Stress-free Christmas catering for the masses
Make a list & check it twice!
1. Planning is the most important thing when it comes to Christmas catering. Firstly, sit down with a cuppa and a notepad and work out your Christmas menu from snacks, mains, side dishes, desserts, cheeses, chocolates and sweet treats and drinks. What items will you make yourself, order in or ask others to bring?
2. Aside from Christmas day, what about other festive season catering? Make sure you have something on hand for every special occasion – is there a school party, work function, or other end of year celebration that you need to provide food for? Are you expecting visitors or might you have unexpected drop ins?
3. Who are you feeding and what will they eat? Use our buffet quantities below as a guide per person.
Cocktail/ finger food – 3-4 pieces
Meats – 250-300g raw or 200-250g cooked
Seafood – 200g fish, 250g prawns
Salad – 150g depending on contents
Pudding – 150-200g for aficionados or 120g for everyone else!
Alcohol – it’s not for us to say! ;)
Get it to the table on time
1. Determine the time you’d like to serve up the meal and work backwards regarding the time to start cooking or reheating each dish. Write it down so then others can help you.
2. Delegate! Be clear beforehand about what jobs you need to perform and what things others can help with. For example, have the tableware and glasses out, and let someone else set the table. Or set up a drinks station away from the kitchen and let guests help themselves.
Surprisingly the fridge can be one of the biggest sources of conflict at this time of year! It’s always jam packed, crowded by needy hosts and guests continually opening and closing it and putting things in the wrong places (!), and it can be impossible to find what you need. How many times have you gone searching for something, given up, and then found the offending item on Boxing Day?
1. Give your fridge a thorough clean out well before your Christmas party. Take the opportunity to get rid of out of date condiments and sauces, as well as wipe down shelves and drawers.
2. Set the temperature a bit lower to cope with the Summer heat in combination with the amount of cool lost through regular door openings.
3. Work out a system for fridge organisation, such as lower shelf for main meal items, top shelf for everyday stuff. Don’t be afraid to grab some sticky labels and assign the space how you want it used, and apply labels to containers of food too, so it’s easy for anyone to lay their hand on things.
4. If you simply can’t fit it all in, utilise our delivery esky to store your excess food. Pour a bag of ice in and seal the lid. Contents will stay cold for more than 12 hours and you can replace the ice as required for longer storage.
Whether you are home catering for Christmas day or party food catering during the festive season planning in advance will help alleviate stress later. And don’t feel guilty if you don’t make everything from scratch and outsource some help because you should be enjoying quality time with family and friends, which is priceless.
And for more help on Christmas cooking help read Christmas cooking: Make it or fake it!