This year, our Christmas dinner wasn’t a dinner at all, nor a lunch, not even a brunch. Instead, we had a Christmas grazing table. Cheeses, fruits, savoury finger food and desserts all laid out for people to pick and choose from throughout the day, eating when and what they desired. I admit, this idea was partly driven by selfish motives – I didn’t want to cook on Christmas Day and was looking for an easy way out. Although easy on the day, of course it still involved considerable work in the lead up.
As with any big event, I planned ahead, selecting recipes, purchasing ingredients and working out short cuts. This year, I chose to outsource some tasks by purchasing desserts rather than making them and used commercial frozen pastry sheets. A big part of the planning was the decorations and I chose to go with a simple theme, using plain brown paper overlaid with printed tissue paper and Christmas wrap along the centre of the table. (In an attempt to simplify and create less waste, the tissue and printed wrap were recycled from gifts and purchases.) To this was added an artificial pine garland with large glass pine cones, a bauble garland and twinkle lights, all in my favourite shades of blue. On Christmas Eve, I cooked up a storm and laid out the table, with post-it labelled platters for the foods they would hold. (This is a little trick I learnt from my mother, who often set the dining table the day before a big lunch or the morning before a big dinner. Although my husband laughs at me, it saves a lot of stress on the day of a big event and ensures everything will fit.)
[In case you’d like to try any of the recipes, I’ve included references for thermomix recipes, a link for the salad and have written full recipes for a couple of items I don’t use recipes for.]
Christmas 2018 grazing table menu:
- a selection of cheeses
- summer fruits
- nuts, crackers, chips and bread sticks
- purchased dips
- festive log terrine (recipe from Thermomix Festive Flavours cookbook and made by my daughter)
- quiche lorraine (recipe from Thermomix basic cookbook with a teaspoon of dijon mustard added for extra flavour)
- ham and turkey finger sandwiches (made by my Mum)
- turkey meatballs with cranberry dipping sauce (sauce purchased)
- prawns with citrus dipping sauce (recipe from Thermomix Festive Flavours cookbook)
- Honeyed pecan and beetroot salad (free Tenina Holder recipe available on Drop Recipes. Click recipe name to follow link)
- Purchased chocolates, Christmas cupcakes and tarts plus Christmas cakes and slices made by my Mum and pfeffernusse (recipe from Thermomix Festive Flavours cookbook)
- creamy salmon Christmas tree vol-au-vents and dip
I apologise for breaking the rules of #BLOGMAS on this last #BLOGMAS post for 2018, by posting this one out of order. I really wanted to include photos and couldn’t do so until after Christmas Day. I hope you’ll forgive me.
If you do try any of the recipes, I’d love to hear what you think of them.