8 tips for stress-free Christmas dinner

While Christmas Day is supposed to be full of joy and laughter, many of us can find happy memories overshadowed by the stress of making Christmas dinner.

Make a plan, and follow it

The easiest way to take the stress out of Christmas cooking is to be organized.

As Christmas day approaches, make sure you have done all your food and drink shopping to avoid the Christmas Eve mad rush to the supermarket, only to find empty shelves.

Once you know what’s on the menu, calculate how long it will take each component of the meal to cook, and work out your schedules. Write everything down so you don’t have to remember it off by heart. Stick to this same-day schedule and you won’t be stuck in the kitchen trying to figure it out on the fly.

Empty the fridge

Before you hit the big Christmas grocery store, focus on your fridge.

Get rid of almost empty condiments, leftovers that have been there for too long, and anything that takes up unnecessary space.

You’ll need plenty of space in your fridge to store all of your Christmas treats, and you don’t want to find yourself trying to play tetris with pigs in blankets and parsnips.

Do as much in advance as possible

Save time on D-Day by having as much as possible already prepared and ready to go.

You can have things like vegetables already pre-peeled and chopped. Store your prepared vegetables in water in the refrigerator to keep them fresher longer. Other Christmas Day favorites will freeze and heat up perfectly, like mashed potatoes and Christmas cookies.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

The task of making Christmas dinner for the whole family shouldn’t be on one person’s shoulders.

If you don’t feel like you can give up the reins of some of the bigger meal components, like meat, you can always assign smaller tasks to others, like peeling and chopping veggies, making sauces. and sauces and set the table.

Cut corners

Christmas is supposed to be a good time for everyone – you have to remember to be happy with your family, not to pull your hair out because you are so stressed.

Not everything that arrives at the table needs to be homemade from scratch. When possible, give yourself permission to cut corners and use pre-made and store-bought items.

Opting for supermarket desserts, prefabricated sauces and frozen vegetables can lighten the workload.

Keep it simple

Christmas is not the time to try that elaborate recipe that you are dying to try. Stick to recipes you know how to make that taste great.

Limit yourself to a reasonable number of menu items, such as a main course, a few sides, and a dessert. You don’t have to stretch yourself to try and come up with a 12-course tasting menu.

Make sure you have all the equipment you need

There is nothing worse than when the big day arrives and you find out that you can’t put the Christmas turkey and all the veggies in the oven at the same time because there isn’t enough room. . Or, if you have three casseroles on the go with mashed potatoes, bread gravy, and gravy – but you don’t have a fourth casserole for the Brussels sprouts.

Make sure you have everything you need ahead of time and plan accordingly, whether it’s investing in additional pots and pans, or revisiting your baking schedule, determine what that works for you.

Clean up when you go

Don’t let the dishes pile up. There’s nothing you want to deal less with after a big meal than having to tackle a mountain of dishes.

If you have a dishwasher, load it while you cook. Keep your counters clear and have hot, soapy water for anything that needs to be hand washed.

It could also be a job that you could outsource to someone else, because the boss makes the rules.

About Coy Lewallen

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