Just to make sure you have a great Christmas Day I will share with you Santa's little Christmas Tips to make sure your Christmas Day goes smooth.
- Make sure you have all the ingredients you need for the day... break down each dish you intend to serve and make sure you have the garnish and matching accompaniments for each item and add them to your list.
- Plan ahead... if you make as much as you can on Christmas Eve during the day and cover it well - it makes for light work on the day and allows you to have time with the family not tied to the kitchen.
- Serve more cold food than hot... we are in Australia so we really don't need a hot Turkey or Ham but if you do go the traditional length. Pre-cook your meat until it is almost ready and allow to rest overnight, covered and kept moist. Then on the day you will just need to reheat the meat adding one last layer of basting. Veges can also be blanched or potatoes pre-cooked the day before so that you just need to reheat in microwave or oven for a shorter amount of time.
- Keep things simple... Less is More - yes???? Don't try to over-feed the family especially if they are spread out having Breakfast at the in-laws, lunch at yours and dinner at the grandparents.... A light grazing table is better on the hip pocket and easy on the leftover food issue of where to store the remaining food and how long will it keep.
- Dessert... choose a couple of favourite cookies that can be baked today and stored till Christmas Day, then add a cake or trifle and a few store bought goodies and there is your Dessert done. Santa says to add a few fruit skewers with a Berry/Brandy Compote to keep it simple and a little more healthy on the waistline.
- Choose a Cheese board... Santa would rather have a small Cheese Board and a Glass of Wine left out than Cookies... and don't forget a piece of apple or carrot for the Reindeer. Santa has let me in on a little secret... the Reindeer also love a little Christmas Trail mix - just add a few dried cranberries to a fruit and nut trail mix and they will be prancing for joy as they take off from your roof Christmas Night.
- Get the kids to make the Christmas cookies or Dessert... they will have fun getting in and helping you ... and the more hand made the Dessert the better your guests will enjoy it.
- Platters Platters Platters.. Santa has always loved putting out the platters for the elves to eat after there huge workload at this time of the year and I would suggest you do the same.... Santa's hint is to combine cold cuts of ham, salami and cold chicken pieces and surround them with Olives, cheese, nuts, dried fruit and little pots of relish and dips. Put out a side platter of Breads and Crackers then another platter with fresh fruit and more cheese and you are bound to hit a few choruses of "Deck the Halls". Add a jug of Prosecco Punch and let the yule tide begin.
- Talking about Prosecco Punch.... Grab a bottle of Chilled Prosecco and place in a jug with a few orange slices, pomegranate, mint sprigs and a dash of your favourite Liqueur (I use Maraska Cherry Brandy) and for the kids use a bottle of lemonade with the same garnish and a dash of Raspberry Cordial. Make sure you keep them separate or Santa will put you on the naughty list.
- Finally Santa's last tip... make sure the food doesn't sit out longer than 2 hours to ensure we have not upset tummies later in the evening. Keep everything covered and away from flies and best of all if you have a large tub that you can throw some ice into (and no it is not for the beer) you can place your platters on top and have them floating on ice and staying cool at the same time... nothing is better than playing it safe when it comes to Food Safety... Santa wants to visit you again next year remember... lol.
To all of our readers... have a happy, healthy and tasty Christmas.