This year was going to be my first year of cooking Christmas dinner, but a couple of things have happened which means that instead we are going to my parents for dinner and Damian’s parents for breakfast. It’s going to be a bit of a full on day and I wanted to do something at our house for the children over the Christmas period. They are really excited for Christmas so this year we have invited all the family to ours for a Christmas Eve party.
There’s just under 30 people to cater for so I am busy trying to decide what to do. I usually like to make a few dishes from scratch whenever we host things, but I’m going to be honest and say that with the general business of Christmas I am probably going to rely on a lot of nibbles and pre-made bits and pieces that just need me to pop them in the oven. I asked the children what they wanted and they said lasagnes. This is either a reflection of the fact I ALWAYS make lasagnes for family gatherings, or, more likely, the fact that we had eaten lasagne the evening before I asked them!
So, I will be making one meat and one vegetable lasagne. I don’t like cooking meat dishes (I’m vegetarian) but my lasagne always goes down well plus it’s a nice sharing dish to make. When making the bolognese mix I’ll be sure to drain off the excess fat. Fats and oils poured down the sink cause major problems. In the North West where I live each year there are 28,000 blockages in the sewers caused by things like pouring oils and food waste down the sinks and these are totally avoidable. I’ve got a handy absorb bin that sits on my window sill to drain the fat into.
As well as the lasagnes I’m going to do onion bhajis, spring rolls, chicken wings, pizzas, crisps, meats, cheese and bread – I’m working on the basis of having plenty of things for people to nibble on – and have a few bottles of wine to hand too!
Whilst chatting to the children about our Christmas eve party they reminded me that any good party needs cake and it seems that whilst I’ve been planning my food for Christmas Eve I’ve planned to make plenty of sweet based things! Think mince pies, cinnamon biscuits and a white chocolate bomb… but it’s Christmas right, so it’s OK to eat plenty of cakes and biscuits?
So, at the end of the week the children and I will be getting our bake on to whip up some (hopefully!) tasty treats to help get us all get well and truly into the Christmas spirit.
I also have a couple of ideas up my sleeve to keep the younger family members entertained, but some ideas might include:
- Set up some of these Christmas photo props – great fun!
- How about a reindeer themed Christmas Party Game?
- This Christmas Surprises from Orchard Toys is sure to keep younger party members entertained
- Or how about a dance along to some Christmas songs
What are your staples when catering for a big family gathering and what are your top entertainment tips for a Christmas Eve Party?
This is a collaborative post