The Christmas countdown has begun, and here at Ó Crualaoí, we’re getting excited about the festive celebrations approaching. Christmas is a highlight for many families, bringing together relatives old and young and sharing the most talked-about meal of the year. It’s easy to feel the pressure of getting it right for the family, and we are here to help with our guide to a stress free Christmas Dinner.
Christmas dinner can be a difficult meal to plan, since you will probably need to cater for larger numbers than usual and accommodate various dietary needs, likes and dislikes. Making a foolproof plan as early as possible is a great way to avoid last minute panics and sleepless nights, and our top tips will help to ensure that this is a special occasion that everyone can enjoy – including the cook!
Planning a Delicious Christmas Dinner
If you’re hosting Christmas, you may already be thinking about Christmas dinner and wondering how to make it special this year. We have a great range of top quality food that will help to reduce the stress, and we recommend following our quick guide to ensure that everyone remembers your Christmas feast for all the right reasons.
Take a realistic approachThe very first thing to do when you are planning for your Christmas dinner is to take the pressure off yourself. If you begin by thinking that your meal has to be perfect, you will put a great deal of stress on the proceedings and make things much more difficult for yourself. Remember that, whatever you do and however much you prepare in advance, life is unpredictable, especially if children are on your guest list. You can’t hope to create a flawless occasion with no margin for error, because you’re human, and everyone will enjoy the occasion much more if you are relaxed about the little things that crop up to frustrate your arrangements.
Make a listFor many people, Christmas involves a lot of lists and planning in advance. Christmas dinner is no different, and having a detailed and comprehensive list can help you to avoid stressful situations. Essentially, a traditional Christmas dinner is just a roast dinner with additional extras, and it’s all the extra elements that can make things feel a bit frantic. As soon as you have finalised your guest list for the festive period, you can begin to plan what you will cook for each meal and find the recipes you need. This applies whether you are using the traditional family recipe or trying something a little bit different this year. When you have all the recipes you will be using, it’s time to create your master list to ensure that you can shop for all of the ingredients you will need to see you through the festive season smoothly. Include all of the sauces, snacks and desserts that you will need, and make sure that you have a contingency plan in case you cannot find specific items.
DelegateDon’t be too precious about creating every meal on your own – even if this is something you enjoy, others will want to get involved and you deserve to enjoy Christmas too! If you are hosting big groups, try sending out a message asking for everyone to bring a dish, or allocate a course to each member of the family. Asking someone who isn’t keen on cooking to bring drinks can work well, and everyone will feel that they have contributed to the success of the occasion. This also helps to spread the inevitable costs, which can soon mount up at Christmas time, and will allow everyone to feel included in the arrangements. And don’t for-get to delegate some of the work on the day, as well! Even small children can be responsible for sharing snacks around, and you can ask an adult to take charge of drinks for the day. Hopefully you will have plenty of volunteers for the washing up, so don’t be afraid to leave the kitchen and put your feet up after you have all eaten – you’ve done your bit!
Fill the freezer
Planning ahead will allow you to get organised, and you can make several dishes, especially desserts, ahead of time and freeze them. When you’ve chosen the dishes you want to serve at Christmas, you can order your local, top quality meat from Ó Crualaoí and fill your freezer with all of the essentials. Just imagine the smug festive feeling you’ll enjoy as you sit down with a glass of mulled wine on Christmas Eve instead of going into bat-tle at your local supermarket! This is an excellent way to ensure you get everything you want, avoiding last minute shortages, and will also be a great chance to stock up on other family favourites to see you through the whole Christmas period. You can also freeze leftovers to avoid food waste and create an easy meal for another time.
Making a time plan for the day is a great way to avoid the last minute panics, so this is another good excuse for a list. Beginning with the time at which you want to be putting your meal on the table, work backwards to ensure that you have a schedule that works. Work out how long each of your vegetables and side dishes take to cook, allocate oven space for all of the different elements of your meal, and don’t forget about putting the Christmas pudding on to steam! If you feel yourself getting flustered on the day, take a deep breath, head back to your plan and remind yourself that everyone is on your side. A glass of wine while cooking might help, too!
An important thing to remember is that your guests should be able to enjoy a relaxed occasion without feeling that they are putting you under stress simply by being there. Minor details won’t make much difference, but an atmosphere of calm and happiness will ensure that you all enjoy a Christmas to remember.
Christmas Food From Cork, Ireland
Here at Ó Crualaoi, we can take the pressure off your Christmas dinner planning with our range of festive foods available for order. We have fantastic sales on our delicious and local Free Range Turkey, Succulent Ham and Award Winning Spiced Beef, and we can provide all the ac-companiments you need to make your Christmas dinner the talk of the festive season! Additional selections include:
~Honey and Mustard Glaze
~ Traditional Fresh Herb Bread Stuffing
~ Goose Fat
~ Homemade Gravy
~ Cranberry Sauce
~ Cooked Festive Red
~ Cooked Brussel Sprouts
~ And lots more…
And don’t forget that we also have the delectable desserts you need to finish off your Christmas spread, including Christmas Pudding, mince pies and Christmas cake. We will be happy to help you to decide on the perfect combination for your Christmas dinner, and we can guarantee that all of our food is local, delicious and fully traceable from farm to fork.
Order Christmas Food Online from Your Butchers In Ireland
If you’re planning for Christmas dinner and want to serve the very best of local, top quality food, we can help. We have a great range of meats and all of the side dishes and accompaniments you need to create a Christmas dinner without stress. Pop into your local Ó Crualaoí store and speak to one of our family butchers, or order online now for all your Christmas essentials this year.