Plan ahead for a very Berry Christmas: Mary gives her top tips on how to make your dinner perfect
Mary Berry said people often bought too much Christmas foodShe said planning should start in the early weeks of December
04:39 GMT, 6 December 2012
Sage advice: Mary Berry offers some money-saving tips for the festive season
It is the belt-straining finale to the Christmas meal, a massive pudding accompanied by oodles of brandy butter.
But families would do better to either buy a smaller one or, preferably, bake their own, says TV cook Mary Berry.
Offering some money-saving tips for the festive season, she said large Christmas puddings were an unnecessary expense.
‘The best thing is to try to make your own pudding, then you don’t have to spend money,’ she said.
‘But if you do buy one, then buy a really small one. Often people buy a big one and do you really eat it all No, it goes in the bin.’
Mrs Berry said that all too often people fell into the trap of buying too much Christmas food. ‘It’s important to know how many you’re catering for and not buy too much,’ she told the Daily Mail.
‘So much food goes to waste. People think, “It’s Christmas, we must go wild, we must have nuts, we must have fancy nibbles”. Choose the things your family enjoy and leave out the rest.’ The Great British Bake Off star, famous for her kind but no-nonsense manner, said planning should start in the early weeks of December, to ensure a stress-free Christmas day.
‘The key is to get down to organising it right now, start this week,’ she said. ‘Get a big sheet of paper and make a list of how many people are coming, what you want to cook, then start shopping to find bargains early. Once all the lists are made, you drop your shoulders and it’s a doddle.’
Know how many: Mary said that all too often people fall into the trap of buying too much Christmas food. She said: 'Choose the things your family enjoy and leave out the rest'
Mrs Berry, who was speaking at the Specsavers National Book Awards in London this week, where her book, Mary Berry’s Complete Cookbook, was nominated for an award, also suggested some recipes for the Christmas season.
‘I always like to make a shepherd’s pie, it’s easy to make, economical and goes a long way,’ she said. ‘I also tend to make a fish pie on Christmas Eve to give a contrast to the Christmas roast the following day’.
The 77-year-old will have a traditional Christmas at home in Buckinghamshire with her husband Paul, 80, and their family.