In first year, as many flats did, my flat attempted to have a Christmas dinner. I had never had any experience cooking a Christmas dinner. My mum, being the saint she is, has always cooked our Christmas dinner! I think that was the case for most of the flat, so no one seemed to have a clue what they were doing. Our flat Christmas dinner was a total disaster but it was also my favourite memory from first year. Here are the mistakes that YOU should avoid!
Mistake 1: The Turkey
Because there was 16 of us, the person who ordered all the Christmas food ordered an absolutely massive frozen Turkey. I mean look for yourself.
So the food shopping only came the day that we were actually going to do the Christmas dinner. Suddenly someone said “Don’t you have to defrost a Turkey before cooking it from frozen?” But we didn’t have time for that. Someone decided that it would be perfectly safe if we just cook it for longer. By this point it was 2pm and we were meant to be eating at 6pm. I’m pretty sure we didn’t eat till 9pm. We all should have gotten very sick from this Turkey.. but somehow we didn’t.
Moral of this mistake: Defrost the Turkey before cooking!
Mistake 2: Underestimating oven space
So as you can see from the picture of the Turkey, it took up one oven. This meant we only had one more oven for roast potatoes, batter puddings and vegetables (of what we remembered to order!). Obviously all of this wouldn’t fit in one oven, so kindly the flat upstairs let us use both their ovens so we could get our Christmas dinner!
Moral of this mistake: Don’t over order!
Mistake 3: Turning the mash potato into soup
So pretty much the one job I had was to make mash potato. Now I have always made mash potato with normal potatoes. But all I had to go with was frozen mash potato (which I didn’t even know existed!)All I can remember is the instructions saying add water. So I added water.. But way too much water. I think I filled the pot to the top. Well anyway the mash potato turned into soup. Now that I look back I realise yes, that was probably my fault, but in my defence I’ve never used frozen mash potato and Never will again!
Moral of this mistake: If you’ve never made something before, just have a little Google to check how to cook it!
Mistake 4: Forgetting the British Christmas dinner essentials!
Firstly, we forgot a lot of the veg that you would have at a Christmas dinner. I’m not much of a fan of veg, but the one veg I love is parsnips and we didn’t have any! I think the only vegetables we had in the end were carrots and broccoli.
We were also missing my absolute favourite thing about a Christmas dinner.. Pigs in Blankets! I mean who doesn’t love sausage wrapped in bacon. It’s a really shame we didn’t organise and plan the dinner better so that we had all the Christmas dinner essentials.
Moral of this mistake: Write a shopping list before you buy your food!
Mistake 5: Not enjoying it more!
At the time the Christmas dinner felt very stressful. We didn’t know if the Turkey would even be cooked. We had forgotten half of the Christmas dinner. We had to keep running upstairs to check on our roast potatoes. But once we all finally sat down we had a ball!
It was the first and only time that all 16 of us in the flat sat down together and it ended up being worth all the hassle! We made the effort to put on our best Christmas jumpers, we sang along to cheesy Christmas tunes and we did a secret Santa. The best surprise of the whole Christmas dinner was that one of the flat mates that I had never spoken to had me for secret Santa. He came out with this cone shaped present. I had no idea what it could be. It was this Ferrero Roche Christmas tree cone. I loved it. This experience really did bring our flat together and at least we can say we had one memory as a whole flat!
If you decide to do a flat Christmas dinner remember, Turkeys need defrosting, make sure you order all the food you want for your Christmas dinner and make sure you really go to town. Play Christmas songs, wear Christmas Jumpers and remember to have fun!