Saturday, 11 December 2010

Christmas Menu on a Budget


My Mum asked me weeks ago what our menu would be for Christmas Day. Unfortunately for Mum I've become very "one thing at a time", and Christmas hadn't yet made it to the top of my list of things to focus on.  Two weeks before Christmas and I'm nearly organised.  My mind has finally turned to the menu.  Of course, for me, this goes hand-in-hand with the delicate task of budget balancing.  After all summer holidays come with their own set of expenses!

I have two delicious meals to organise and prepare.  We're having our own little family lunch at home this year and then my extended family will join us for dinner.  At least half of us will have enjoyed a substantial lunch, so dinner needs to be light but still special and still filling enough for those for whom dinner will be the main meal.

~ Lunch ~
Baked Glazed Ham
Stuffed Chicken Roll
Roasted Potatoes
Honey Carrots
Broccoli & Cauliflower Au Gratin

~ Dinner ~
Stuffed Chicken Roll
Glazed Ham
Garden Salad
Potato Salad

My secret weapon in maintaining our budget will be shopping at Aldi.  All of the meats can be purchased there at very reasonable prices.  I need two hams for this Christmas season (one for each extended family) and Aldi had smaller shoulder hams at very reasonable prices.  I balked at the size and price of the leg hams!  We're not great turkey eaters here, hence the lack of one to grace our table.  This is also a budget helper!  I will be deboning whole chickens and stuffing those myself.  Whilst the deboning process is a little tedious, I love the freedom of choosing my own stuffing ingredients.  The effort is worth it, in my opinion.  I can also do this in advance and freeze the stuffed, chicken roll before cooking.

Our lunch will be sized to suit our family and therefore not overly expensive, except for the addition of the ham.  I will be organising family members to contribute to our dinner meal, thereby spreading the workload and expense amongst us all. 

There is more than a workload-and-money motive behind sharing out the provision of food for such a feast.  There is something special about each family bringing something that is created out of love for those joining together at the table.  I love that each of us makes our salads a little differently and each is able to contribute their 'version' and share the joy they have in their creation.  Each of us makes our dishes the way we like them and it is a blessing to be able to bring that joy to the rest of us.

Have you organised your Christmas menu yet?
If you blog about it, sharing your link!


Left-Handed Housewife said...

Your menus look marvelous! We have the same meal every Christmas, and it's usually just us. Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry jelly, rolls, baby peas, and three kinds of pie. If I changed a smidgen of it, I'd be done for!


Tracy said...

I hope one day we'll find ourselves in the same position! I'm really excited about starting traditions that will become special to us.