May your kitchen be merry and bright
From the first mince pie of the season, the preparing of the Christmas cake to the Christmas dinner and New Year’s Eve party food, at this time of year the kitchen is a hive of activity and the centre of the festivities. Make Christmas special and different to normal family get-togethers and parties, by making your kitchen and festive cuisine stand out from the crowd.
An easy place to start is with festive and fun aprons, tea towels and even hats for guests. These seasonal accessories always go down well. Now getting down to general Christmas wining and dining…
A downside to being a host can be the amount of time you spend in the kitchen as opposed to catching up with your guests. There’s nothing worse than trying to focus on unrolling your swiss roll or thicken the gravy while guests get under your feet and distract you in the kitchen! While this comes with the host territory, there are plenty of things you can do to increase the amount of time you’re able to relax and enjoy the party.
If your hosting any Christmas dinners or festive drinks dos, entice your visitors into the lounge or living room with stylish champagne flutes or cocktail glasses, pretty plates and bowls or nibbles. You could section off an area of your kitchen as the designated bar area. Wine coolers and ice buckets look great and come in very handy for this.
Anything that takes a few jobs off your list in the week leading up to Christmas day is a good thing. And heated trolleys and large fridges and freezers are an absolute Godsend during the festive season. If you have lots of mouths to feed this year, your fridge and freezer will quickly fill up!
Ample freezer space makes cooking and baking ahead feasible which can massively reduce your stress levels on the day. Even the veg for the Christmas dinner can be prepped and chilled or frozen ahead of the 25th. And items like stuffing and a lot of puddings also work well from frozen. Plus, you’ll feel a big sense of achievement when you calmly lay all of your pre-prepared dishes out on your island or buffet table. Cover your kitchen island in canapes, main dishes and puddings and sit back while guests help themselves. Lazy Susans are a nice feature in any buffet or nibbles selection.
Make your festive spread extra special by setting the table with plenty of decoration and extravagant additions. In terms of decoration, fill fruit bowls or vases with Christmas decorations, add some festive lights and you have a simple but effective centrepiece. Of course crackers and serviettes are nice and formal. At Christmas you can also add crackers, candles, ‘Christmassy’ table runners, tablecloths, name places, placemats and if you want to add a fun element why not buy a Christmas hat, glasses or mask for each of your guests?
Is your oven big enough to fit all the necessary food in at once, and do you have seating options for all of your party? When it comes to Christmas dinner, the more oven space the better. Neff, Miele, Siemens and Rangemaster all offer double ovens which are great for cooking a large spread. If not, you’ll need a strategy to cook ahead, reheat and microwave as much as you can.
Of course you’ll need all of the usual utensils and appliances so we’ve missed out the everyday essentials. To find out about the smart features now on offer, you can read our blog post on smart kitchen technology.
To keep your kitchen a stress free zone this Christmas, we’ve put together this list of kitchen must-haves. Make sure everything on the below list is at your disposal come the 25th and minimise pre-serving up panics.