Once you have your shopping, decorations and end-of-year shenanigans out of the way, there’s only one thing left to do; the Christmas Day food. And unfortunately, even for the most organised amongst us, a fair bit of this prep can’t be done ahead of time.
Keeping this in mind – I have come up with nine hacks to help you through some of the more common last-minute Christmas kitchen problems
If your glaze is a fail, use coke and brown sugar instead
Preparing and glazing the Christmas table centrepiece can be seriously stress-inducing. But it’s not as hard as it looks, provided the glaze is on point. So what happens if you forget or misplace your glaze or if you burn it before you even get it on the ham? Just use one part brown sugar and two parts coke; mix it up, pour it over ham and pop in the oven. Perfecto!
Turn your dessert fails into individual trifles
If the pavlova crumbles, the cake gets stuck in the pan, or you biscuits aren’t biscuiting; grab some stemless wine glasses and layer what you can salvage with cream, fruit, custard, lemon curd or whatever else you have laying around. Individual Pavlova trifles are a stylish twist on a traditional favourite, and no one needs to know there was ever any other plan!
Is Christmas day going to be a stinker? Freeze champagne ice cubes
Champagne (surprisingly) does freeze, not as hard as water but enough to make sure everyone’s bubbly stays fresh. Add some pomegranate to the tray mix to get an instant Christmas champagne cocktail.
Fake-make homemade cranberry sauce because life is too short
Christmas ham is only at it’s best when paired with good cranberry sauce, but seriously, who’s making it from scratch? Just dice an apple and fry it up in butter with some cinnamon before stirring in a jar good quality cranberry sauce for a perfect faux –made sauce.
Can’t actually cook? Grazing platters are your best friend
If having to bring a plate makes you instantly prickle with cold sweat, grazing platters are the perfect solution. You can do savoury, sweet or a mixture of both. Just stick to the one rule; nothing juicy. Focus on getting lots of different shapes and colours onto the plate for the best results.
Upstyle supermarket cakes with Christmas Tree cake toppers
If you’re still not eager to attempt detailed food prep, you can upstyle a supermarket cake with these easy to make Christmas Tree toppers. Just pipe melted chocolate over a pretzel stick and add some bling.
Melt chocolate easily in a piping bag
While we are talking about melted chocolate, I have the hack of all hacks for you. You can melt chocolate drops in a disposable piping bag. Just pour them in, tie off the end and dunk the whole thing in a bowl of hot water. When the chocolate is melted, dry the bag, snip the end off and get to work! If you run out, you can add some more to the bag and remelt. If you have any leftover, just leave it to go hard in the bag for next time. No mess and no waste!
No rolling pin? Use a wine bottle
Realising last minute that you’re enjoying Christmas in a house that doesn’t have a rolling pin doesn’t need to stress you out, so long as you remembered to pack wine. And I KNOW you remembered the wine.
Make anything look more festive with rosemary, stars and pomegranate
Everything seems Christmassy with a few sprigs of rosemary, a dusting of icing sugar, some pomegranate seeds or a scattering of stars. Stock up on these to ‘up’ the cheer on your food creations.
Merry Christmas, happy cooking and, remember to have fun!