If you love food anywhere near as much as I do then you'll share the sentiment that, when it comes to the culinary calendar, Christmas takes the biscuit. You just can't beat the plethora of platters that comes to greet us on Christmas Day (and the days after cause, ya know, gotta love a leftover or ten).
That being said, as kind as Christmas is on my belly, it's as harsh on the pursestrings so this year I'm utilising the mini Christmas spread. Ideal for festivities with friends this Christmas when, let's face it, we're all broke ass bitches. Click 'read more' to see what's keeping my cravings at bay until the big day!
The key to creating a satisfying, yet affordable, Christmassy buffet is to create a select few dishes that people can pick from. This way everyone can get the flavours of Christmas that they are craving without needing a feast of food. A lot of times with a buffet we overeat, not because we're hungry but because we want to try everything. Opt for fewer dishes but more generous servings as it's not only cheaper but you'll find that people actually feel satisfied quicker as they get to try each dish without overeating.
A succulent meat platter always looks appealing on a party table. Of course, when we think of Christmas we think of turkey so, to save money, I go for sliced turkey and spruced it up with a sprinkling of paprika. I like to pair this with some spicy chorizo which is both delicious and affordable and packed with flavour. In-keeping with a traditional Christmas table, I like to lay out some comfort food in the form of sausages in blankets. Rather than buy the ready-made ones though, I've realised it's a lot more affordable to buy a pack of fresh bacon and then some cocktail sausages from the cooked meats aisle and make themself by wrapping a strip of bacon around each sausage and grilling for ten minutes. You'll get a lot more for the same amount of money that way.
Cheese always goes down well this time of year too and Tesco curently have a great cheeseboard selection on sale for just £3 (- win!) which I put out on a chopping board for nice presentation. With strong flavours like salty meats and cheeses you can then afford to bulk up the table with some carbs - always a people pleaser and really affordable so be generous with these! I like to put out plenty of fresh crusty bread, warm from the oven and served with softened butter on the side.
To balance out all that salty cheese and meat, I add fresh grapes and juicy satsumas because a bit of fruit totally cancels out all that cheese right?? Do you like the fruit cake here? Stunning isn't it! To be honest my friends and I never usually get around to cake, sticking to a chocolate selection box instead, but it's so pretty I just had to put it on the table!
My personal pièce de résistance is a cheese fondue dip with homemade breadsticks you can just see in the back here. Once everyone has seen this the other platters barely get a look in but I want to dedicate a whole separate post to that recipe so keep an eye here for that!
When catering for a group on a budget, BYOB is always a good idea or you can all pitch in £5 each for everything and use the leftover cash to get a couple of bottles. This entire spread cost me under £15 and would feed a group of 4 people comfortably so you can just multiply for the amount you need.
Whether you want to save money or you just fancy a cosy Christmassy night it rather than going out, I hope this post has inspired you to feel like you can afford to entertain more. Time for me to go to beddddddd! Blogmas is way harder than I thought it would be, I'm so sorry I haven't been able to get a post up every day but I hope you can appreciate that I'm posting a lot more than usual! Keeping my fingers crossed I can get to daily posts by next week. Onwards and upwards!
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x Jade Mercedes Fraser x