Everyone loves their grandparent’s cooking; their secret recipes, star dishes, and, of course, roast dinners are favourites with all the family.
From “have a tipple when you are making it” to “never be in charge of making it”, Lottie (a later living marketplace) has worked with care home residents across the UK, who have come together to share their advice on what it takes to make a Christmas Dinner just like your Gran.
With an average age of 86 and decades of experience hosting the perfect Christmas Day.
Whether you’re a pro at cooking Christmas dinner or this is your first-year hosting, here are the best-kept secrets to cooking Christmas Dinner like your Gran:
“Have a tipple when you are making it”, shares Agnes, 91-years-old
“Never be in charge of making it”, shares Margaret, 84-years-old
“Always go out for a meal – no dishes!” shares James, 78-years-old and Mary, 82-years-old
“Have a steak and chicken pie instead of turkey’, shares Cathy, 94-years-old
“Make sure you have everything you need”, shares Isabella, 84-years-old
“Everyone should work together to make the dinner special”, shares Doreen, 90-years-old
“Nothing like a good brussel sprout”, shares Yvonne, 84-years-old
“My Christmas dinner was never perfect – but it was perfect enough for me”, shares Jess, 87-years-old
Agnes (91-years-old), a resident at Buchanan House Care Home in Glasgow, knows the pressure of cooking a Christmas dinner for the whole family very well. She recommends always having a “little tipple” when cooking to calm any nerves.
Another resident at Buchanan House, 90-year-old Doreen, believes the key to making a Christmas dinner like your Gran is working together. She shared the joy of Christmas comes alive when “everyone works together to make the dinner special”.
Many of our residents are firm believers that a meal shared with loved ones is the most important thing about Christmas – what makes it extra special is the food.
Cathy (94-years-old), a resident at Bearehill Care Home, loves a “steak and chicken pie over a traditional turkey” on Christmas day and suggests everyone should try it one year!
84-year-old Yvonne much prefers a traditional Christmas dinner and shares that you can’t beat a “good brussel sprout”.
Residents at Westerton Care Home, in Glasgow, James, 78-years-old and Mary, 82-years-old love a relaxing Christmas day. Their ultimate tip for making the perfect Christmas dinner is to “always go out for your meal, as there are no dishes to wash up after”.
Isabella (84-years-old), a resident at St John’s Care Home in Spalding, shares the secret to making Christmas dinner like your Gran is to “have an open door”.
Isabella said, “make sure you have everything you need – good preparation is key.” On Christmas day, she would serve up a feast for up to 25 people; there would be Pork, Turkey, a Goose, and boiled ham.
Jess (87-years-old), a resident at Buchanan House Care Home, also agrees the key to serving up a Christmas dinner like your grandparents is being surrounded by your loved ones. She shares, “my Christmas dinner was never perfect – but it was perfect enough for me”.
“For anyone feeling the pressure to have the “perfect” Christmas this year, our residents have shared the true magic of the day comes from spending time with your loved ones – and even trying a new tradition”, shares Hannah Karim, Senior Care Expert Manager at Lottie.
“There is something so special about hearing the best-kept secrets and advice on making Christmas dinner from our care home residents. Following their advice isn’t just about cooking up a feast in the kitchen but also sharing fond memories, reminiscing, and holding those you love close to you.
This Christmas, why not strike up a conversation with an older adult about their favourite part of Christmas day? You’ll bring them joy at a special time of the year and be surprised by how many new tips and tricks you can learn to add to your Christmas day festivities this year, “ concludes Hannah Karim.