If you’re going to feed 18 people at the same time, you’ll definitely need some sort of game plan. As celebrity food guru Alton Brown says, “organisation will set you free.”
Here’s a peek at what mine looks like:
I’ve had the same basic plan for the last three or four Christmases already, except I do switch out some dishes and/or adjust portion sizes. For this year, I have a total of 16 dishes to put together, including the requisite turkey and ham which I cook from raw.
It does sound like a mammoth task, but it’s totally doable if you plan well in advance. In my big planning document, I list out each dish I’m going to make, the ingredients that go into them, and a few notes on how to make the dish. I also have a huge shopping list of all the things I need to get, and a blank page to take notes (for next year’s Christmas).
I also have a separate document which lays out my schedule on Christmas Day itself. Because my oven can only fit one dish at a time, timing is key. As soon as the turkey comes out of the oven, the ham has to go in, so on and so forth.
Food preparations begin at least two days in advance. I try my best to make as much as possible beforehand, like the desserts and cold side dishes, so I’m not too overwhelmed come Christmas Day.
It is a lot of work, but at the end of it, I know my house will be filled with merry guests reveling in the festivities. I’m also excited about some of the recipes I’m trying out this year, some of which I hope to post here on Basic Bakes. (Only if they turn out well, of course.)
It’s T-minus 5 days, so wish me luck!