Here are the tips you need to know to help you plan an easy Christmas lunch menu. Yes, it can be easy to make Christmas lunch with a traditional Christmas menu!
A good Christmas menu can help overcome a multitude of sins and maybe even make sitting next to those relatives that you really don’t like, bearable. Feed them well and everything will get off to a good start.
Here are the Christmas meal traditions that are easy to get right.
Make your own Christmas pudding
Christmas pudding is a great tradition and such an easy way to serve a crowd. Add your favourite custard, ice cream and or brandy sauce and enjoy. It can be made well ahead and stored in your fridge to be simply reheated on the day.
There is nothing hard about making a Christmas pudding using this recipe. My friend Mandy makes 20 each year to give as gifts to her friends. She has perfected this recipe and says cooking the pudding in a slow heat cooker is the best way to go.
Try making this Easy Christmas Pudding
Did someone say ham?
Some people look forward to the traditional Christmas menu for the whole year! It’s the first thing I start thinking about for Christmas because you really want to order it early from a great butcher who makes their own or sources quality hams. You can pick it up close to Christmas Day or a plastic-wrapped ham will store really well in your fridge.
Nothing says Christmas more to me than the aroma of a big leg of ham slowly roasting in the oven and the prospect of eating it for lunch. Every year we work through the remaining ham over a week or so of sandwiches, ham and egg breakfasts, and finally ham and egg quiche. I always save the ham bone, intending to make pea and ham soup, and throw it out around July when I clean the freezer.
Here are the best insider tips for a perfect Christmas ham.
Don’t burn the bird!
Cooking the turkey has to be one of the most stressful experiences but it can be part of an easy Christmas lunch. There are high expectations from plenty of family members, who usually don’t hold back when it comes to comments and boiling hot Christmas weather combined with a tricky job that only gets practised once a year.
Many people like to buy a fresh turkey and that’s great, but I like to save my money and use a frozen turkey that I brine. They are so much cheaper and using my brining method, your turkey will be full flavoured, moist and succulent.
Here are my 10 best tips.
For an easy Christmas lunch avoid dodgy seafood
You don’t want to have soft prawns, flavourless crabs and less than fresh fish on the table for Christmas lunch. When it comes to picking the best, here is how to buy fresh seafood and fish markets near you. These tips are from people who know all about buying seafood and include where you can buy direct from the trawler.
If you can’t buy direct, purchase from a reputable fishmonger. Order ahead so you are guaranteed to get what you want and just pick it up on Christmas Day morning. This is a good job for someone who won’t be involved in other preparations for the day.
The perfect pork roast
A pork roast is another great alternative for your Christmas feast. In my house everyone fights over the crackling and I’ve included my secret tips on how to make the best crackling in this recipe.
Christmas breakfast or dessert?
If you are having a big Christmas lunch it is a good plan to go light on breakfast, but you can still make it special with a Watermelon Cake! Full of fruity goodness, this is the cake you have when you are not having cake. It works especially well when you are expecting Christmas Day to be hot and sticky.
Easy Christmas lunch dessert
Most people love trifles and it is such an easy dessert to make for Christmas lunch if you won’t want plum pudding. You could even combine the two! I particularly love this trifle because it has a touch of rum in it and chocolate. What could be better? However, you can change these flavours to suit yourself.
Do make it a couple of days ahead to let the flavours mix. Any leftovers keep well in the fridge and are great for Boxing Day.
Here is my Easy Chocolate Cherry Trifle recipe.
Christmas dessert with style
If you want to really wow them at Christmas, a Bombe Alaska is the way to go. Imagine the faces when you flambe it!
This is an easy recipe that really delivers – Easy classic Bombe Alaska
Remember the rum balls
That second of anticipation, as my hand guides the first rum ball of the season into my mouth, is always a special moment. I’ve been making rum balls to my grandmother’s recipe for many years. They are named after my father who always liked a drop of rum and anything sweet, so what better than something that combined them both! You can make rum balls well ahead too, which reduces your workload close to Christmas. They store excellently in the fridge as long as no one finds them. Try the vegetable crisper! 🙂
Gingerbread house 101
The combo of sweets, a bit of creativity and some quality time with someone else to make and decorate a gingerbread house is hard to beat, and best of all, you get to eat it at the end! You can make the gingerbread pieces, or buy a kit house. No judgement here! Here’s how to make your own gingerbread house.
This is a great post-Christmas lunch treat. Perfect for when you have finished all the ham, turkey and seafood and it is time to kick back with some silly Christmas movies. My favourite is Love Actually, of course. Particularly that scene where Hugh Grant does a dance on the Downing Street stairs.
Cut the Christmas cake without a crumble
Cutting the Christmas cake so it doesn’t crumble is an art that needs to be practised but unfortunately, it is a once a year job.
- Cut with a sawing action using a serrated blade. I find a bread knife works well.
- Don’t push the knife down.
- Make sure you cut all the way to the bottom.
- Wipe the knife with a clean, damp cloth in between slices.
- Check there is no decorative pipping or other holding things holding the cake to the board.
- Slide the knife under the slice and lift it away.
I hope these tips help you have a wonderfully festive food time over Christmas.
Does all this sound like too much hard work? Check out the options for Christmas Day dining in Brisbane.
Disclaimer: No responsibility taken for your excess Christmas calories/kilojoules. Enjoy!