There's nothing better than those special days of the year when the whole family gathers for a feast. Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving for example, and with the rise of the nuclear family it's so important to make the effort to meet up and celebrate throughout the year. It's a time for grown up children to bravely bring home new boyfriends and girlfriends to be introduced, and also a time to raise a toast to loved ones who might no longer be with us.
Some people are lucky enough to be able to channel their 'inner chef' for such events and suddenly a 10 course meal for 20 people arrives as if by house elves like in Harry Potter: magically and seamlessly as if no stress whatsoever went into its preparation. Likewise your loved one will suddenly appear to have embodied the spirit of Nigella Lawson and her lavish, effortlessly glamorous soirées, will be remarkably replicated in front of your very eyes.
For the mere mortals amongst us though, the very thought of hosting a private banquet is quite terrifying, any tips to make things as easy as possible are most welcome. Delegation is the obvious first step. Is your daughter always the first one to nag to get the Christmas tree up? Then exploit her passion for decoration by assigning her the task of setting the table. Does your son fancy himself as a young Michel Roux? Get him to commit to cooking one course – all of the starters for example – it gets him involved and takes the pressure off one person having to time, prepare and plate up every course.
Preparing the food itself can be helped with little handy corners being cut. Ordering in pre-prepared vegetables for example saves hours of peeling and chopping. Speaking to your butcher, or even scouring the supermarket, for ready to cook joints of meat makes life far easier, especially self-basting versions – stick them in the oven and forget about them.
Likewise, using disposable caterers cooking equipment means one less thing to wash up, it also means you don't have to buy several expensive large cooking trays just for one meal of the year. It might even make sense to use disposable glasses and cutlery too, especially if the guest turnover is high and you won't have time to wash 100 plates in between one lot of visitors and the next. Visit a specialist supplier such as R&R Packaging to see where you can save yourself stress by choosing disposable options: and less stress means more time to spend with the people you love.