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Christmas Dinner starter / dessert help!

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JB | 02:50 Fri 07th Dec 2007 | Food & Drink
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So, the plan was for me and (beloved - grrr!) husband to have our Christmas dinner together, after visiting mums, dads, family etc. No problem - throw the turkey in, leisurely prepare the veg etc. etc....
I somehow have now agreed to cook for everyone (nine in total) and whilst I am happy doing the main meal, I want easy starter/dessert ideas so that I'm not just stuck in the kitchen all day! Any suggestions? Pleeeasse?

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my contribution to the family dinner every year is to make a pate.

i try to use a different meat each year duck . venison . beef . lamb . whatever and of course-chicken livers and garlic. then a different 'secret ingredient' each year ... whiskey . sherry . whatever. this year it will be partridge & port

Starters could include vegetable soup made from your meat stock, mini corn on the cobs, prawn cocktail (prawns, sauce on a bed of lettuce) or egg mayonnaise (boiled egg and mayo sauce on a bed of lettuce)
we have tiny savoury scones spread with cream cheese with a little smoked salmon or 'pretend' caviar (buy it in a jar in the supermarket) on top, and have them with some bucks fizz while we're still chatting in the living room. i put all the scones on a pretty christmas plate and give everyone a paper christmas napkin. saves washing up and means you can chat with everyone else too, while keeping half an eye on the main course. the scone recipe is from delia smith.
we are having goats cheese tarts to start. buying prepared little tart case and m & s caremelised onions. Put a little goats cheese and the onions in the tart and warm in the oven for a while - not actually cooking so does not need to be in for long. we are also having roasted red pepper soup which will be made the day before. for dessert always have my mums trifle - again made in advance. Oh I am hungry just thinking about it.
Question Author
Thanks for the ideas - much appreciated! Think I'm leaning towards pate or salad for starters......still not sure about dessert - can't decide!!
If you can find a nice large ripe pineapple, how about just cutting it into slices and arranging nicely on a large platter, intersperced with some small clusters of green and black grapes? Alternatively, some nice melon slices if everybody is happy to skip the Christmas pudding. Reckon by that stage of the proceedings everybody will be quite full, so some fresh fruit, nicely served might be a welcome change.
Hi JB - Soup for starters is great. You can make any flavour you want and it is so easy to make. Plus you can make it the day before and then it only needs heated up which saves you valuable time on the big day.
I posted a reply recently on a different thread about a really easy and tasty pud - it is like a messy pavlova. I didn't know it at the time but apparently it is called Eton Mess. You will need strawberries, sugar, meringue, and cream. This is how I make it.
Half or quarter fresh strawberries and sprinkle them with a little sugar. Set them aside for an hour. Whip some cream and crumble some ready made meringues. Gently blend the strawberries, cream and meringue together and store in the fridge until needed. I would make it as close to serving time as possible because the meringue loses its crunchyness otherwise.


Good luck whatever you choose!
Why feel you have to make christmas lunch a 3 course meal. There is usually so much of the actual lunch and the desert.
Question Author
Totally agree grasscarp! However, it's what will be expected and I don't want to disappoint anyone.
Thanks for all the replies!

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