It is that time of the year again where families come together and celebrate health, wealth and happiness… Well, families do congregate and the do celebrate; but it wouldn’t be the same without a hearty, overfilled plate of food!
This year, I have been very lucky to have two Christmas meals. Firstly, I had one with my university friends and the second I had at home with my family and the best thing was I didn’t cook either! I think that a meal always tastes better if you haven’t had to cook it!
Having a budget does not always mean that you have to go without. I have found, that if there is a group of you wanting the same meal, then, the most cost-effective way of making that meal would be to share the ingredients. I volunteered to buy the potatoes, parsnips and vegetables for the Christmas dinner. Two large bags of parsnips, several white potatoes, a handful of carrots and a head of broccoli amounted to no more than five pounds. This fed six people with plenty left over! I bought unwashed and unpackaged potatoes and carrots as these are slightly cheaper than buying pre-washed and packaged produce. Furthermore, we decided to have mashed potato instead of having the traditional roast potato as this is what everyone preferred, we didn’t have any room to roast the potatoes in the oven and we agreed that mashed potato would be able to feed more people rather than roast potatoes (although I do not know if this is the case, but it worked for us!).
One of my favourite advantages of a roast dinner is that everyone can eat it no matter how fussy an eater you are; there is always something that someone likes therefore there is no need to make multiple meals and everyone can enjoy a relatively similar meal.
Instead of contributing individual ingredients to be cooked, one of my friends made a home-made apple crumble for desert. We simply warmed it up and drenched it in double cream. This apple crumble was one of the best I have ever eaten! To my surprise, cooking apples were not used. She used normal red apples that were lying around and chopped those up without stewing them first. The red apples added a natural sweetness therefore less sugar was needed! Additionally, oats were included in the crumble mix which the crumble even more sticky and stodgy… It was truly scrumptious!
The second roast dinner I had when I returned home from University on Christmas Day! I was very lucky that I didn’t have to pay for any ingredients and the meal was made for me… I helped to carve the turkey but apart from that, I practically watched it cook! Like many of you I’m sure, I filled my plate to spilling point with roast potatoes, parsnips, peas, carrots, broccoli, brussel sprouts, turkey, ham and finally lashings of gravy and cranberry sauce. I had to take a nap mid afternoon to stomach it all!
Finally, another advantage of a roast dinner is the leftovers! In my family, we are usually eating leftovers at least two days after Christmas day but that is the best bit because there are always bits to snack on and must be eaten! Therefore these subsequent days you end up eating smaller portions but all throughout the day! Consequently, you probably end up eating the same amount as you did on Christmas Day but it goes unnoticed as it would be a travesty to throw it away!
If you enjoyed my Christmas post, keep a look out for my upcoming post on roast dinner leftovers which will give you a taste on what I ate!
I hope all of you are enjoying your Christmas!