I really do love this time of year. Its crept up on me slightly as I now we realise we are just 5 days … let me repeat, FIVE DAYS from Christmas. I still have two more weddings before the end of the year but there will be plenty of time to decompress and spend time with family which I love the most. This Christmas we aren’t hosting lunch so I am at a bit of a loss with not much to do in the kitchen other than glaze a ham and bake gingerbread men, however with the prospect of no Christmas Day leftovers to see us through Boxing Day there is still grocery shopping and planning to be done.
My relationship with food and how we eat has changed immensely since returning from France but in particular I’ve started to clear out what we don’t need and focus on simple meals with seasonal foods. Just the other night I made a delicious panzanella with a stale baguette I didn’t have the heart to throw out and some bursting ripe tomatoes. Paired with a fried egg, it was the perfect light meal on a warm night and it saved me from visiting the supermarket at this time of year which is always welcome.
However when it comes to that last week before Christmas, I become a micromanager with lists for my lists which I find works best for me to keep on track with my cooking and baking. Over the years I’ve developed a couple of simple tools that help me stay sane and get everything I need in terms of shopping and I thought I’d share them with you.
1. Set up a bulk shop to be delivered on Christmas Eve morning
This is incredibly simple I feel a bit silly even writing it down but I jump onto Woolies and do a quick online shop for the essentials we need that I don’t need to pick out by myself. I love the convenience of online grocery shopping but it doesn’t fit in with my approach to how I cook on a regular basis and I prefer to choose fruit and vegetables myself. However I am more than happy to have someone else shop for prepackaged goods such as baking supplies, milk, stocks, herbs and spices, soft drink, snack foods, dips, eggs and even toilet paper for me so I don’t have to battle through the store with a trolley along with everyone else.
Order it for a morning delivery just in case something is missing or incorrect or unavailable so you still have time to go to the shops and get any last minute additions.
2. Create a small Christmas Eve shopping list to do yourself
This shopping list is for those products I want but need to choose myself to get the best. Things like cherries, strawberries, salad and tomatoes along with a couple of sour dough loaves or baguettes that I can slip into a basket. It is easier to move through the shop and with such a small list I spend as little time there as possible.
I hope this is helpful to just one person and helps you enjoy your Christmas lead up stress free!