We at Impact know that Christmas is a busy time of year, so as a gift to you, we’re going to advise you how to make the perfect quick and easy Christmas Dinner- student style!

1) The ‘Turkey’:
A perfect Christmas dinner doesn’t have to include a turkey. Cooking a full sized bird can be daunting or just not practical for the average student on a budget and a teeny oven. Why not try the handy supermarket alternative- the ready roast! No weighing, basting or calculations required! Or how about substituting your turkey for chicken? General rule ‘bout meat cooking: roast until the juices run clear, we don’t want anyone getting food poisoning now do we?
Veggie alternatives include the highly rated Nut Roast. For more info on turkey cooking and vegetarian dishes, see www.ivillage.co.uk/food and www.vegsoc.org respectively.

2) Roast potatoes:
Parboil your spuds for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a deep roasting tray with a generous amount of oil (at least ½ cm deep) and heat at roughly 200c/ gas mark 6. When the oil is hot, transfer your spuds to the pan, (to make extra crisp, shake them in the pan before transfer to rough up the edges) and cook for 45 minutes or until golden.
If you aren’t catering for non-meat eaters and you have enough room, you can roast the potatoes with your poultry as this will give them a better flavour. If you have cooked your ‘bird’ before hand, you can use the meat juices to roast the potatoes in.

3) Roasted Veg:
Quick and easy. Some suggestions for roasting include parsnip, red onions, sweet potatoes, squash and carrots, but it should work with anything in the fridge.
Prepare your veg as if for boiling. Place in a large baking tray and drizzle generously with oil. Place in oven with your potatoes for 20 minutes. For extra flavour, sprinkle a herb of your choice (eg. rosemary) over your vegetables before roasting.

4) Stuffing:
Available from all good supermarkets in a handy packaged form. Instructions can be found on the reverse.

5) Gravy:
Add boiling water to granules, stir and serve. Or you could add the meat fat and juices to boiling water (including any left over from boiled veg) add some flour and gravy browning and simmer for 10 minutes.

6) Christmas Punch:
Think sophisticated Karni cocktail and you’re on the right lines. Cider, lemonade, cranberry juice, pineapple juice and a dash of rum and vodka is a good place to start.

Voila! A feast fit for a student. Next week, how to make Tracy Island with nothing but a toilet roll, sticky back plastic and a wad of cash…

Hannah Lewis

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