New Year is just around the corner. And since most people work on December 31st and clearly do not want to deal with making menus, buying groceries and preparing a huge number of dishes, these tasks must be completed in advance. Novate.ru tells what you should think about today so that you will hardly stand at the stove for the holiday.
6 days before the New Year
Choose your dinner format and decorations
So, you and your friends decided that you will celebrate the New Year at your home. It's time to think about what type of celebration would be most appropriate. For a large company, an ideal option would be a buffet table with snacks so that you don't have to arrange a lot of appliances. A celebration with the family can be accompanied by a traditional dinner with a festively decorated table, duck with apples and a magical dessert.
By the way, about the decor of the table. Find great ideas and inspiration on Pinterest. Think about serving, decorations, tablecloths, tablecloths, napkins, and then buy the missing items. You can put on the table a live Christmas tree in a neat pot, candles, a composition of cones.
Make a menu
The menu is the most important part of the New Year's Eve. To avoid incidents during the holiday, ask the guests about their taste preferences in advance. It is possible that a friend's husband is allergic to fish, and a cousin has become a vegetarian. Of course, it will not work to please absolutely everyone, but it is worth looking for a compromise. For example, you can cook several servings of Olivier without sausages or peas if several people from the company do not eat these products.
The next step is a selection of recipes. We are sure that you already have a standard list of dishes that passes with you from one year to the next, but sometimes you really want variety! In addition, on the Internet you can find many quick dishes from simple ingredients, the preparation of which will take a minimum of time. But unfamiliar recipes on the eve of the holiday should be avoided, especially if you do not have time to test them. The dish may not work the first time and then the food will be spoiled (as well as the mood).
Sophisticated canapes and small tartlets look pretty but take a long time to cook. It is better to replace them with a pita roll with crab or any other filling, a large cheese plate. As for the traditional dishes that you serve on the table every year, because "must", then it is worth considering: does anyone eat them? If the Olivier and herring under a fur coat remain intact, it is better to replace them with analogues that will definitely please the guests.
Write a grocery list and go to the store
If you have not yet had time to thoroughly study the catalogs on supermarket sites, find discounts and compare prices - it's time to do it. Determine where it is more profitable to get groceries, decor, dishes and other goods, and then make a separate list for each store. But without fanaticism - going to the other end of the city for napkins with snowflakes is at least irrational.
You can purchase products in advance that have a shelf life of more than a month. These are sauces, canned food, drinks. As for perishable products, for example, vegetables, fruits, milk, you can order them online a couple of days before the holiday so as not to stand in huge queues.
Organize your kitchen space
The kitchen is the room in which everything should be functional and conveniently located. Otherwise, you are forced to make a lot of unnecessary movements and almost double the cooking time. Think about whether it is convenient for you to take out the dishes, whether there are foods that you always need (olive oil, salt, pepper), where there are spices and where there is a trash can. After doing a little analysis, triple the permutation. Competent organization of space in the kitchen will help save time and effort.
Prepare your kitchen utensils
So, the menu has been drawn up, it's time to make sure that the kitchen has all the necessary tools and devices for cooking. Check if the blender is working, if the knives are sharpened, if there is a baking sleeve in stock. Don't ignore the multicooker and microwave. These devices are able to prepare meals on their own, practically without your participation, as well as speed up some preparatory processes, for example, cooking vegetables.
Prepare and freeze some meals
Many housewives are afraid to freeze dishes and preparations, as they are afraid that their taste will deteriorate due to the low temperature. And in vain! Minced meat dishes, cookie dough, stuffing for stuffed poultry, vegetables for a side dish feel great in the freezer. They can be used even after the holiday.
Stock up on ice for drinks in advance - this is an indispensable thing on New Year's Eve, when drinks are the king of the table. To make cocktails, juice, or lemonade more festive, add mint, fruit or berry chunks to the water tins. They will instantly transform the look of your drinks.
Three days before the New Year
Prepare jellied meat and aspic
It's time to devote time to your favorite Russian dishes, in particular aspic and jellied meat. The broth can be cooked early and sent to the refrigerator, then cut the meat and prepare the necessary decoration, and closer to the holiday, collect a snack and set it to freeze. To spend a minimum of time on design, use not small molds, but one large one.
Get busy baking
Desserts are divided into two types: those that need to be eaten fresh, as they say, hot in the heat, and those that take several days to acquire a great taste. The second category includes muffins, some types of cookies. For example, a couple of days before the holiday, you can cook gingerbread men with icing, make a gingerbread house from shortbread dough. Baking, which does not include cream, juicy fruits, is perfectly stored.
Prepare everything you need for serving
A holiday at home is always responsible, because everything should be at the highest level. In order not to hit your face in the dirt, get out and check the plates, glasses, cutlery in advance. Firstly, they must be in perfect condition, and secondly, they must be enough for all guests. Wash and wipe the dishes in advance so you don't have to do this on December 31st. As for textiles, in particular tablecloths and napkins, they are worth ironing.
The day before the new year
Chop the ingredients for the salads
The main work on the menu can begin on December 30th. Boil eggs and necessary vegetables (potatoes, beets, carrots), prepare containers for chopped food and cling film to cover them. Salads should be seasoned with sauce just before serving. The only exceptions are puff salads, which need some time to soak.
Marinate the meat
In addition to salads, sandwiches, small snacks, the main meat dish is always present on the New Year's table. It can be baked duck, chicken, barbecue, a large piece of pork. Regardless of what kind of meat you choose, it must be pre-marinated to make the finished dish juicy, aromatic and appetizing. For the marinade, try not to use aggressive ingredients such as vinegar, wine - tender meat will become tough after prolonged contact with them. It is better to give preference to aromatic spices.
Make a to-do list
December 31 is, of course, a holiday, but it is unlikely that you will be able to relax and rest until midnight. In order not to forget about the little things, make a list of tasks that need to be completed. A detailed action plan will help you to correctly plan your time and be in time for everything, even if force majeure happens.
What to do on December 31
Put meat in the oven, season salads, collect snacks
The first step is to remove the meat or fish from the refrigerator: frozen food takes time to warm up to room temperature. Do not forget that before serving, meat and fish should "rest": this is necessary so that the dish is saturated with juices and cooled down a little.
Set the table
Choose common large plates for all meals. Let the guests themselves put the desired salads and snacks into their dishes. This will stain a minimum of dishes and waste less food. As for the hot and the pies, they can be put on the table in the forms in which they were prepared. Moreover, you gave them time to cool down.
Don't accumulate dirty dishes
Try to wash your plates as you cook and when you have a spare time during the celebration. Agree, starting a new year by washing a mountain of dishes is still a pleasure. And so you will have the opportunity to wake up in the morning and enjoy the view of a perfectly clean kitchen.
And don't forget about the decor of the apartment. You will find interesting ideas in the article When there is no time to decorate the house: 8 express ways to create a New Year mood