BBC Good Food Magazine

Stress-free serving

Whether cooking on Christmas Day or just having people over for drinks and snacks, here’s how to keep everyone fed and happy

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 If you’re the cook, make sure to delegate all the other jobs – answering the door, taking coats, serving drinks, setting the table – so you can focus on the food. More hands make less work. Guests or family members often like to help and most recipes involve a bit of prep

that others can handle, too, which gives you a chance to chat while you’re cooking.

 Ask guests to bring a dish. Maybe it’s your mum’s go-to cranberry sauce or a friend’s classic Christmas pud (or a recipe from bbcgoodfoo­d. com). Ask them to make it ahead of time to bring along.

 Try to keep drinking to a minimum while you cook – it will fill you full of festive cheer, but too much on an empty stomach will slow you down and confuse matters.

 Write a checklist. It will help you calmly prepare everything. Try using our time-plan on page 64.

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