Monday, 6 December 2010

christmas cooking list... preparation is overated!


...somewhere deep inside I feel i should be more organised for my Christmas this year as it will be my first Christmas as a food blogger and I want to be really well prepared...

... but sometimes I feel that 'over-preperation' can be just as much the catalyst for stress as being un-prepared... it's as though you have set yourself an un-reachable goal... and this can only lead to disaster... plus there are a lot of foodie things for Christmas that are supposed to be prepared in advance, such as Christmas Cake and soaking prunes for mincemeat...

... and anyway, if you feel the need for a perfect Christmas (god know's why?) you can always visit Esther's GENIUS blog recipe rifle for the ultimate list of do's and don'ts for the big day...

... however, somewhere, in the hidden depths of my mind I do have a list of what I plan to make and what I'd like to achieve this year and this list goes something like this:

1. bake these amazing looking Panettone for Christmas gifts... thanks for the inspiration Chele!

2. bake these naughty but totally traditional old-school macaroons for nibbling on and for when guests pop in for tea and Baileys... they freeze really well.

3. will make some mince pies... never done it before but I have every confidence that Delia will help!

4. am planning a roast goose and a glazed ham... so I need to read up and I must order these this week!

5. will make my favourite Luxury Carrot Cake instead of Christmas Cake because nobody likes Christmas Cake... Delia hits the spot again!

6. will also make Nigellas AMAZING moist clementine cake... and add loads of Glenmorangie whisky!

7. will make this extra special Veggie Wellington for The Big V... The Guardian website does us proud!

8. will make a large batch of my very special veggie sausage rolls for nibbling on between Christmas and New Year.

9. will make fresh, home-made, coleslaw for those all important post lunch sandwiches...

10. will get in enough booze to sink a very large ship!

... and pretty much that's it... the 'trimmings' come very easy to me you see because I only have one rule during Christmas and that's 'over-cater'...

... would love to know what you're all planning for the big day and if you have any special tricks to keep things calm...

26 comments:

  1. It's my first Christmas as a blogger too and lots of feasts to prepare for - I do two things every year to help a little - 1) make a fish pie and put it in the freezer for Christmas Eve - so no work required for that on the day 2) make a batch of caramel clementines for non cake/pudding lovers. Then I cook a ham and once Christmas dinner is over we live on cold meat/ pickles /winter salad/jacket potatoes until it's all gone....Maybe that's three things..?

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  2. I am a planner. There are already lists, what shops we need to buy what from etc. Including myself I have 7 for Christmas lunch. Amongst them I have a no citrus, a no dairy a no soya and a no wheat (all different people!) Main here is traditional turkey.

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  3. That is quite a list - you'll need a holiday for after the holiday's!!! But I can't wait to see all your kitchen efforts so get cracking Mister ;0)
    PS - Just wait until you see the next Panettone recipe I'm planning on trying!

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  4. You sound more prepared than me, beyond booking a Sainsbury's order for Dec 22 and filling it up with booze to take me over the threshold to get free delivery I've done na-dah!

    I like the sound of the Nigella moist clementine cake very much. I must go and read about this.

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  5. That sounds a great plan, Dom.

    I've ordered the turkey! That's all the real planning I do. If I don't tell anyone what I might make, then no-one's disappointed if there isn't time for me to achieve everything.

    There's always a chocolate dessert, a cake (not a traditional Christmas cake) and some mincepies - beyond that, it's all down to luck (or fate)!

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  6. Looks like you are ready. I am not. I cook on the 24th. Usually we have fondue. On the 25th we are always at our British friends house for a big turkey dinner. I will bring dessert and the request this year was (besides the Christmas pudding) pavlova.

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  7. No Christmas cake or pudding?

    Merry Christmas

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  8. Great list. I reckon that's pretty well prepared. I haven't even thought that far ahead yet. Although I think I'm getting away with most of it this year. It seems my husband wants to try his hand at the Christmas dinner so I'm really only in charge of pudding. Woo!

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  9. Was once told preparation is the key to a successful business.
    Chef is a planner ,I am not.Maybe that makes us a successful partnership!
    Yours sounds perfect.

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  10. thanks for all the comments... good to see i'm not the only one with a twisted sense of planning...

    @ Veg Box boy... take 'em or leave 'em really... rather the carrot cake!

    I guess the proof will be in the pudding on the day!

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  11. Planning? I don't if that word is in my vocabulary. I really want to be prepared but I'm not really wired that away. Some how I always get it done though. We usually have prime rib with gorgonzola(sp) sauce Parmesan mashed potatoes, spinach gratin, green beans with mushrooms and butternut squash with brown sugar.Yum, I can't wait!!!

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  12. I plan to put a wreath on the front door tomorrow. I plan to trim the tree on Friday evening. I plan to order beef tenderloin for Beef Wellington and make a 'Buche de Noel' for Christmas dinner. I plan to stuff a great stocking for my daughter, Sara (we trade names in our fam). And... I plan to watch Bing Crosby in Holiday Inn on Christmas Eve ... after church service, sleep in a bit on Christmas day, and hug and kiss all my kids as they go through their stockings! Can't wait!

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  13. You have the right idea. Too much planning=too much stress. This will be my thirty something Christmas and boy has my table changed over the years. I parboil the spuds -> freezer then just bung in the oven when the turkey comes out and is resting. Make the gravy (http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/other-recipes/get-ahead-gravy) -> freezer. Cranberry and orange jam made and waiting. This year I am making my own recipe for chocolate orange cake instead of a Christmas cake and instead of trifle a chocolate swirl cheesecake. There will be eight of us this year aged between 4 and 90. Four generations. I hope yours goes well Dom. Just have the carols playing in the background and have a glass of vino and you can dance round the kitchen swinging the saucepans. Works for me LOL

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  14. From Beyond My Kitchen Window - your Christmas dinner sounds AMAZING!!!!

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  15. Dom, you are a boy after my own heart with this dose of sanity . . . thank you! It's funny how the best laid plans can come a cropper . . . last year I thought I was cooking a small lunch for just 3, but plans went awry and ended up with 4 extra guests (the two youngest who grudgingly told my that my roast potatoes were ok but not as good as dad's . . .)

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  16. I agree with Please Do Not Feed The Animals that FBMKW your Christmas dinner sounds so good... I guess because we don't have Thanksgiving here we're all still waiting for that one big blowout meal!

    @ RhyleysGranny... you are so organised!!.. I love the fact that stuff is frozen already!

    I think this weekend the tree will go up and stuff will be frozen!

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  17. I agree with Please Do Not Feed The Animals that FBMKW your Christmas dinner sounds so good... I guess because we don't have Thanksgiving here we're all still waiting for that one big blowout meal!

    @ RhyleysGranny... you are so organised!!.. I love the fact that stuff is frozen already!

    I think this weekend the tree will go up and stuff will be frozen!

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  18. You are SO ready for Christmas. Can I come over?!

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    to accept your awards. We thank you for sharing with us your food journey. Cheers Jutta and Chocolate Cookie.

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  20. Aha! Lists are always good for getting in the organising spirit of things. It'll be my first Christmas as a food blogger but not my first Christmas cooking...so, I'll probably do the usual turkey and trimmings etc plus the obligatory walnut pate en croute as a nod to my vegan history even though no-one coming to eat is actually vegan or even veggie for that matter.
    Plus, in the spirit of Spanish cooking which is really the whole point of my blog then I 'll also be attempting to make turrón and mantecadas amongst other things...and if you want to know what they are then visit Cocina de Lina ha ha ha!!!!

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  21. PS there are a scary number of organised people on here...freezing?! Home made jam?! Christmas cake??!
    Sarah at Maison Cupcake- I've made that clementine cake and it's bloody gorgeous and sooo easy to do. Make it!! :-)

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  22. I'm just off to make a list!!!!

    A mild case of panic is setting in - is it too early for a Gluvine??!

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  23. @ BVG... Christ no! I'm in a permanent state of drunk

    and i've also seen a recipe for tropical mincemeat, which includes banana and now i'm really confused!... thanks Kitchen Maid!!!!!

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  24. the reluctant vegetarian9 December 2010 at 12:14

    Until I painstakingly skimmed through these comments in a guinness induced hungover daze I had no idea how crap I was at "doing" Christmas. I am beginning to realise that it is not just a big roast dinner with extra merry. My previous preparations have mainly focussed around 1. Make sure there is some food. 2. Make sure there is some drink. 3. Find the Trivial Pursuit. 4. Drink as much of the mood enhancing wine as I can while tra la la-ing around with a santa hat on. (sigh, I'll get my coat). x

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  25. Hi Dom thanks for following my blog :) I followed back! Hope things are well with you! :)

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  26. Always have a mega list of things I want to achieve and always fail miserably. Would love to have the time to make up proper hampers of food for gift - not managed it yet, though have always managed to make something. This year am also thinking of panetone, but maybe biscotti or ameretti - hmm, can see an Italian theme here.

    I WANT your recipe for veggie sausage rolls though. We're having a picnic on the beach on Xmas Day and that might just do the trick!

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