Putting a student spin on the traditional Christmas day feast calls upon those involved to submit to a deluge of tasks, involving everything from experimental bird-stuffing to one-handed roast potato shaking. Despite being left with the feeling that we should have completed a diploma in oven shelf management before even attempting the project, our first Christmas meal was a remarkably civilised conclusion to an eventful term.
In order to help our readers achieve the feeling of satisfaction that comes only from observing six oven trays of roasted vegetables, an Everest of stuffing and a commercial catering sized jug of gravy grace the kitchen table, the Wessex Scene has compiled some handy tips for perfecting the house Christmas roast.
1) Bring lots of figgy pudding
When it comes to students, food is Mr Motivator– though sex is a close second. So while you may plan an intimate Crimbo feast, the whiff of food prepared without the aid of a microwave will have a tendency to bring acquaintances out of the woodwork. If you are to feed the five thousand as a concession to the festive occasion, you must overestimate when buying supplies. People tend to overeat at this time of year and students tend to overeat (given the opportunity) at any time of year. What’s more, leftover roasts make yummy sandwich fillings. Once everyone has paid up, and you’ve stocked up, everything is on track to go seven-swans-a swimmingly.
2) Distribute and delegate the workload
As in any team project, everyone needs to pull his or her weight. Granted, some people may be more at home with their hand up a turkey than others, while some may prefer to take charge of creating the Christmas ambience. Either way, make sure everyone knows their role and sticks to it. It is best to have most people in the kitchen at the preparation stage to create a mini production line of vegetable peeling, chopping and seasoning. Once most things are in the oven and on the hob it is counterproductive to suggest that 8 people stay: you will end up making a meal of the cooking process rather than dinner itself. Take note of individual strengths; leave the turkey to the wannabe pro-chef and the homemade angel decorations and fairy lights to the humanities students.
3) Don’t expect a Christmas miracle
Well, not in the conventional sense. Your roast potatoes may be unevenly crisped due to a faulty fan oven and your pigs may have lost their blankets; your turkey may even be a chicken (good cost-cutting method) but nevertheless, there will be grandeur in the squished seating arrangements, the sunken Yorkshire puddings and the frankly hazardous arrangement of tangled fairy lights. But just like that stable in Bethlehem, these humble surroundings only highlight the simple perfection that is found in enjoying the company of those you love, and what could be closer to Christmas than that?