If you’re over 18, the best thing about Christmas is, of course, the excuse to bring family together for at least one day of the year.
Just under that is the food.
Christmas lunches were always huge events in our house, starting on Christmas Eve and stretching through to Boxing Day afternoon. Mum would roast every cut of meat she could lay her hands on – even the ham got glazed.
These days we’re a little less demanding on her time and try to help out a bit. Only we’re also grade-A lazy: totes her fault, we weren’t allowed in the kitchen.
One of the best ways to enjoy a meal around the Christmas table is to have everyone bring something so no-one needs to spend all Christmas morning slaving over a hot stove. That way there’s more time to laugh and tell embarrassing stories.
Now I know I’ve promised the easiest of solutions in this post, but I should confess straight up two of the ideas below involve an oven, but only in so far as you slide something into it and then slide something out again a little while later. There is no, for example, measuring involved or basting. Essentially, they’re as easy as cooking cheese toasties, but without all that effort.
Cost: $27/kg (varies state and size)
Don’t look at me like that, this is gold I’m giving you.
Prawns are the little black dress of Christmas: they go with everything. It’s why we have terms like Reef & Beef or Surf & Turf.
I don’t care what the overall theme of your Christmas meal is, a kilo of prawns will always be welcomed and probably used as a centrepiece.
Woolies has an abundance of fresh 100% Australian Tiger prawns sourced from prawn farms in Far North Queensland and they are looking magnificent.
Note: if you want to doubly impress everyone, buy two kilos.
Two: Honey Mustard Chicken Drumsticks
The key here is to transfer the whole lot to your own dish once it’s cooked so everyone thinks you made this from scratch. In actual fact all you’ve done is slide the tray out of its box, rip off the plastic seal and baked it for 35 minutes. Essentially two minutes of actual work and if you’re careful you won’t even need to wash your hands.
Three: Mexican Salad
Cost: $5.50 each
Why not offer to bring the salad for your Christmas bash? You don’t even have to slice a tomato. I mean, if you can open a bag you can ‘make’ this salad. Doesn’t have to be Mexican either. There are several journeys to choose from, including Thai and Greek. Or go your classic Caesar salad.
The Woolworths Mexican Style Salad Kit contains a blend of lettuce, onion, corn kernel, red cabbage, capsicum with tortilla chips and smokey chipotle dressing – washed and ready to use.
Four: Quiche Lorraine
Real men apparently don’t eat quiche. Good. More for me.
Again, this dish looks impressive, tastes impressive and the plate is emptied impressively quickly, but the most impressive thing about this quiche lorraine is the lack of effort required in getting it from the packet to the table. All it takes is 35 minutes in the oven, and it’s a sure first way to impress others at the party. Rather wonderfully, while it can constitute a meal in and of itself with its Aussie bacon, cheddar cheese and spring onions housed in golden shortcut pastry, it also sits quite nicely next to turkey, ham, seafood, roast pork or whatever everyone else is bringing.
Five: Cheese Platter
Cost: from about $10
You can spend as much or as little as you like, really.
For our different spreads in the video I walked down five aisles – deli, cheese section, fresh fruit & veg, biscuits and baking (for dried fruit & nuts). The Maggie Beer Favourites cheese platter pack was a great starting point at $15 because it gave me a good quality South Australian brie, cheddar, pate and paste. You could stop at that and a packet of water crackers if you like. I prefer to over cater, so I opted to throw in some strawberries, cherries, grapes, dried apricots, almonds, salami and a whole heap of crackers. I also bought some Meredith Farm Marinated Goats Cheese, but that didn’t last long enough to be included in the video. Because, Tracey.
Woolworths also has Brie, Greek Style Feta and Camembert for $3 each and traditional bocconcini for $4. Paired with its water crackers at just 95 cents, that’s a full cheeseboard for under $15.
Bonus Dessert Idea: Iceblocks & Icecreams
Cost: I usually allow $30
This is our go to these days when we’re invited to people’s places for dinner. “We’ll bring dessert,” is our catch cry, and then we show up with several boxes of frozen ‘big finish’ for the evening. Our dessert ‘spread’ typically has an assortment of high end ice-creams, frozen blocks of juice & sugar, as well as gluten free options for our Miss 7.
You’ll be loved by adults and kids alike. And all you did was wander past the freezers in Woolworths.
The trick is to bring a variety of favourites and let everyone have their fill. Want two? Not an issue.
After all, it’s Christmas!
Raising a family on little more than laughs
~ thank you to Woolworths for sponsoring this post – the food was delicious ~