One of the most popular tradition during Christmas is getting together for dinner with family and friends at a well decorate table, with delicious food typical for the season. What we eat during that day varies from one country to another, but the food, sweets and drinks are the most delicious food that you can eat in the entire year, at least for me. The food that we prepare for this dinner usually demand a lot of work, not only for the type of food but also for the variety and the amount.
Here, I will give you some tips to plan your Christmas dinner and avoid the hassle during the Christmas day so you can enjoy together with your guests and family no only the food but the night with them.
Remember, the holiday is to be enjoyed … stress free. Be simple, with good taste and do as much as you can in advance, so when the holidays come it not much what you have to do and… get help, do not try to do everything yourself.
- Create a check list, three weeks in advance, and wright backward from the holiday day, what you can do everyday o every week, what chores can be done three, two and one week before, even a few days before Christmas day.
- Three weeks before send your invitation to your family and friends, and ask them to confirm at least two weeks before their assistance.
- Think about your table setting, are you going to use the traditional red and green, or the sophisticated gold and silver, or are you going for something more updated as blue, shades of green, fuchsia… this is a good time to decide. So you will have the time to check what you have already at home or get ready to look for new decoration item in the stores. If you do not want to spend too much money for decoration, keep it simple, a bed of fresh-snipped greens is more modern than a table runner, you can also add inexpensive grasses with a color or white candles inside, decorate with group of Christmas ball, the same that you use for your Christmas tree. You also can create a jolly napkin ring, simply tread a jingle bell onto a piece of ribbon, wrap around the napkin and knot and add a name tag.
- Two weeks before, decide your Christmas menu -by now you should know who is attending your dinner-, traditional or with flavor from other countries. No matter while you are comfortable with your choice, then make your shopping list – make also a list for soft drinks, wines and spirits, glasses , ice and all related to the beverage. Also decide if you will have an open bar – make sure that you have everything you need in term of glassware, bar tools etc -or just a selection of wines and soft drinks or juices.
- The Christmas menu is very important, if your guests are coming at least 2 hours before dinner time, you may have to serve some finger food or a selection of cheese, bread, grapes, nuts and wine, it always look good and keep your guest busy but ready for diner. The Chritmas menu usually has one ore two type of meat (turkey, pork or chicken), salad, carbohydrates (rice, potato or corn meal treats), in some places “pan de jamon” is bread filled up with bacon, ham and raisin. Offer at least two type of sweet.
- If you want to tray any new recipe, do it 2 weeks before the date of the dinner.
- One week before, prepare and cook in advance are anything that can be prepare and refrigetare to be use during the diner day. Remember that is impossible to make everything, so get from the super market cookies, bread, cake or anything that other people can make for you. This will make your week stress free. Think about the trays where you plan to serve the food and get them.
- Two days before, clean the house, and all the social areas where your guests may go around. Wash and dry cutlery, glasses and serving plates or trays. Set up the bar area.
- One day before, finish making any grocery that you need. Marinate the meat. If you are making cooked salad, boil and cut the carrots, potato and put in the refrigerator. Prepare the cake, cookies or purchase them. Make any food that can hold until the party start. Set the table, table cloth, napkings, table runner, Make the palce card.
- Dinner day, early in the day, purchase the ice, enough to chill the drink and to use with the soft drink and drinks, you can never have to much ice. Use a laundry tub or the children wadding pool to contained or any facy container to keep the driks cold. Finish cooking as much as you can, try to cook every thing at least two hours before any one arrives, so you will have time to be ready by the time your guests come.
- Plate whatever food you can in advance and cover with foil.
- Set the table with the plates, curtlary, napking and the place card.
- In the social area, plate the finger food and the wine, make sure that the drinks are close by. So your guests can help themself. You may offer them drinks the first time.
- when you are ready to have dinner, do not doubt to ask for help to bring the food to the table.
- Most important that all is that you enjoy the night as your guests do.
I hope these tips help you to organize your dinner and have a very plasant time with your family and friend… away from the kitchen as long as you can….
See you in our new post.