Reality check: Christmas is only a few weeks away. Here’s how to make sure you’re prepared ahead of the Christmas rush.
The festive season is fast approaching and people’s diaries are starting to fill up with Christmas gatherings. So, if you want to get your family and friends together for a festive lunch, it’s best to start planning sooner, rather than later.
In just a few weeks, your kitchen table will be full of mouths to feed, so we’ve put together some tips on how to plan your menu, style your dining area and take the stress out of festive entertaining, using your NEFF appliances.
Planning your Christmas menu
From one home cook to another, the most important thing about Christmas entertaining is pre-planning your menu. So, take note of any dietary requirements, check out our recipe collection and get your shopping list ready so you have all the ingredients on hand. When putting your menu together, remember that not everything has to be left until the last minute. In fact, it’s best to get started now so you’re not left with the worst cuts.
What to order now
Find a great butcher and see when they’ll start taking their orders for Christmas to help you beat the rush. Many will allow you to pre-order large turkeys, cuts of pork or legs of ham weeks in advance, ensuring you get your hands on exactly what you envision for your Christmas table without any stress.
Love a traditional Christmas pudding? Whether you’re making your own or prefer to buy them from a pro, these delicious desserts are known for their ability to be made and stored well in advance. Organise this at the start of December and that’s one more thing off your list in the lead up to the festive season.
Finally, once you’ve planned your menu it’s time to organise your shopping. Anything that can be stored for a week or more should be picked up early, and save your perishables and fresh produce for the days before Christmas. If you’re really organised you can always schedule a food shop to be delivered to your home a day or two before Christmas – saving you the made rush around the supermarket in the busiest days.
Don’t save all your cooking for the day
As Christmas creeps closer and your to-do list grows longer, Christmas Day can be daunting. Save yourself some time on the big day by pre-cooking what you can in the days before, giving you more time to spend with your family.
Pre-cook your stuffing
If you’re planning a traditional Christmas lunch, a roast turkey or chicken will be a standout on your kitchen table, particularly with a generous serve of stuffing on the side. This can be cooked the week before and stored in your freezer. Just defrost and heat it up before you serve lunch – no one will even notice that it was pre-made!
Make your gravy the night before
When you’re entertaining guests, the last thing you want to do is waste time making gravy. The good news is that you can make your gravy the night before and store it in the fridge, ready to warm up in the microwave or your stove before lunch. For added flavour and a silky consistency, stir through the juices from your roast turkey or chicken before you serve.
Make your Christmas desserts the week before
Full of sugar, spice and everything nice, your Christmas desserts can be whipped up ahead of the big day to ensure you aren’t in the kitchen while your guests enjoy their lunch. From traditional jam-filled shortbread to decadent steamed puddings, these are easy to prepare up-to a week before Christmas and store in the fridge or freezer.
Your NEFF appliances can help
We all love cooking up the kind of delicious Christmas feast that makes everyone want to undo their top button and sneak away for a post lunch nap, but this can be a lot of work. The good news is that your NEFF kitchen can help. Use these features to take the stress out of Christmas entertaining.
NEFF’s automatic programs use a combination of different oven functions to cook your dish to perfection. All you have to do is let your oven know what you would like to cook and it will do the rest for you. Click here to learn more about NEFF’s automatic functions.
When it comes to Christmas entertaining, it’s normal to have many dishes cooking at the same time. But many home chefs are afraid that the flavours of their dishes will mix, contaminating the unique characteristics of each tray. The good news is that NEFF’s CircoThermÒ oven has multiple levels that can be used simultaneously, without mixing smells or flavours. Click here to learn more about CircoThermÒ.
When entertaining guests, it can be difficult to keep track of your oven temperature and monitor how your roast is progressing. To avoid the dreaded dryness, or your dish going up in flames, you can use NEFF’s MultiPoint MeatProbe. This smart device monitors the internal temperature of your meat and controls the temperature of your oven accordingly. Click here to learn more about MultiPoint MeatProbe.
Want to brush up on your kitchen skills before Christmas day? Book yourself into one of our free product demonstration.