Hosting Christmas Dinner: Should You Buy it Or Make it Yourself?

christmas food

There is always lots to do when preparing to host Christmas, but you don’t have to feel overwhelmed or overspend. Here are some tips to make your life a little easier while offering your loved ones a delicious Christmas celebration.

Choose Simple Hors d’oeuvres

Trays of cheese, cracker and bread, or sliced fruit can all be great hors d’oeuvres for which you don’t have to spend too much money.

You can also make a delicious eggnog – what’s Christmas without it? This recipe is dairy-free. All you need to do is whisk 6 large eggs with 2 egg yolks, adding in 3/4 cup of maple syrup. Make sure you mix it well in a large saucepan, then add in 4 cups of coconut milk, slowly adding one cup of it at a time. Heat the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring it well until it is the thickness of custard. Pour it through a sieve into a large bowl, before stirring in 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon of grated nutmeg. You can add 1/2 cup of brandy if you like. Cover the mixture tightly and refrigerate it until it is very well chilled (usually within three hours).

Find Budget-Friendly Alternatives

Sure, you would want to feel like Bree van der Kamp and make the entire feast from scratch, but this is not always possible. A good trick is to find less costly alternatives to firm Christmas favourites. For instance, smoked salmon can be replaced with smoked salmon pâté which makes use of fish trimmings and you can make it yourself. Here is a five-minute recipe: Smoked Salmon Pate. Instead of Christmas puddings that can cost a lot (and usually contain loads of packaging which isn’t eco-friendly) purchase a Swiss roll that’s always a delicious treat.

Buy a Bigger Turkey

If you must buy a turkey, you’ll be pleased to know that a report claims turkey is one of the greenest meats. When buying turkey, opt for a larger one. This will be a great way to ensure leftovers that can be used for snacks, sandwiches and other meals once the Christmas lunch or dinner is over.

Make Your Own Gravy

You don’t have to stress out about buying gravy – a simple recipe can help you make your own delicious one. All you need is flour, wine (red or white) and chicken stock. Here is an easy recipe.

Make Simple Veggie Side Dishes

If you worry about side dishes, using vegetables can be a simple solution to them, plus it will save you time. Peel all your vegetables the day before, then blanch them in batches (for instance, five minutes for each of them). Drain and refresh them under a blast of cold water, then cool and cover until you need them. On Christmas day, you will have the veggies ready and you can heat them in a large frying pan with some seasoning and butter until they are tender.  These are quick and delicious, plus you could add garlic or onion to your butter for an extra flash of flavour.

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