We all love Christmas, well most of us anyway! But if it’s your turn to prepare the perfect Christmas dinner, the stress of entertaining the family may already be starting to rear its head. The best way to avoid the stresses of the good old festive feast is to plan and do as much as you can in advance.
The butchers at Hugh Phillips Gower Butcher are always dealing with customers who, although they may place their meat orders in advance, still panic when it comes to everything else that is required to make the Christmas meal special.
So we’ve taken all of the queries and requests we have dealt with over the years, and come up with our top tips to help counteract the stresses of Christmas dinner preparations.
Perfect Christmas Dinner – When to Start Planning
The weeks in the run up to Christmas are the best time to start planning your perfect Christmas dinner. This is when you can start to prepare any recipes that can be frozen in advance, ready to defrost on Christmas Eve.
These include Christmas Pudding, the pastry for your mince pies, bread sauce, gravy stock and cranberry sauce (which is a preserve and so can be made well in advance without the need for freezing).
You can also stock up on all of the non-perishable items you need for Christmas day, avoiding the crowds and panic of last minute shopping. These include all of the drinks you need over Christmas, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Chocolates, biscuits and other treats can also be purchased in advance provided you don’t open the boxes for a sneaky taste before the big day.
It’s also worth cleaning out your fridge and freezer to make space for the extra food and drink you will need for the perfect Christmas dinners.
Perfect Christmas Dinner – Meal Plans
Make a meal plan and a check list of everything you need (including crockery, cutlery, glasses etc) in addition to your fresh food shopping at least a month in advance.
Two or three days before Christmas Day is ideal to buy in all of the fresh foods which can be kept in the fridge to maintain their freshness.
Decide what you are serving for starters, main course and dessert (though your Christmas pudding should already be made and stored in a cool place) and compile your list in order of the menu.
Don’t forget key ingredients such as stuffing, pigs in blankets, brandy sauce and cream plus cheese for those without a sweet tooth.
Perfect Christmas Dinner – Meat Orders
You should also order your meat in advance to pick up from your local butcher. Whether you’re planning on a traditional turkey or goose or if your family prefer an alternative joint like beef or pork, it’s best to get your order in as soon as possible.
Alternatively, there are now a number of online sites where you can order your meat in advance (including meat hampers) to take one further stress out of your shopping commitments.
At www.bestonlinebutcher.co.uk we will not only arrange for your Christmas meat to be delivered to your door in time for the big day, but we can also supply all of the accompaniments like stuffing balls and pigs in blankets prepared ready to pop in the oven, as well as your Boxing Day Gammon and other festive joints.
We can also take orders for meat hampers as well as your traditional roasts with all orders placed before 15 December.
To find out more, visit our website by clicking on the link below: