So this year you’ve decided that you will be preparing your Christmas meal at home. Maybe you’re tired of getting Grab food, or you prefer to keep family safe at home rather than going out. Maybe you just want to challenge yourself to create a lovely and festive meal. Whatever the reason is, we want to give you a shoutout! Whether it’s just a small (and safe) gathering or you’re spending time with a significant other, it’s still no easy feat to plan and prepare the whole meal. That’s why we’re here to lay out the steps you should take to help you stay on track!
1. Decide on your Cuisine
You might want to go along with a traditional Christmas meal that usually includes roast meat. This could be turkey with stuffing, chicken, duck, beef, or even ham. Additionally, your side dishes would be mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce, and roasted vegetables. Dessert is typically a pumpkin or apple pie, pudding, or fruitcake. These are what is considered a traditional Christmas menu.
However, you can always go for something a bit different! Nobody can stop you from cooking a Italian, Japanese, French, or even Malaysian meal. Cook whatever you feel like eating and remember that it’s all about who you spend the festive holiday with.
Once you have your mind set on a cuisine, you need to sit down and plan out your menu. Whatever cuisine you decide on, the next step is to decide the dishes. If it’s a traditional one you need to know what meat and vegetables you’re roasting. On the other hand, if you’re going for non-traditional such as Japanese, write out the dishes you intend to prepare.
2. Grocery Shopping
Now that you have your dishes, it’s time to break it down into all its components. Think about all the ingredients you will need as well as the quantity. Of course this is based on how many guests you’re cooking for. Prepare your grocery list and run through it a few times.
You can also write down which dishes the ingredients belong to so you won’t miss anything. Then, run through your kitchen pantry and tick off whatever you already have enough of. After that, it’s just a matter of popping by the grocery store!
3. Have a Christmas Meal Game Plan
Moving on, you already have your groceries in your kitchen a day or two before the big day. What you need next is a game plan. This is based on what dishes take the longest to prepare, where can you find shortcuts, what needs to go in the oven and when, and more.
For example, put the meat and vegetables in the oven to roast but know when the vegetables come out first. Moreover, if more than one dish needs onions, then you should slice or dice a big portion in advance. This way you won’t be wasting time returning to the chopping board.
Ideally, you should be preparing as much as you can beforehand. Everything should be washed and chopped before you even take out your pots and pans. Make sure you defrost whatever needs defrosting and chill whatever needs to be chilled. In fact, you can also prepare dishes a day in advance and keep it in the fridge. This could be your gravy, cold desserts, or anything else that won’t suffer a night in the cold.
4. Stay Calm and Prepare
Things can get a little hectic on the big day so it’s good to start early and run through everything in your head. You can lay out all your ingredients and tools so everything is in reach. If you have decided to decorate the table, there’s no harm in doing it early when you have time.
Make sure you also give yourself plenty of time to get ready before your guests arrive! You probably want to take a shower and get a little dressed up. A quick tip is that if you finish cooking early to get ready, you can keep the food in the oven so it stays warm!
5. Enjoy your Lovely Christmas Meal!
Congratulations! You’ve prepared a lovely Christmas meal that you can now enjoy with family or friends. No matter the outcome, be proud of the effort and work you’ve put into your meal!