As gatherings were not possible last year, we approach Christmas 2021 with barely concealed glee. To be honest, most people are so intoxicated with the idea of freedom that they would be happy to eat M&S vegetables and dips. But we can do better than that.
Parties are hard to prepare – you need to plan food carefully, taking into account the space you have for the fridge and oven. Come up with a buffet of pretty easy things you can make ahead – embers, lasagna – and you feel like you were in the 1970s. Make enough canapes – how many? – and you’ll frantically stick dill sprigs on mini blinis when your first guests ring the doorbell.
Plan on a spread of vegetable salads – the colors, the feeling of abundance (and you don’t have anything to reheat) – and you’ll quickly find that disposing and dressing 10 of them at the last minute isn’t the thing. best idea (I did).
Instead, here’s a mix of small bites and food that you need plates for. Sofas don’t require too much work. Even if you want to make appetizers that are sure to make a fashion night out, you have to be realistic. Small bites of frou-frou look great, but you don’t want to add toppings with a pinch of salt.
You obviously need drinks (I gave a few cocktails) and a place to chill them – a plastic box full of ice cream that you keep outside is the best option. Pudding? Hell no, there is enough to do. The purchased Middle Eastern pastries – baklava and kadaif and the like – offer a bite-sized sugar rush and always look glamorous. Chin-chin.
All decorations and tableware from The Conran store.
These easy sausage rolls are filled with ‘Nduja – a spicy, spreadable pork sausage from southern Italy – sausage meat and a festive nutmeg grater. You can use store-bought puff pastry for this.