Cooking Christmas dinner for the flat is a sacred ritual that students up and down the country love to participate in!
It’s a great excuse to spend time with your Lancaster University family over Christmas and a bottle of wine before heading home for the holidays. This is the perfect way to start off the festive period and if you’re smart about it, it won’t break the bank.
Cooking a full Christmas dinner alone can be a stressful experience, so make sure to give all your housemates a different job to do, like peeling, chopping, or washing up! This way you’re not stuck doing everything alone.
Buying your ingredients:
There is no need to buy the most expensive ingredients for your Christmas dinner, you can just nip down to Lidl or Aldi (both in the town centre) and get nearly everything you will need for a low price (especially if it’s split between all the flat!). Getting a whole turkey/chicken etc is probably your cheapest option when feeding a few people, as well as getting pre-made frozen Yorkshire puddings and gravy granules.
Getting your vegetables from shops like Aldi and Lidl is also a good idea as most of the fresh produce in these stores are affordable. To make your life even easier you also can get frozen vegetables (like parsnips etc) as well as frozen roast potatoes.
Now you’ve got all your ingredients it’s time to start the prep.
Prepping your vegetables (peeling and chopping) ahead of time will save you lots of energy and stress. You can boil or roast your vegetables the morning/day before and then reheat them when you’re cooking the rest of the Christmas dinner.
Make sure your meat is not frozen before you start heating it up and be sure to prepare any additional meats, such as pigs in blankets.
Mary Berry the ‘Bake Off’ legend has the perfect recipe for cooking your turkey, which you can find here. If you don’t fancy turkey or you don’t eat meat, the BBC good food website has an amazing selection of different Christmas dinner recipes to suit everyone’s tastes and needs. When your ‘meat’ is almost done, now is the time to pop in your stuffing, Yorkshire puddings and get your gravy ready!
The True Student blog has a fantastic guide for cooking all the extras on your Christmas dinner, such as pigs in blankets, vegetables, and potatoes.
Finally, you can load your plate up and enjoy.
When enjoying your Christmas dinner, don’t forget about all the little extra bits that make things more special….
- Firstly, make sure that you have decorated your Lancaster student accommodation. Having a perfect setting makes a meal so much more enjoyable. You can make your own decorations such as paper snowflakes and Christmas hats, you could also buy some cheap LED fairy lights to pop around the table.
- Secondly, you cannot have Christmas dinner without crackers! These can be as expensive or as affordable as you like, depending on the gifts you want inside.
- Thirdly, ensure that you pour yourself a festive drink so you can sit back, relax and enjoy all your hard work. Why not finish off the day by burning a seasonal candle so your house smells like Christmas whilst settling down to watch a festive movie.
Good luck in cooking your Christmas meal and Merry Christmas from the IPM team.