The doors to the advent calendar have all been opened, the presents are wrapped up under the tree and the log fire has been lit. It can only mean one thing: Christmas morning has arrived and there’s Christmas dinner to look forward to.
According to Morrisons, we collectively spend 178 million hours in Britain preparing our annual family Christmas feasts. The average family spends about a working day preparing this festive feast: over 3.5 hours shopping for food and another 3.7 hours in the kitchen. In this article, we introduce some mobile applications and websites which can help save you time and make preparing the perfect Christmas dinner just that little bit easier.
Grocery Shopping from your smartphone: Supermarket Apps
The first step in preparing the perfect festive feast is getting the right ingredients. Whether it’s Brussels sprouts or turkey you’re after, a trip to the local supermarket is in order. Many of us make a last-minute trip to the supermarket to pick up everything we need but shopping from your mobile phone could save a lot of time and stress, providing you plan ahead and order early.
The UK’s large grocery operators all have their own dedicated smartphone applications. These apps allow you to search all available goods, add to your shopping list whatever you need and to order directly from your smartphone. This means you can get started on your Christmas shopping wherever you are and work on it over time – you don’t need to make a big trip to the supermarket to do it all in one go.
Most of these applications allow you to check out and book a delivery slot straight from your mobile phone. If you prefer, it is also possible to switch to your computer to review your shopping list before checking out.
If you’re buying groceries online or through your mobile phone, you are recommended to order early as delivery slots are bound to be in high demand near Christmas.
On the day: Cooking the food – Video tutorials & Unit conversion
It’s Christmas morning. The food has arrived and presents are being unwrapped… all that’s left to do is to prepare dinner and to cook the turkey, roast the potatoes and make the gravy.
YouTube can be accessed from virtually all smartphone and tablet devices through the built-in YouTube application. Videos can be paused, allowing you to run through the tutorials at your own pace. Furthermore, everyone in the family can get involved in making Christmas dinner even if they’ve never cooked before: all they need is their own smartphone with access to YouTube for the video tutorials.
If you’re browsing the web for recipes, you may find some recipes using imperial measurements (e.g. lb, pints) and others using metric measurements (e.g. grams & litres). The mobile version of Google allows you to easily convert between these measurements e.g. 200g in lb or 50ml in imperial pints.
Finally, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and to lose track of time on Christmas day. To ensure you don’t overcook the turkey, why not set up an alarm on your smartphone? iPhone 4S owners can set an alarm hands-free using Siri voice recognition.
Smartphone recipe apps: Ideas for the leftovers
Inevitably, there’s always going to be leftovers from Christmas day. If you’re bored of turkey sandwiches day-on-day, there are a range of recipe applications for your smartphone or tablet which can help you to use the leftovers in a more creative way.
Epicurious is a free recipe application for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone. The application features a database of over 30,000 recipes from professional chefs. The recipes can be filtered down according to the ingredients within each dish and the seasonality of the dish. This makes it easy to locate the festive recipes within the application. It is also possible to save your favourite recipes and to share them with your friends through social networking sites.
Many celebrity chefs have made their recipes available to iPhone and iPad owners through the Waitrose (Delia Smith & Heston Blumenthal), Jamie Oliver and ‘Great British Chefs’ (Marcus Wareing, Nuno Mendes & Tom Aikens) applications. Waitrose’s application is a free download from the App Store whereas ‘Great British Chefs’ is a paid application costing £2.49. Jamie Oliver’s application is free but users must pay to unlock additional recipes within the application (including Christmas recipes).
Christmas Day is a busy day, and cooking Christmas dinner isn’t a small undertaking. Your smartphone can take the pain out of Christmas dinner: grocery shopping applications allow you to order the turkey and the sprouts without the stress of the supermarket, the YouTube application can help on the day with clear visual instructions on preparing the perfect Christmas dinner and recipe applications will help you to make more from the leftovers.
We wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!