I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that I may share with you my card making finesse today, but given that it’s Foodie Tuesday I thought I’d talk about my plans for Christmas dinner instead. Lucky you!
FusunA asked in the comments yesterday how I was planning on feeding 13 people, so I though I would tell you all about the stress I had when I realized exactly how many people were descending on me on the 24th. It seemed like a great idea at first, having all the people who would be alone for Christmas dinner over. But then it grew, and I invited couples, families and other waifs and strays. Soon we were close to 20 people. That’s when the panic set in. How was I supposed to fit all of them in our house, let alone cook them all a feast to remember?!
Luckily, not everyone I invited is staying in the sand. Some are going home to the UK and South Africa to be closer to their families and others are visiting friends and fiancés elsewhere in the world. So the number fell off to 13, with only 2 kids. Easy, right? Well it should be, but this is the first time I’ve hosted Christmas and the first time I’ve cooked the whole enchilada by myself. Sure I’ve helped out in the kitchen before, but I’ve always had direction, and the pressure’s never been on me to get it all right.
Sure, I could delegate dishes to folk who are coming, and they’re all more than happy to do that. However, the thought of 11 adults fighting over the small kitchen to re-heat and finish preparing their signature dishes gave me a headache. It turns out I’m a bit of a control freak so we’re on plan B, I do all the cooking and they just throw a cash donation in a pot when they arrive to help with the cost.
Which brings me nicely to the menu. Aside from making sure the turkey is big enough for that many people to have a decent sized portion, how do you make sure there’s enough food to send them home with that overly stuffed feeling that is essential after Christmas lunch, without causing myself to stress to the point of being hospitalized in a white, padded room for the foreseeable future? I did what I always do when I have a dilemma, I Googled.
I spent a day finding simple recipes for appetizers and managed to pull together a simple menu (see below) that I think even I can manage! I can almost taste it all now. And the beauty of it is that everything set up so it’s all is done before the day except for the turkey and veg, so I’m just looking at a large roast dinner, which I have to say is my specialty (well I am British…). With a little bit of planning I’ve gone from stressed first time hostess to well organized control freak who’s really looking forward to feeding a football (soccer) team.
The only hurdle I may face is finding all of the ingredients in Saudi. It’s not that I need anything illegal, its just that with import being so unreliable you can’t guarantee getting something you manage to find one week the following week.
There is a trip to Bahrain on the horizon though, so I should be able to get everything there, including the Christmas pudding and crackers for the table. Ger and I will also be making a trip to the massive pet store whilst we’re the other side of the causeway to get our cats their Christmas gifts. Although, if they carry on pulling the tree down and breaking decorations they might just get a lump of coal each…
The menu looks a little as follows:
Salmon Roll Canapés
French Onion Soup
Roast Turkey and Stuffing with an assortment of roasted, steamed and boiled vegetables, including the obligatory Brussels.
Both served with cream, custard or ice cream.
Tea or Coffee
Served with Mince Pies and an assortment of cookies.