With just over two weeks to go until Christmas, the to do list is looking increasingly out of control. There are still presents to be bought (I really must stop buying gifts for myself), decorations to put up and an entire neighbourhood of family and friends to see/call/be merry with. This year we’ve outdone ourselves and made a spreadsheet to organise who’s where when and make sure we don’t accidentally re-enact Home Alone with the toddler. Nothing says festive fun like a spreadsheet now, does it?!
With all that going on, the last thing (and yet, always the first thing) on my mind is cooking for Christmas. I love festive foods and running through Christmas cookbooks (I recommend The Works for a great range if you’re looking!) but the idea of having to pull together a Christmas dinner and get it on the table all at the same time fills me with dread. I’d much rather be having a lazy morning opening presents, eating mince pies for breakfast and enjoying a festive tipple than stuck in the hot kitchen stressing out about how cooked the turkey is and realising I really should have prepped the veg earlier.
Thankfully, I’m not the only one who feels that way. Hello Fresh have put their thinking caps on and come up with their Ultimate Christmas Dinner Guide to help take the stress out of the big day. Whether it’s letting you know what can (and can’t) be prepped the night before through to foolproof, delicious recipes for festive favourites, their downloadable guide offers clear advice that even the merriest (hic!) of chefs can follow.
Even my big fear has been dealt with. Timings are always something that terrify me when it comes to cooking for other meals, especially when they’re such a pivotal part of the day. I tie myself up in lists attempting to ensure I’ve worked the timings out forwards and backwards from our eating time to give me a step by step guide that always goes wrong! Worry not, the pack also includes timings for the day making great cooking look truly effortless – something Hello Fresh are renowned for. Just set someone else in charge of reminding you of the time every now and then and you’re good to go!
This year I’ve managed to side step cooking on the big day itself (thanks Mum!) but I’ll be hosting our entire family on Christmas Eve. We usually save the turkey for the 25th, choosing to have a huge ham instead which this year I’ll be accompanying with the braised red cabbage recipe that Hello Fresh provide in their pack. I love a bit of red cabbage and the fact that it freezes so well is an added bonus. Just like Christmas Day, in my eyes Christmas Eve isn’t for cooking either, it’s for last minute present wrapping, snuggling up with a movie and attempting to peel the toddler off of the ceiling due to the high sugar/excitement levels.
For those of you who are cooking… good luck, enjoy and have a glass of ‘chef’s perks’ on me.