From burnt birds to lumpy gravy Britons have revealed their top 12 Christmas food stresses. But don't worry – we have the answers
Queen of the kitchen Mary Berry has said that planning the Christmas dinner starts on 1 December. *Gulp*. Seriously? A poll conducted by Flora and called The 12 Pains of Christmas found that more than a third of us admit that we don’t even have a crib sheet, let alone follow recipes. We wing it! What rebels we are defying Bezza.
So what stresses us out most at Christmas? Read on:
1. Prep, prep, prep
Coming in as the number one stressor over the festive period, with 48%, is preparation. If we’ve learned anything from MasterChef’s Monica it’s the importance of prep. You wouldn’t want to make her angry now, would you?
2. A man without a plan
A staggering 39% of us think we can wing it on the day. Seriously? Have you not seen Delia’s Christmas Day cooking plan? It’s huge.
3. The dreaded food shop
The words "let’s go shopping" have never been so feared than when they are uttered during December. Prepare for battles over birds, tears over trifles and 32% of the UK having a full-on strop.
4. Lumpy gravy
If you don’t want to take your cooking tips from Bridget Jones’ mother (“just sieve it”) we advise that the best way to avoid the dreaded lumpy gravy (hello 19% of the UK) is by getting ahead. And we just so happen to have a brilliant recipe for that – you can thank us later.
5. The burnt bird
Soggy sprouts? Terrible turkey? An alarming 18% of people end up with a cremated Christmas dinner, apparently. This is meant to be the best meal of the year, people.
6. The frozen turkey
Guys, if you’re going to freeze the bird, make sure you give it enough time to defrost. Get the defrosting low-down here.
7. That timing is everything
OK, cooking the Christmas dinner is like a military operation. Make a list, check it twice, and maybe have a glass (or two) of wine. Check it again. Relax only when everyone is served.
8. The forgotten ingredients
Turns out Mary Berry might be right. If we plan the menu and write things down, how can we possibly go wrong? *crosses fingers*
9. The leftovers dilemma
What? This is one of the best parts of Christmas. Just look at this bubble and squeak recipe.
10. The unexpected guests
OK, just 7% of you find those friends "dropping in for a moment" a blood boiler but just pop a batch of mince pies in the freezer and, voila, you’ll be the hostess with mostess.
11. Those dietary requirements
12. The clear-up
No one wants to clear up the carnage left in the wake of Christmas lunch. Need we really say more? It’s dull.
The moral of the story? Make a list, check it twice. Well, that’s what Santa would do.