Countdown to Christmas – One week to go
Honestly, spare a thought for our hard working retail sector this week. It’s horrible. The simplest way you can help them is by going in knowing exactly what you will need to buy. And to do that, you’ll need a menu and a shopping list. This week, we focus purely on food shopping and a quick countdown and guide to cooking your meals.
1. Collate your recipes, make a shopping list and GO!
Look, you are likely to go shopping for food a couple of times this week, so try to pace yourself. Consider going late in the evening, especially if you only have non-perishables to buy. Below you will find step-by-step cooking guides to all seven Christmas menus I’ve created, so you will know exactly what can be done as far ahead as possible. Schedule shopping about six days and again about two days before your big meal.
2. Do as much ahead as you can
Pace yourself. Some items such as fresh seafood won’t be available until the last minute, but desserts can often be made ahead. Aim for a little each day rather than frantic running around on the day.
3. De-frost meat four days in advance
Yes, you heard me. The average turkey takes 48 to 72 hours to defrost, slowly, in the bottom of the fridge. That means starting FRIDAY of this week.
4. Have fun
If you have children, this really is a magical time. Their enthusiasm is infectious. Enjoy it. Smile. It’s just a day.
5. Clean up as you go and try to de-clutter
Most households have toys and presents strewn through the house throughout January, but if possible, do try to clean up as you go. De-clutter at every opportunity so that your house is neat if not always sparkling clean. If you ARE going away immediately after Christmas, it’s always so much nicer if you can come home to a reasonably neat house.
6. Get ice, check for batteries, firelighters, spare bulbs etc
They are last minute items but essential to any celebratory day. Buy them in on Christmas Eve or first thing on Christmas Day. If you are giving a battery operated toy PLEASE INCLUDE BATTERIES to save the heartbreak of a small child and the sanity of their parents.
7. Eat in moderation
Oh alright then, don’t. Just don’t blame me for the turkey coma.
8. Kiss the Cook
Whoever has made your Christmas dinner has just cooked the biggest, hardest meal of their culinary year. They deserve a huge kiss, cuddle and above all, THEY MUST NOT WASH UP. Clean up, help out, make yourself useful. It’s a bloody hard gig and to all of you who are cooking for the first time this year, you all deserve a medal for bravery.
Here they are, a step-by-step guide to pacing yourself in the lead up to the big day. I hope they help.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to crack open some champagne. ‘Tis the Season after all.