WHAT TO DO WHEN IT IS 12 DAYS TO CHRISTMAS
Can you believe it is only 12 days until Christmas Day? I love this time of year. Spending time with the family, getting away from routine, relaxing and enjoying nice food. I know for some they can feel very stressed around now and feel overwhelmed with everything that should be done. But Christmas should be about having fun.
So, I decided to give you a helping hand to make Christmas a more enjoyable and less frantic occasion, while keeping the earth in mind. For the next 12 days, I will give some suggestions that will help you out, but also give you time to appreciate the important things in life. Starting with…
Day 12 PLAN TO HAVE FUN
A little planning will go a long way. If you do a bit each day between now and Christmas, you it be a fuss free Christmas.
If putting on Christmas lunch or dinner
12 Days ahead. Decide what you are going to serve; nibbles, entre, main course, dessert, drinks. Write it down so it is clear in your head, the order you are going to cook and the ingredients you need to get. Stick to in season produce. If everyone is bringing a plate, make sure everyone knows what they are bringing.
11 Days ahead. Order your meats, seafood and vegetarian course. Buy from your local butcher, fish monger and market. I usually arrange to pick up on Christmas Eve, late afternoon.
10 Days ahead. Order your wine, beer and soft drinks. Remember to avoid plastic where you can.
9 Days ahead. Prepare or get your sweet goods. You can make a Christmas cake and puddings, but for those people who find this a chore, there is no problem buying from a shop. Choose handmade where possible. Read the ingredients to ensure there are no nasties included. Also, buy your brandy sauce and custard, ensuring they are in date after Christmas day.
8 days ahead. Get your crackers, cheeses, pate, dips, etc.
7 Days ahead. Check your utensils. Is your carving knife sharp? Have you enough baking and serving dishes? Are your chopping boards large enough? Borrow if you have to. Don’t forget to make sure you have enough dinner plates, dishes, cups, cutlery and glasses. Also, make sure your oven is functioning properly and hold all your meat. If not, do you have a barbeque that could do the job or can you borrow from someone.
6 Days ahead. Ensure your table clothes and napkins are washed and ready for the days. Iron ahead of time, if possible.
5 Days ahead. Buy all non-perishable items and ingredients e.g. cranberry sauce, apple sauce, mustard, crackers, dips with long expiry, cheeses, coffee and tea. BY calculating what you need you avoid wastage.
4 Days ahead. Fill salt and pepper shakers and sugar bowls. Clean and polish any cutlery, candle sticks and glasses.
3 Days ahead. Calculate how long it will take to cook and plan what to cook when. If you have a Christmas cake and if not iced, you can ice it.
2 Days ahead. Defrost anything that needs defrosting e.g. a large turkey could need 3 days to defrost. Follow instructions and thaw in the fridge. Also, prepare or partially prepare the dessert or starter that will allow preparation ahead of time (won’t go off in the two days), seal well and store in the fridge.
1 Day ahead. Get the family involved to:
Set the table.
Collect your meat, seafood and any perishable goods (milk, cream, butter, etc.).
Make the stuffing and finish off anything that was partially prepared (starters and desserts).
Peel potatoes and soak in water overnight and cover pot. Clean and chop any robust vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, beetroot and brussel sprouts. Place in casserole dishes or pots. Store in the refrigerator.
Place drinks in refrigerator. Get ice if needed for esky.
Glaze, score and stick cloves in the ham. In our household, we cook the ham on Christmas eve and just heat it up on Christmas day.
Have some mulled wine.
Christmas Day has arrived and make sure everyone helps.
Chill drinks. If no room in the fridge, fill an esky with ice.
Pre-heat the oven.
If stuffing the turkey, only do it before placing in the oven. We don’t want food poisoning.
Place the Turkey, Meat or vegetarian option into the oven. Follow instructions for cooking.
Only cook the vegetables an hour before the meat will be cooked.
Place all the condiments on the table and light any candles.
If having seafood for starters, dish out.
Make gravy while meat is resting.
Heat pudding 2 hours before serving if doing by steaming method.
Warm the plates before serving
Fill glasses with wine or beer.
Don’t let the hustle ruin your celebrations. Christmas is a busy time, but before you know it, it will be over. So, treasure the special moments.
Each day we encourage you to do a random act of kindness to give Christmas more meaning for you and your kids.
Donate food to a local Food Bank.
Have fun planning your earthly passionate Christmas,
Attracta & the earthly passion team.