Saturday, October 28, 2006

Advance Planning

Why is it we buy so much more food for a festive meal we would for a normal one? Most of the time we have so much left over we tend to eat the same foods, in different guises, day after day until it is all used up. Or have the bother of making up meals to freeze away when we would rather be sitting with our feet up.
The answer is to buy less food, prepare and freeze ahead as much as you can, and turn the meal into something special - more by the presentation than over-loading the table. Tradition is not what it was when you can buy turkey all the year round, but adding the trimmings makes all the difference.
Allowing that the main meal for Christmas Day is the traditional one, we can still be frugal, but add atmosphere, by scattering around the house bowls of nuts, dishes of (home-made) sweets, bowls of fresh fruit particularly oranges, plates of flapjack. Previously made gingerbread
biscuits hang from the tree, and maybe there is a gingerbread house for the children.
Have carol music playing in the background to welcom guests, and - if the gorgeous smells from the kitchen are not enough - then light a cinnamon and orange scented candle. Dim the lights, pour the drinks and there you go....not that difficult is it?
During the next few weeks I'll be passing on loads of hints and tips and recipes, so that Christmas this year will be festive, economical and also environmentally friendly. Above all,
making it easy on the day, for the one that does the cooking.