tasty tricks up your sleeve for feeding the masses this festive season. 

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Delegate duties

If you have the whole family coming over for Christmas or other celebratory meal this season, don’t be afraid to ask them to bring a plate. Create a menu and delegate, not only will this lessen your stress (and avoid blowing your budget), everyone will feel like they’re contributing on the big day. 
Tip: Salads, sweets and snacks are easy items to delegate.

Prep time

In preparing your menu, think about what dishes or items can be made ahead of time, so that you’re not spending the whole day or night in the kitchen, when everyone else is out having fun. 
Tip: I’m a huge advocate for making things from scratch, but if your recipe allows, try cutting a few corners and buy some components premade (no one will care that you bought sponge for your trifle instead of making it yourself). It will save you a lot of time.

Clever catering

Make note of how many people you will be feeding on the day – if you’re feeding six people, you don’t need a massive turkey. Why not opt for a roast chook, or check out your local butcher for other alternatives such as turkey roulades, which are much smaller and still allow you to indulge in turkey at Christmas.

Keep it simple

The festive season is all about spending time together, it doesn’t mean you need to channel your inner Nigella or Jamie to create lavish meals. 
Tip: Pick up some fresh prawns, whip up a salad and ask your guests to bring the wine. For dessert, cut up some fresh berries, add a dollop of double cream and sprinkle with crushed meringues (buy the meringues if you don’t have time to make your own).

Love your leftovers

Festive feeding can sometimes leave you feeling a little flat afterwards, so why not plan ahead and make clever use of your leftovers? But remember to store them correctly, to avoid food poisoning – don’t leave meat out for too long, carve it and place it in airtight containers as soon as possible and pop in the fridge or freezer. 

Tip: A delicious omelette made with leftover roast pork is always a pleaser, and mash your leftover veggies together and pop into a frypan for a yummy bubble and squeak.

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