Daniel Barr from Anglia Factors offers advice on how to rectify some common issues that may have turned the perfect Christmas into a catering disaster
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.’ Absolute rubbish! The designated Turkey Preparation Squad is frantically soaking, rubbing, basting or singing to the pale fleshed bird whilst tripping over a million pairs of family members’ shoes casually strewn around the kitchen searching for the critical utensil that someone has kindly dried up and then stashed somewhere utterly random so you have to improvise with a broken child’s toy and a knitting needle that has appeared out of nowhere!
….and, breathe. It’s all over for another year. Here are a few pointers that might bring back the joy of Christmas catering for good.
A great deal of the culinary anxiety we experience at Christmas can be linked to one thing: space – or rather a lack of it. Space in the fridge once you’ve done ‘the big shop’, space in the oven for that bloomin’ turkey and the vast array of must-have ‘trimmings’, plus space for all the pesky ‘guests’ who will not stay out of the way!
Fear not! You can make your kitchen feel far larger (and more user-friendly) by having appliances that meet your household’s specific needs. Take storage for example, by replacing ordinary drawers with Fisher & Paykel CoolDrawers, you can remove items from the fridge or pantry and keep them cool and dry elsewhere. This comes in especially handy for a range of extra food and drink needed at Christmas.
As the cooking begins, you start to notice more problems: it could be that there’s not enough room on the hob. Four rings are just not enough. The FlexInduction hob by Neff solves this problem by only having two zoned areas; the rest of the hob is an extra-large cooking surface capable of being home to a roasting tin or several smaller pans. The system cleverly recognises the size, shape and position of the pans and only heats those areas.
A lot of people panic about undercooking the turkey. Save on uncertainty by using a good quality meat thermometer and a Neff oven with CircoTherm technology. They require little to no pre-heating and you get great results due to even heat transference and no loss of heat when opening the door. The way they deliver heat is perfect for roast dinners!
By the end of the day, no matter how hard you try to avoid it, there will be an awful lot of washing up. For this you need a huge sink (at least 40 litres) with a separate half-bowl and waste disposal unit to blitz away food waste: think potato peelings and uneaten brussel sprouts.
Finally, cease the endless interruptions by people wanting a cup of tea or coffee. A Hot Tap from Quooker dispenses boiling water instantly. Put all your mugs and tea and coffee-making paraphernalia in a cupboard away from the cooking area. This way, you will be free to sauté, baste and chop to your heart’s content.
At Anglia Factors, our designers talk every new customer through their requirements and reasons for wanting a new kitchen. All our kitchens are tailored to the owner’s needs, making occasions like Christmas a joy.
To get in touch call us on 01473 610192, visit the showroom at Anglia Factors, 34 Gloster Road, Martlesham Heath, Ipswich, IP5 3RD or visit the website at www.angliafactors.co.uk