Where does the time go?
No later than December 10th (though we recommend December 3rd), make
your decisions as to what your Christmas Dinner Menu will be. Select your recipes from
our our guide, from the Recipes Section at Low Carb Luxury,
or from your favorite Low Carb Cookbooks. We've also supplied a Suggested Menu to help!
It's a good idea to save them all to one place — either printed from online, or the book name and page number jotted down.
Go over each recipe and make a list of any ingredients you don't have on hand. Make a note by each that one you know can be
acquired at your local grocery or health food store. The others may need to be ordered online. Low Carb Luxury is full of
information on where to find helpful products and ingredients for low carb cooking. If you can't find something, first check the
merchants in the Low Carb Luxury Shopping Guide. Many items in our recipes and menu will have
a direct link for
purchase as well. You don't want to wait until
the day you begin the dish to discover you don't have "Vital Wheat Gluten", or "Xanthan Gum", or "Almond Flour." Get your
orders in as early as possible.
Make lists and get organized. If you're not hosting, but only bringing a dish or two, you'll still need to go through this process
for the dishes you're donating!
The Weekend Before Christmas:
The secret to a well-orchestrated holiday dinner is to make things ahead, whenever possible, and map
out everything that needs to be done on paper. Santa makes a list and checks it twice. You should, too. Timing is crucial
when there's so much to be done.
Start by moving to the front of the cabinets any holiday serving pieces, plus specialty cooking equipment you'll need
for the big meals ahead. Then you won't be digging at the last minute and risking breakage when you're time-flustered.
Plan your table settings, serving dishes and table centerpieces.
Clean out the refrigerator and freezer not just for Christmas, but for all of your low carb baking and holiday dips and appetizers that
will need to fit in there. Don't forget to wipe down the shelves when they're empty. Stick a fresh box of baking soda in
the fridge to kill odors. And if you've put off changing the burned-out light bulb, do that now.
As you're making phone calls to confirm what Christmas dinner guests are contributing to the meal, ask them to also bring their
recipes for the dish they're preparing. If it's destined to be a holiday favorite, then you'll have the recipe on hand for the next
occasion. That's especially true for your carb-watching friends. This is definitely a time to share recipes!
The Day and Night Before:
Now's the time to bake desserts and side dishes that can be refrigerated. Also
confirm deliveries from any food services and make
sure that all ingredients
necessary for the dishes you've chosen are in the house and available.
Make a timetable for cooking that has to be done on Christmas Day so the dishes
will be ready at dinnertime. Depending on your stuffing decisions, you might also make your
stuffing and refrigerate until you're ready for it tomorrow.
Also, though it almost goes without saying,
if you've purchased a frozen turkey, it will need to be thawed. Thaw on tray in refrigerator, allowing
5 hours per lb. Or thaw in cold water, in wrapper, for 1 hour per pound, remembering to change the water occasionally.
Do not allow your turkey to thaw at room temperature!
You'll also use today for non-cooking tasks like choosing your
outfit, and any last minute cleaning and decorating of the house, final selection of your centerpiece, etc.
Tomorrow's the big day, so get plenty of rest tonight!
The Big Day!
It's here! Merry Christmas!
There's no way around the fact that most of the Christmas meal is best done
that day. This timetable takes into account the need to wash dishes as you go
along, thereby keeping your kitchen neat with plenty of counterspace for working
comfortably. At the end of each task, take a few minutes to wash the bowls and
utensils you have just used and to clean the counter. You'll find the whole
process much more pleasurable and easier to manage if you do.
Mis en Place: This is a French term for preparing all the ingredients for a dish
in advance, such as washing, trimming and chopping vegetables; setting out your
spices and herbs, etc. Do it at the beginning of the day and the rest of the
cooking will be a cinch.
If you're planning to serve mid-late afternoon, be
sure to rise early and get the
bird ready and in the oven. Family and guests will appreciate waking to the amazing
smell of a roasting turkey wafting through the house! Count backward from serving
time the number of hours your size bird (allowing for stuffed/non-stuffed) to cook.
Then allow another 1/2 hour for turkey "resting" time at the end of roasting, and
an extra hour or two for pre-prep depending on your menu. That's the time by which
you'll need to be awake, showered and dressed. Get ready for lots of compliments!