• Jo Watkinson

Festive top tip: A new family tradition

I have a festive top tip for you. Happy Christmas Eve. Are you ready? Are you all sorted? Well if not, don't worry. I'm sure you are, but if not, there's still time. I have a top tip for you that's going to help with that.

So we have a family tradition that for years as a kid I thought was just a fun thing that we all did as a family. What I later learned was that my mother was basically hustling us in a genius kind of way. We had a family tradition that we would all gather around on Christmas Eve and everybody would be given a vegetable. So all of your vegetables from Christmas dinner that you're planning on eating tomorrow, get them out now - your potatoes, your carrots, your Brussel sprouts, whatever else you're planning on having.

They would be shared out amongst the family. We would each be given a large plastic bowl that was full of water, a knife or vegetable peeler and a small chopping board. We'd each be given an equal quantity of each vegetable. Then it was a race to prepare them. The potatoes all got peeled and chopped into roasting sized chunks. The carrots, and we always had carrot and swede mash at Christmas, so the carrots and swede we peeled and chopped into chunks. The brussels sprouts would be crisscrossed on the bottom and the outer leaves taken off, all that kind of stuff. We would put them in our bowls of water. So you'd have carrots in one bowl, potatoes in another, Brussel sprouts in a third and so on. Whoever finished first, you're the winner! You won Christmas Eve! Well done. You could even throw in a small prize. Although, my mother didn't. I still don't actually understand how she got us to do this and, thinking about it, the woman is clearly a genius. It gets all of your veggies done really quickly. Less than half an hour and they'll all be done. The whole family gets to join in and your veggies then sit in the bowls of water covered in clingfilm overnight somewhere cool and the next day, they're ready for you to just boil. It's perfect. It's the best thing that you can do with your Christmas Eve. Get the kids involved, get the family involved, get everybody doing it, and you'll have all your Christmas veggies prepped and peeled in no time at all. So that's my festive top tip for you. Get your Christmas veggies done today and turn it into a game, so that everybody competes. Have a lovely Christmas.

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