Cooking for a group of people or for your family can be a daunting task, but as you’ve probably heard, it doesn’t have to be. If you tackle the culinary task with confidence, you can’t lose. The most feared meal to cook is Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner purely because the margin for error is massive. “What if the turkey doesn’t cook in time with the vegetables”, “will my roast potatoes work without Goose fat?”, “what if no one likes my honey roasted parsnips?” and so on. Then there’s always the possibility that something will burn, char, disintegrate, overcook, undercook or just taste like dirt. How can one cook overcome these issues?
- Preparation. ALWAYS BE PREPARED. That’s the number one rule, always have a backup plan. I’m in the mind-set that if you have a plan B then you know your plan A will fail – you’re setting yourself up for failure. However, a plan B is sometimes needed depending on the circumstances of why plan A might not go to plan. Anyway, plan and prepare until your heart’s content and you’ll win at cooking your meal.
- Get your timings right. Write them down if you have to, but it’s important when cooking a big meal that everything is ready at the end. No one wants hot potatoes and cold meats on their plates.
- Do a dry run. What have you got to lose by cooking said important meal before the meal date to see how you get on? It’s a great idea to run through the meal beforehand as this will flag up any problems you might face on the big day.
- Keep tasting. Keep tasting your cooking throughout the process. The gravy/bisque/jus is important for this, you can’t expect to serve it up and it be perfect without you at least sampling the taste beforehand, you’ll know then if you need more seasonings or whatnot.
- Get feedback. Ask for honest opinions to where you nailed it and where you went wrong.
If you think that cooking a meal is just too much to handle, why not go out for the big day to a local restaurant? Maybe try something different for a change. For example, you could try Johnny Wong’s, one of the most popular Chinese restaurants in Birmingham, they’re located here; 197 Hagley Rd, Birmingham B16 9RD, call; 0121 456 4333. Or look at using a catering company who will be able to deliver the food to your door. One of the finest London catering companies is Maven Foods, they can be contacted here; Maven Foods Ltd, Highway Business Park, Unit 27 Heckford Street, London, E1 9HR on 0208 988 1102.