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Take a more relaxed approach to the food and focus on the company instead

Image by Vladimir Gladkov

It’s hard to enjoy time with your loved ones when at least one person is tied to the kitchen. Food is such a big (and often expensive!) part of Christmas. Cooking for others can easily become stressful and you can end up spending a lot of time in the kitchen alone.


How about doing Christmas dinner fuddle style? Talk to everyone about their favourite Christmas dishes and decide between you who can contribute what. This way, there is less time spent tied to the oven and more time spent enjoying each other’s company.


For me, the highlight of Christmas dinner is the veg. It’s the bit I look forward to and savour the most. There are never enough sweet potatoes! If you’re looking for inspiration here’s one of my all-time favourites.


Mum’s Christmas Cabbage


My Mum has been making this for as long as I can remember. It’s not Christmas dinner without it. She makes it ‘by eye’ but I’ve pinned her down to some more precise instructions.


Ingredients for 4-6 people

  • Half a medium sized red cabbage

  • One medium red onion

  • One clove of garlic

  • Third of a punnet of fresh cranberries

  • One medium cooking apple

  • Third of a mug of water

  • Third of a mug of red or white wine vinegar

  • One teaspoon of golden granulated or demerara sugar


Heat a large, wide-based pan on a medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil and a knob of butter. Sauté the red onion, add the garlic and red cabbage and then the cranberries until they just start to pop. Mix in the cooking apple and keep stirring everything until it just starts to soften. Add the water, wine vinegar and sugar together and pour into the pan. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and cook on 150C for 45-60 minutes. To save time (and precious oven space), make the day before and then reheat in a microwave, on high, for four minutes.

The highs without the hangover ->

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