What’s cooking? Festive food ideas for sharing and enjoying

Posted in: News

Mmmm Christmas dinner, if you’re anything like me you will already be excited for Christmas food. My parents used to start creating their ‘Christmas cupboard’ in November and it would be full of treats that I couldn’t touch until Christmas Eve. The best thing about being at University is that you can make your own Christmas cupboard and eat the food whenever you want! 

Our top 5 Christmas cupboard items:

  1. A box of biscuits! It wouldn’t be Christmas without a giant box of biscuits (we like the double layered ones where you can keep pinching the best ones)
  2. Cream crackers and Cheese! This may just be me but I love a Cheese cracker at Christmas.
  3. An essential for the Christmas cupboard is Nuts, my personal favourite is the Cashew mix! 
  4. After Eights! There is something special about an After Eight, in my house we have the After Eight games; where you put an unwrapped one on your forehead and have to get it to your mouth using no hands. 
  5. Coca cola glass bottles! It isn’t Christmas until you see the Coke advert (and isn’t Christmas until you’ve drunk the whole 6pack and feel very bubbly.)

A lovely thing to do with your housemates is a Christmas dinner. But how do you create a lovely Christmas meal without breaking the bank?

Photo by SJ Baren on Unsplash

Plan carefully.

If you have a six person household (assuming you will all be attending) don’t buy enough for 8 just in case. Work out how much a standard serving will be. 

My serving size would be:

4 roast potatoes (so one big one or 4 little ones chopped)

1 roast parsnips (chopped into ¾ pieces)

1 and a half carrots 

6 brussel sprouts 

1 rash of bacon

5 pigs in blankets 

3 yorkshire puddings 

Handful of cabbage / kale 

2 stuffing balls 

Plus one large Chicken / Beef / Lamb / Turkey / Vegan alternative between the group

Of course you can alter portion sizes according to guests. 

A good Christmas dinner doesn’t need to be difficult and fancy, frozen meats and vegetables can be cheaper and easier to cook, and still taste delicious. Be mindful of sell by dates and use these to your advantage, scope your local supermarket a few weeks before to see when the best deals are. If you shop the night before your meal you may be able to pick up some bargains. 

Choose your meat wisely. 

If you have a group with 4 vegetarians and one meat eater there is no point buying a huge turkey. Meat is expensive, that isn’t an exaggeration. Consider buying from a budget supermarket like Aldi or Lidl rather than Sainsburys or Waitrose, the quality as just as good. Make sure that you know the dietary requirements of your guests as Vegans will require a different menu. 

Some Vegan ideas:

Cranberry and Lentil bake 

Beetroot and Squash Wellingtons 

Cauliflower Fritters

If you are really struggling you could ask the person to bring their favourite main. 

If you are having a dinner with people who you do not live with consider asking everyone to contribute, or set an ‘item from a hat’ rule. This way the cost is shared and the meal is a collaborative effort.

With any meal the most important part is spending quality time together. You don’t have to go all out with mini tuna tacos and pate and shrimp skewers, just good food and company. Even if Christmas isn’t part of your culture, celebrating the holiday with food is a great thing, sharing something you like with friends… it doesn’t get better than that. 

That to me, is the true meaning of Christmas.

Photo by Jordan Arnold on Unsplash

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