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AIBU buy ready prepared food this Xmas?!

(146 Posts)
Flaxseed Fri 23-Nov-18 15:11:30

I have hosted Christmas for as long as I can remember. My parents are elderly and my sisters house is tiny.
The family has grown over the years (as they do) and DP has 3 grown up children (student age) who will join us this year.
There’s a definite 11 coming this year, but potentially 13.
I’m tired just thinking about it!
Every year I prepare from scratch and every year I spend all morning peeling, chopping, juggling oven space, etc etc. I’m not a great cook.
This year I decided we would all go out to dinner grin and got very excited! That is, until I realised I left it too late to book sad and it would have been far too expensive anyway.
So I have decided that I will be making it as stress free as possible. Aunt Bessie’s goose fat potatoes, Yorkshire puds, parsnips and some pigs in blankets are already in the freezer. I’ll be getting the rest over the next few weeks.
Starters (undecided) will be ready prepared and not need oven space.
I will be making my own cauliflower cheese wink

Does anyone else do this?


annsixty Fri 23-Nov-18 15:15:45

I don't because I have only been cooking for 2 poeple for some times but I certainly wouldn't feel at all guilty if I were cooking for a crowd.
Make it as easy for yourself as you can.

aggie Fri 23-Nov-18 15:16:45

sounds like a good idea to me

Auntieflo Fri 23-Nov-18 15:18:38

I would if I needed to. We have been invited to DD this year. For years in the past, I used to do as you did, 17 for dinner was not unheard of. So do not in any way feel guilty. I wonder how nay offers of help you will get? So go ahead, order it all in, stash it away in the freezer, make a time plan, and enjoy your family Christmas.

cavewoman Fri 23-Nov-18 15:21:16

I think you are unbelievably marvellous to cook for 11/13 people even if every item is ready prepared.
Make it as easy as you possibly can.

Nannarose Fri 23-Nov-18 15:21:24

I would do whatever makes you feel happy.
I would say though, that if I decided to cut back on the food prep, I know that my family would like to offer to help by bringing some things themselves, rather than just arrive to find pre-prepared.
I assume you've already thought of that?

yggdrasil Fri 23-Nov-18 15:24:34

You are no longer BU. Just sensible. Your guests won't know the difference. :-)

Greyduster Fri 23-Nov-18 15:27:05

If I had thirteen people coming for Christmas dinner, I would do everything I could to cut down on the preparation. My daughter does it right down to the gravy. The only thing she doesn’t buy ready prepped is roast potatoes. I don’t blame her a bit.

sodapop Fri 23-Nov-18 15:42:40

Absolutely the right idea Flaxseed, saves time and stress. I bought the complete meal one year from M&S as I was working and my daughter's American in laws were coming. I hid the wrappings in the bin and took all the credit, my daughter knew but kept quiet.?

Gagagran Fri 23-Nov-18 15:46:37

I am another who votes for ready prepped wherever possible. I have even been known to bend the truth when asked if I have made something which I have not - shsh!blush. I have had decades of making meals and want it a bit easier these days!

I like M&S ready-made celebration food and it is better than I can make myself anyway and always nice.

So do whatever you can to make catering for your large party a bit easier. I am sure they will tuck in and enjoy it whatever.

Willow500 Fri 23-Nov-18 15:59:26

Yes definitely ok to do as much prep beforehand and use ready prepared - who wants to stand all morning in the kitchen!

J52 Fri 23-Nov-18 16:03:30

I’d do it with no hesitation. We see our family on Christmas Day, but DH and I have Christmas dinner on our own. ( for various reasons the other GPs get Christmas dinner)

We have prepared delicacies from Waitrose and M&S, it’s so relaxing.
When we did do the big Christmas dinners, I prepared the veg the day before and put then in water with a slice of brown bread. The bread seems to keep them perfectly.

Flaxseed Fri 23-Nov-18 16:06:16

Any one of my guests would help me which is lovely, but can be annoying having people in the kitchen asking what they can do/where things are.

My mum has offered to cook the meat but from what I remember from years ago - she does rather overcook things! confused

I never have to wash up though smile

Flaxseed Fri 23-Nov-18 16:07:38

I have prepared things on Xmas eve before but this year I am working until 8pm hmm

Flaxseed Fri 23-Nov-18 16:08:39

I never knew about the bread trick!
I’ll remember that for future functions

Jalima1108 Fri 23-Nov-18 16:19:46

I will be making my own cauliflower cheese
M&S cauliflower cheese is just fine (nearly, but not quite, as good as home made! You can decant it into your own dish and sprinkle a bit more grated cheese on top wink

I used to make everything from scratch, including stuffing etc but ready-prepared is so much better these days. Carrot batons etc.
The only thing I don't buy ready-prepared is sprouts (and probably not roast potatoes although I think they are just fine as I've eaten them) because I always end up peeling them again!

Jalima1108 Fri 23-Nov-18 16:20:43

Don't try the bread trick if you have a coeliac coming for dinner though.

kittylester Fri 23-Nov-18 16:20:47

In the old days (ie when I was considerably younger!!) I did everything bar the cooking the night before. All the peeled veg are fine just in water (never tried the bread thing) prepped carrots and sprouts can be stored in plastic bags.

Nowadays it M&S for everything except the roast potatoes. And, I make enough of my bread sauce to feed an army for other people's freezers - apparently mine is 'to die for'! I wish it wasn't!! I make myself some GF bread sauce and the butcher makes GF pigs in blankets for me. M&S turkey gravy is lovely - I just add a slug of alcohol to it.

Alternatively Christmas this year - DH and I are going away.........on our own.

Mapleleaf Fri 23-Nov-18 16:29:45

I think you are being sensible. Enjoy. ?

PECS Fri 23-Nov-18 16:30:53

Go for it! No need to feel guilty or to be a martyr to cooking etc! Do what you like it is Christmas!

Alima Fri 23-Nov-18 16:34:16

Flaxseed you deserve a medal. We have 7 this year and I am bricking it! That’s with DD doing most of the cooking. If I had 13 expected I’d be away with the fairies by now. We are doing it as easy as possible, frozen veg even! If it had just been me cooking we would have gravy granules, as it it DD is doing proper gravy. Good luck with your dinner, it will be fine, as will you after it’s over!

Billybob4491 Fri 23-Nov-18 16:36:00

Flaxseed, you say you are not a very good cook, but your family still seem to return to your home every year for their Christmas dinner! Buy everything ready prepared, reduce the stress. Bought my SIL brussel sprout crisps, he likes a few surprises.

clementine Fri 23-Nov-18 16:58:38

I have nine adults and three children to cater for and will be doing it exactly like you Flaxseed. I have delegated the starters and deserts so it's not too bad. I do soup and sandwiches on Christmas Eve , no cooking that day and get everything as prepared as I can . I cook the ham in the evening and leave it ready to finish off Christmas morning with the glaze. It's the oven space that stresses me out, or rather, lack off.

Brunette10 Fri 23-Nov-18 17:07:45

Kittylester, slug of what in your M and S gravy? I’m intrigued and interested.

Mycatisahacker Fri 23-Nov-18 17:10:14

Good grief op you could be me.

We have hosted Christmas since our first child was born in 1989 when our first child was born.

So this year me and dh are down the local at 12.. we are not having a sit down meal for our family but a buffet from M&S and minimal work. Our grown upkids, grandchildren and my parents will join us at 3.

So finally me and dh will take it easier. And all the kids jumped at the change so wish we had done it earlier smile