Christmas is nearly here! You’re probably planning your shopping list, inviting guests, and digging out the decorations – but have you thought about your kitchen? Cooking a roast with all the trimmings for a table full of guests is quite a challenge, but with a little bit of forward planning you can create the perfect workspace.
Whether you’re a seasoned cook or tackling your very first Christmas dinner, our kitchen tips will make sure things run as smoothly as Santa’s sleigh.
Make space – lots of space
It’s not every day you cook for six or eight of your nearest and dearest, and you might be surprised how much space it demands.
In the run-up to the big day, try to get your work surfaces as uncluttered as possible. This is a great opportunity to have a clearout, but if you don’t fancy throwing things out, you can just tuck them away in cupboards for now.
Imagine the way you want the different stages to flow through the kitchen, and try to plan different workstations for each: a space for chopping, another for resting the meat and carving, and yet another for plating everything up.
And don’t forget your appliances. Make sure you have enough space to store ingredients and leftovers safely, and most importantly of all: check your turkey will fit in the oven!
Have the right equipment
There’s nothing more frustrating than having your carefully-planned meal spoilt by the wrong equipment. First and foremost you’ll need a deep roasting tin that's large enough to comfortably sit your turkey in, and a couple of roasting trays to spread your roast potatoes out on for maximum crispiness.
Many people worry about cooking a turkey and knowing when it is ready – a slight misjudgement can result in dry, overcooked meat. A digital meat thermometer will take the stress away, telling you exactly when your roast is perfectly done.
It’s a shame to go to all that effort only to carve up chunks of turkey with a vegetable knife. Get professional-looking slices by investing in a spiked carving dish and a good-quality carving knife and fork (like you see in the movies). The spikes and the fork will hold the roast securely in place, allowing you to safely cut nice, thin slices – perfect for soaking up gravy, or layering with piccalilli, or serving with cranberry sauce in sandwiches.
Create a mood
You’re going to be spending a fair amount of your day in the kitchen, so you might as well enjoy it! Creating the right mood will help you keep your cool when you’re trying to turn the potatoes, carve the turkey and make gravy from scratch all at once.
You could go for a festive kitchen, with cheesy Christmas hits to sing along to whilst wearing your very own Santa hat. Add to the spirit with cute Christmas crockery, or some cheerful red and green kitchen wear – and make sure you have plenty of space for a bit of dancing while you’re keeping a watchful eye on the potatoes.
If your Christmases tend to be a bit hectic, you might prefer to create an oasis of calm in your kitchen. Choose your favourite relaxing music, make sure everything is prepped and planned the night before, and serve everything up with classic simplicity. A retro stool to perch on with a glass of wine will offer a much-needed moment of me-time.
Dream up your ideal kitchen
The new year offers a new start, perfect for making big changes in your home. Why not dream up your new kitchen now and have it ready for the spring and summer? Order a brochure for inspiration, or find a stockist near you to see the quality for yourself.