Christmas Day! Use your tried and true favourites or test them out earlier.
Less is more! Make less well rather than a ridiculously huge spread that doesn’t get eaten.
Consider your oven and fridge space when planning your menu. This may change some of your choices.
Check all your serving dishes and glassware early, incase you need more.
Help create a relaxed day by serving a champagne cocktail to start and stop and enjoy it yourself with your guests.
Serve your entrée or starter as a canapé or standing course. We find ourselves sitting and eating all day, this is a refreshing change. Our ‘Summer Christmas ‘ is perfect for this.
Delegate, if someone asks what they can bring, tell them exactly what you’d like, they don’t mind (usually) and its spreads the cost too. Delegate the drink serving and top ups or BBQ some beautiful seafood and include the men!
Don’t make individual serves of food unless you’re super confident! Create large sharing dishes. It’s easy to miss-count or even drop or burn something, or make a few spares!
Buy items you’re not so confident creating! There’s absolutely no shame in it. You can add your own touch with garnishes. We’re not all Nigella Lawson and our guests will still appreciate it, maybe even more!
Most of all, slow down, relax and enjoy. It’s a day to enjoy with our kids and family. We don’t get those special moments with our kids back! Don’t get stuck in the kitchen missing out.