I have a tendency to over cater, slave away in the kitchen, ensure every traditional food is represented, create a theme, make lots of lists, spend all of December making stuff in advance…. but not this year, things will be different – that was my plan. Four steps to keeping it simple.
Step 1 Delegate venues
Step 2 Delegate food preparation
Step 3 Purchase what you can already made
Step 4 Use easy recipes for the rest
This year will be easy, heres the plan, and what I was going to do –
Last day of work – Pot luck lunch – Lemon Meringue Pies
Christmas Eve – Out for dinner at the local Club for 10 of us plus the grand babies – nothing to do
Christmas Day – Brunch at Cousin Sarahs – Take Bacon, Pre-made waffles and Maple Syrup
Afternoon nibbles at Alishas – Bring along something sweet
Boxing Day – Family at my place with everyone bringing stuff as per Mums circulated menu. – Quiches, Prawn Skewers, Chicken Skewers, Chips, Dip, Pate & Crackers
The best laid plans……Heres what actually happened
Last Day of work
One of the ladies I work with had heard of my lemon meringue pies and decided that I should bring these to the Pot Luck. Way too much effort for me at this time of the year so a little bit of searching at ‘My Woolies’ gave all the ingredients to whip up a plate of bite sized treats in under 5 minutes. I will not give you the step by step instructions – look at the picture and work it out.
Due to the Christchurch earthquakes in the few days before Christmas there were flight delays meaning our airport pick-ups were disrupted and the 3.45 arrival became 5.30pm. This impacted on people actually being at the club for dinner so about mid-day we made the decision to cancel the club and relocate to our place for take-aways, with nibbles until Rob returned from the airport. Not really too much to do other than re-arrange the food court (our outdoor dining area), Rob made the NZ onion dip, Make some more Lemon meringue pies, open a pack of Christmas mince pies (didnt make my own this year), check that we have enough chilled wine.
Had a lovely evening with family just relaxing and chilling out. Way too much food as the staff of Fancy Fish were extra generous with the quantities of seafood in the packs we got.
Cousin Sarah had to work a double shift so we decided to have Croissants for breakfast with Ham, Tomato & Cheese for Rob – Dianne and I would have Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese in ours. Sadly we forgot about the Salmon (that’s what happens when you don’t have lists) and we all had ham croissants which were really yummy. No I didn’t make the croissants, but I did put the fillings in them and heat them in the oven. Wasn’t worth opening a bottle of Bubbly just for me so I had a glass of Diannes Sparkling grape Juice – with a nip of Gin!. Later in the morning I decided to make an egg nog- just used Nanas egg flip recipe with a generous measure of Brandy. Remembered to get all the bits out of the freezer for Boxing day.
Watched a bit of Billy T James then got organised to go out to Alishas – More Lemon Meringe Pies and Woolies Christmas Mince Pies. Didnt need my bottles of bubbly as Alisha had made a slushy bucket of Pina Colada – we had a lovely afternoon with Alisha, Chris, the grandies, Chris’s parents, my parents, Dianne, Rob and myself. We nibbled on a Woolies entertainers platter and Rhonddas White Christmas with jelly beans in it. Got home and made the Chicken Kebabs and set them to marinate in herbs and garlic for Boxing Day before popping around to cousin Sarahs for a Christmas visit and a drink with the Christchurch refugees. I remember now why I stopped drinking Rum & Coke.
Lots to do – Blanch the prawns, tray up the party pies and quiches, set the table, Rob made some more kiwi onion dip, blow up the paddling pool…. done. Sit back for five minutes while Rob went to pick up the Christchurch rellies, Mum & Dad arrived, Bower family appeared and it was party time. Grandies had their first swim in Nan & Pops pool …
Lou called to say that they had taken a wrong exit but were nearly here…..so started on cooking the hots – thanks to Dianne for doing the BBQ – and we dined on antipasto platters, quiches, prawns, meatballs, cherios, quail breasts, chicken skewers, party pies and sausage rolls. Easy food.
Louise had offerred to bring a few treats from her new cookbook for desert. She spent three weeks deciding what to make and was up at 4am to make 5 (five) absolutely awesome dessert treats.
There was also a plate of moorish Almond Shortbread. As you can see we made large inroads into these treats and look forward to Christmas Dinner at Steve and Lous new house in 2012. People departed about 5pm and we spent the evening nibbling on leftover cakes and slices of watermelon after we had sorted out all the leftover food.
- Did I have lots of lists – No (still had one or two)
- Did we have all the traditional foods – No
- Did I spend days in the kitchen – No
- Did we over cater – Yes (of course we did)
- Did we have a less stress Christmas – Yes we did and it was lovely
Thanks to all who helped, contributed, attended, wined, dined, laughed and participated.
Special thanks to Woolies for making it all too easy.