Christmas Food - How Much?

It's almost time to think about ordering your food for the festive celebration. Whether you order online or join the queues at your local supermarket, it's well worth planning how much to buy, to avoid significant leftovers, which either end up in the bin or are still being eaten in 2019! Whether your hosting a get-to-together or it's just a family occasion, work out the quantities of food you will need before you go shopping. Buy the right size turkey for the number of guests and figure out the portions of veg by weight. As for the gravy, what quantity will you need?

The first task is to pick the turkey. Is it bronze or white, free-range or organic? Turkey should be bought from a source that you trust - a good supermarket, local butcher who you have used before, a farmer's market or a website mail order company. You should find out where it comes from and how it was reared - the higher the standard of welfare then the better the meat will be. However, this does not necessarily guarantee the flavour. For that you also need to take into account the breed of the bird.

Organic turkeys are often the most expensive, as they are allowed to mature more slowly and their flesh is firm and flavoursome - though they will not be plump as they have had lots of exercise. The Soil Association label so on  the packaging will guarantee that the turkey is organic. In comparison, the free-range bird has access to the open air and is usually cheaper than organic. The RSPCA Assured label can be used by farmers to meet welfare standards. As for the choice of breed of the turkey - it's either Norfolk (below) or White - the former is reared slowly in free-range conditions. 'Farm fresh' means that after slaughter, they are hand-plucked, (rather than mechanically) and hung for 2 weeks for 'gamey' flavour. In comparison the White turkey, has a milder flavour and are the most sought after and mass produced. Their feather shafts look lean and neat and their breasts are broad. Heritage breeds of White turkey can be purchased from small or online suppliers.

Next, what size turkey do I buy? Firstly figure out whether you need a whole turkey and how much it should weigh to make sure all the family and guests ate well fed. As a good guide try this for Turkey Sizes:-

For 2 persons -buy a leg but only if you like dark meat, otherwise buy a turkey breast
For 6 persons - buy a 2.5kg turkey crown
For 6 to 8 persons - buy a 3.5kg small turkey
For 8 to 10 persons - buy a 4.5kg medium turkey
For 12 to 15 persons - buy a 6.5kg large turkey

Gravy - make sure that you make enough gravy for everyone  - as a guide, 100ml of gravy per head allows for second helpings.

Vegetables - it's easier to figure out portions of vegetables by weight, but if your prefer to count them out, then be sure to buy medium sized root veg and potatoes, with all roughly the same size. Have some extra portions for those 'healthy' eaters. As a guide try this:-
Roast Potatoes - 125g per person or 1 large or 2 small potatoes each
Carrots - 12g per person or 1 medium each
Parsnips - 12g per person or 1 medium each
Sprouts - 100g per person or 6 small ones each
Peas - 60g per person
Red Cabbage - 75g per person

Good luck!


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