While Christmas is always on everyone’s list of favorite days in the year, there are some of us who also fear this one day because of the toll it takes on our already tired bodies. We’ve just spent the better part of a month shopping for gifts, attending annual Christmas parties, going to the kids’ pageants and plays and baking all those cookies that are gifts for neighbors, friends and family.
By the time Christmas day rolls around, you feel like doing anything but cooking. For just once you’d like to greet your guests at the door, sit for a minute with a cocktail and enjoy the company that you’ve almost come to dread. Do you want some advice? The best thing you can do for yourself, and your family, is to find something to serve so that you won’t be slaving away in the kitchen while everyone else is having fun. Avoid the stress of cooking your way through Christmas day.
Foods You Can Cook in Advance
One of the thing which will help immensely is to find main dishes you can cook in advance. For example, oven roasted turkey breast can be cooked to perfection the day before with a recipe found on Pocket Change Gourmet, and set out in a slow cooker a few hours prior to your guests arriving. With juices from the turkey it will be kept moist, but you won’t need to deal with cooking and basting all morning long.
Also, who said you have to stuff a turkey? Why not prepare a pan of dressing (same thing, just not cooked in the turkey!) the day before which can be set in an oven on a low temperature along with rolls, casseroles and pies, also prepared the day before.
Cold Platters Are Also Acceptable
While a hot meal is nice, some families have gone to setting out cold platters with an assortment of cold cuts and cheeses with some amazingly delicious gourmet rolls and breads. For those who want hot foods, everything is right there on the buffet in slow cookers, but for those who simply want a snack while visiting, cold cuts and wraps are perfect. With chips and dips, deviled eggs, olives, pickles and a veggie plate, what could be better?
Have a Very Merry Pot Luck Christmas
Sometimes large families feud over where they want to have Christmas. Each family wants to host the gathering, but unfortunately, you can only eat so many Christmas dinners. Why not host a pot luck Christmas dinner so that each family can bring something scrumptious that they would like to share with the entire clan? The only thing this will take is a bit of organization to make sure some items aren’t duplicated while others are sorely missing. Even so, it’s a great way to stay out of the kitchen on Christmas day. A very merry pot luck Christmas, indeed!
There is nothing in the rule book that says you need to slave away while everyone else is catching up and toasting a round or two. In fact, there isn’t a rule book for hosting Christmas dinner! This year, get in the kitchen the day before, by all means, but on Christmas day, this is one room you can avoid with a little planning and perhaps a bit of help from your family and friends.