Roast turkey, sausagemeat and apricot stuffing, chestnut stuffing, sage and onion stuffing balls, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, roast parsnips, mashed swede, Vichy carrots, braised red cabbage, ratatouille, leeks au gratin, cauliflower cheese, Brussels sprouts with bacon and walnuts, peas, gravy, bread sauce, cranberry sauce, apple and orange sauce.
Christmas pudding with brandy butter, custard and clotted cream
I would be willing to wager a good portion of my pension that this approximates what at least some of you young things think you need to provide.
Well I’m here to tell you it’s unnecessary.
One: You. Do. Not. Need. A. Starter. Half of your guests will be too pissed to handle anything delicate, and none of them need their appetites blunting. We don’t want to be eating turkey until Valentine’s Day.
Two: Only serve what people will eat. Thus. Small helpings of turkey (breast meat only), a good handful of roast potatoes, twelve peas, as many pigs in blankets as will fit on the rest of the plate. Some gravy. The only exception to this being if you have guests from the colonies who will eat mashed potatoes.
Three: Nobody. Eats. Christmas. Pudding. Give them vanilla ice cream with a generous dollop of dried fruit you have soaked overnight in rum.
This will push even those who are not quite pissed yet over the edge and with only average luck they will fall asleep at the table, leaving the prosecco and mint chocs for you.