Tips for a stress free Christmas
Chef Daniel Wilson shares his tips for a stress-free Christmas. We couldn’t agree more with step number nine!
- Be organised! Make lists and try to be proactive by getting shopping done in advance where possible.
- Delegate! Don’t try to take on all of the work yourself. Assign tasks to other family members to lighten the load. Also, if you have children get them in on the act, while they may complain about helping initially, they will have a sense of achievement and be proud of their contribution after the fact. Who knows, this might just become a new Christmas tradition.
- Instead of cooking a whole ham on the day try something different like cooking a whole kaiserfleisch (smoked belly bacon). Remove the skin and top it with a mix of whole grain mustard and maple syrup and cook overnight in the oven at 100°C. When you wake up in the morning the whole house will smell so good from the slow cooking. Allow to rest then slice and serve with cornichons & soft-boiled eggs.
- Buy prawn cutlets to poach instead of whole prawns which require people to get grubby while peeling away the shell.
- Be sure to incorporate salad into the meal. While it is a day of feasting not everything needs to go through the oven. This will help with cooking logistics and also keep the meal balanced and not too heavy.
- We all know that pavlova is a must for an Aussie Christmas, and while this needs to be assembled on the day, why not prepare another dessert such as a trifle or mousse which can be made ahead of time? Both options will benefit from having the extra time to set.
- Remember that while the meal is crucial the most important thing is to be together and enjoy the day. Don’t exile yourself to the kitchen and have a Category 5 meltdown if something doesn’t go exactly to plan. We’re only human!
- Open the Champagne/flagon of Bloody Mary mix sooner rather than later to help calm the nerves and get everyone in the mood. Assign someone to look after serving drinks when people arrive so that you are not trying to do everything.
- Don’t freak out about having so much food left over. Leftovers are an integral part of the time in between Christmas and the New Year. They allow for constant snacking which is perfect for those lazy summer days. In saying that do try to be mindful of wastage and eat the things that are more perishable as a priority. Perhaps ask your guests to bring containers so you can send them home with leftovers too.
- Most of all ENJOY YOURSELF! Even if there are weird family dynamics surely everyone can act like grown-ups and put their issues aside for one day! If not, at least it’ll make a good story.