While Christmas is traditionally a time to enjoy with family, the pressure of being in close proximity at this time of year can also cause age-old tensions to rear their ugly head.
Revealing her life lessons to BBC Radio Four’s ‘The Food Programme’, the 58-year-old journalist and food writer revealed her tried-and-tested means of preventing such confrontations before they even occur.
In the programme, she tells fellow food writer Diana Henry the key is to invite someone from outside of the family – the more distant the better – to partake in the festivities on Christmas Day.
She explains: “As much we might love the notion of being around the table at Christmas, we all know that the family meal can be a very tense occasion as well.
“I always feel that there are two things that make people kind of lose it very easily: family plus food. And you have them in a very intense conjunction.”
“Invite someone to Christmas dinner that your family don’t know well enough to behave badly in front of – it’s the human shield, that’s who you need!”
As for relieving pressure on Christmas Day, Nigella has more words of wisdom for chefs: and that’s to forget about everything being served hot.
“Roast potatoes need to be there at the last minute, and gravy has to be hot, [but] you can’t get everything out of the oven or the saucepan at the same time, so let it go.”
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