Food and catering for the biggest festive event for the year (where we celebrate the birth of our saviour Jesus), can be one of the most daunting, time consuming and extremely stressful things to make happen! I have myself have never had the task of catering for 12-20+ people for Christmas lunch, but baking 100 cupcakes for an event and cooking a delicious 3 course meal for 6 people is a feat in itself, but my mother is a domestic queen. She would cater for copious amounts of people with ridiculous amounts of left overs for the next few days and you would never see a drop of sweat on her face or see her lose the plot completely (I can't say that for myself unfortunately).
I have definitely learned a lesson or two from my mum in the past so her are some keys to having a somewhat stress-free cooking time!
1. The first key to having a successful meal without the stress is planning! You need to know what you're making, how much time you will need to make the items (always give yourself extra time even if it's something you make all the time), how many people you are catering for and have the ingredients purchased before the day of cooking, and if you're planning to make something you've never made before, make sure you have given it a go at least once before preparing it for your guests! Plus there is no right or wrong meal, there are obviously the traditional food items, but feel free to be creative with your Christmas menu.
2. The second key to having a stress-free cooking session is accepting help. If anyone is actually offering to make a dish or help you on the day always accept as four hands are better than two and two heads are better than one! On the flipside, if the task is daunting don't be afraid to ask someone for help - even if it's just to help with the grocery shopping!
3. The third key to cooking success is eliminating distractions and create your element! This means if you need to have the house to yourself in order to cook at ease, then make it happen! Or maybe its calming music that helps or having a movie on in the background - whatever it is you need to do to be in your element, do it.
4. The fourth key is to expect a disaster or two! This means have a back up plan, look you may not have a food failure, but it is likely that one or two things may go wrong - but that's all a part of the fun. Be open to letting things go, if the macarons failed it's okay, just make something else or buy a packet of tim tams, dust them with edible gold glitter and serve them instead!
5. The fifth and final key is to enjoy the day! There is no point stressing over the meal on the day, just enjoy the fruits of your labour!
Now for some inspiration - my favourite part!