Every year lots of people in my neighborhood talk about how fun, but also very stressful Christmas actually is.
Since I was 18 years old, I was working in restaurant kitchens during the Holidays to create an unforgettable evening. For those people who prefer to not cook for themselves during Christmas, this is the first season they can hire me to cook for them in their own homes. But also through this website I try to teach people how to take away as much stress as possible and that cooking supposed to be relaxing. Being together and enjoying each others cooking, what’s better than that?
But how do you do this, having a relaxing and stress free Christmas?
Tip 1: Don’t make it yourself too hard. If you’re trying something new, it’s best to try this on forehand. Maybe not as a full meal, but make yourself familiar with the products and techniques. For example, if you have never poached an egg before, don’t try this for the first time while your guest have already arrived.
Tip 2: Start thinking of some keywords first for your menu. Maybe you already thought about if you’re planning on serving game or fish as a main course. Fill the rest of the menu with some garnishes, seasonings, ingredients or techniques you like to try and your menu will be ready before you know it!
We used to learn there’s a fixed order to build a menu. Nowadays, it’s less strict but mainly there still is a standard for the several courses;
Tip 3: Check if you have all the cookware you need and put it on your countertop on forehand. Also create an organized shopping list and if necessary, check the availability of the different ingredients in advance. This way you won’t be looking for that one ingredient that’s not even available in December. If possible, you can also place an order with several shops, supermarkets and/or butchers. Start collecting everything on time, so you have lots of time left for the relaxed cooking.
Tip 4: Place all the ingredients per dish on your kitchen counter, so you will see exactly if you have everything you need and you won’t miss anything essential during cooking.
Tip 5: If it’s possible, it’s recommended to set the table in advance. This way you don’t have to worry about that, and you can set your mind to cooking!
Tip 6: Do not rush, take enough time for everything and don’t forget you need some extra time to dress up before the guests arrive.
Tip 7: In the professional kitchen there’s a standard saying: Mise en place is your best friend. This basically means the preparation is your best friend. Prepare as much as possible, so all you have to do is enjoy the dinner with your guests and meanwhile heat it all up and serve. If you’re relaxed, your guests will be too!