Enjoy - It's From Europe

Christmas dinner made easy

Playing host to hordes of family and friends for Christmas this year? It can feel a little overwhelming but these simple tips will help you relieve some pressure while you prepare your festive dinner. And don’t forget to pour a small glass of organic wine for the chef!

Prepare for success!
Get as much done in advance as you can. It's no fun if you're still chopping sprouts while everyone else is opening presents. Get the veg prepped the day before and if you’re serving Yorkshire puddings, make and freeze those a week ahead. Roasting an organic turkey? Remove the legs and cook them separately, up to three days before. Braise them in red wine with onion, garlic and rosemary and you'll have yourself a tasty gravy stock - try out this recipe. You’ll then have a lovely turkey crown, which will be quicker and easier to roast on the day.

Keep it simple
Do a few things, well. Pick your favourite Christmas dinner dishes and concentrate your energies on making them the stars of the show. You don't need to offer your guests 10 different types of vegetables; they'll be more than happy with two or three. Buy the best ingredients you can and choose organic. It’s subjective of course, but many people say they really can taste the difference!

Rest up
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recommends that you rest your roasted turkey for up to an hour before serving - which gives you valuable time to finish off your roast potatoes and other trimmings. Just set aside and cover in tin foil to keep warm. Hugh says: "You may well have heard it before. And you may have dismissed it as some slightly cheffy bit of fuss. In fact, it is beyond doubt that resting the roast changes the eating quality of the meat, leaving it tender, juicier and therefore more flavoursome."

Making space
If you've ever hosted Christmas, you've probably had a moment where you can't get everything in the oven, no matter how you arrange the various trays and dishes. It’s important to avoid overcrowding the oven because things won't cook as they should. When it comes to roast potatoes, make sure there's plenty of space between them. If you pile them up on top of each other, they'll steam when what you want is for to them fry in the bottom of the roasting tray. Most veg can be kept warm if wrapped in foil, to make way for other dishes.

A little help from your friends
Sharing is caring so why not ask someone else to take care of dessert and on the day itself guests will be happy to help with laying and clearing the table and washing up. It will lighten your load and mean you get to relax a bit after dinner too!

Food for later
When did anyone ever need another meal on Christmas Day? It just doesn't make sense to start laying out a huge spread for later when you've only finished eating your dinner a couple of hours ago. So, step away from the kitchen and relax with the family. If you're worried your guests will get hungry (and that's really unlikely, especially with all the nibbles hanging around) why not get in some delicious organic cheese and serve it up with some chutney and crackers later in the evening.

We hope these six simple tips help your celebrations go as smoothly as possible and that you enjoy feeding your happy with organic this Christmas! For more festive inspiration, browse our recipes which are packed with great ideas for making the most of organic food and drink.

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