New Idea - - New Food Ideas -

Be­fore hit­ting the shops, look on­line to see where your favourite in­gre­di­ents are stocked, then make sep­a­rate lists for each store.

If on­line shop­ping isn’t your thing, try the Click and Col­lect op­tion from the su­per­mar­ket. This saves a lot of time and your gro­ceries will be packed and wait­ing for you.

Buy your favourite Christ­mas items now, such as nap­kins, ta­ble dec­o­ra­tions, pa­per plates, wine, soft drinks and so on. Boxes of choco­lates make a lovely last-minute gift for any­one with a sweet tooth or those host­ing a get-to­gether.

When plan­ning your menu for Christ­mas Day, keep to what you are con­fi­dent mak­ing and don’t take on any­thing that’s com­pli­cated or time con­sum­ing. This way you’ll en­joy a stress-free day with your fam­ily and friends.

If cook­ing a turkey or glaz­ing your ham, check to make sure they fit into your oven. Also check to see if you have a serv­ing plat­ter or board large enough to hold them.

Have your knives sharp­ened to make prep­ping food and carv­ing meats eas­ier and safer.

Choose pro­duce that’s in season and you can’t go wrong. Buy sta­ples that keep well ahead of time, such as

car­rots, pota­toes, sweet pota­toes, pump­kin, parsnips, onions and gar­lic, so that only fresh salad in­gre­di­ents and fruits need to be pur­chased a day or so be­fore us­ing.

Keep a good stock of crack­ers, cheeses, nuts, fruit pastes and olives for when un­ex­pected guests drop in, and make sure that you have a steady sup­ply of chilled wine, beer and soft drinks on hand.

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