It's Cool To Be Hot

Did you manage to keep everything hot while your festive family lunch came together this Christmas? Were you stressed out over whether the sprouts would still be hot when the turkey was finally carved and served?

Not in our household - we have this hostess trolley!


The hostess trolley is cool again. It may seem rather retro these days, but it takes the stress out of every 'special' meal. A favourite with Seventies housewives, John Lewis Stores are reporting a 50% increase in sales of hostess trolleys. We have had ours for 10 years now and it cost about £180 (current prices range from £217), but as we have more than one dinner party a month, it has been a good investment.

Handmade in Hipperholme in West Yorkshire, these classic food-warming trolleys keep food at the optium 82'C, perfect for keeping food warm without drying it out. The trolley can keep it at this temperature for four hours, but the manufacture recommends you don't keep food in it for more than this. We were able to fit our entire Christmas dinner for our family of eight , in our trolley with some room to spare. It included a roast turkey, pigs in blankets, carrots, sprouts, peas, parsnip bake, leeks in cheese sauce, roast potatoes and gravy.


Our Christmas Day food was kept warm for 45 minutes and the vegetables in their glass covered dishes (provided with the hostess trolley) and the meat were still moist. It's a large piece of furniture, measuring roughly 1metre x 500cms, so think about where to store it if you don't want it on show all of the time. We have a space in a walk-in cupboard under the stairs.

There are also plenty of other gadgets on the market to keep pre-cooked food warm. Jill Foster of the Daily Mail recently reviewed some of them, giving our hostess trolley 5 out of 5, with the rest scoring less, including 'a simple piece of foil', which scored 3 out of 5. Her review included the following:

Swan Cordless Warming Tray (below) scored 3 out of 5 - it can take three plates or dishes and once plugged in, it takes eight minutes to heat up. It is ideal for a large takeaway and costs £59.99.


Robert Dyas Food Warmer (below) scored 4 out of 5 - it needs four tea lights beneath the wire mesh. Don't leave food on it for too long as food begins to harbour germs if it cools beneath 58'C, so use no longer than an hour and a half.  It costs £9.99.


http://www.hostesstrolley.co.uk/

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