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How to have a good Christmas when loadshedding lets you down

How to have a good Christmas when loadshedding lets you down

We’re all dreaming of a bright Christmas, and there’s no reason why this one shouldn’t be as festive and as fulfilling as ever. Well, unless you count loadshedding, of course.

“Drive to your favourite park, beach or mountain outcrop – unpack and enjoy!”

Never mind Black Friday. Thanks to loadshedding, we’re on the brink of a Black Christmas that no amount of Bob Geldof or Bono interventions will resolve. This means roast Turducken may not be a wise choice for that festive family lunch. But no need to stress, dears – a little careful planning and you’ll enjoy an epicurean delight like you’ve never had on Christmas day. Listen to what I say – I shall say this only once:

Starters: “Smoked salmon and nibbly bits, Darling!”

The perfect amuse-bouche doesn’t need an oven. If you can get over armchair activism and into the closest grocer, whip up a cold platter with a selection of Parma ham, salami, chorizo, melon, artichokes, blue cheese, Brie, Camembert. Add some rosa tomatoes, artichoke hearts and asparagus, with some crunchy salted and pepper water biscuits, and Bob’s your uncle! No electricity required!

Mains: “Keep it cool, love!”

Again, your grocer comes to the rescue. An already-roasted chicken, some slivers of roast beef and a fresh baguette. Add a ready-made salad, some Dijon mustard, slices of cheddar cheese and voila! Or, if you’re of the piscatorial persuasion, a tray of fresh sushi requires absolutely zero heating. True story. And is there anything better than fresh sashimi? No. I thought not. So go for it.

Dessert: “Something sweet, my puddings!”

If you have your heart set on homemade desserts, then look no further than jelly and custard. Swank it up by adding cream and pecan nuts, and turn it into a trifle. Once again, you might be able to source a tray of sweet tartlets from a grocer or home industry shop. Easy-peasy.

The planning, or put it in the fridge:

Just as you would have done with your traditional hot Christmas lunch had Eskom not run itself solidly into the ground, your Eskom-free lunch takes a bit of planning – but not as much you’d think.

Here are five simple steps to help you manage:

1. Check out the suburb where your favourite grocer is located, on the loadshedding schedule:

2. Go to your grocer any time before Christmas day – and this is the important bitwhen there is no load shedding, so you can buy your cold supplies unhindered.

3. Put your fresh supplies in the fridge. If you are experiencing load shedding, don’t open that fridge until the power is back on – that way all the cold will stay in the insulated fridge and your stocks will keep fresh.

4. Make your jelly the day before Christmas day. Put it in the fridge.

5. If you’re opting for sushi, try and buy it as late as possible on the 24th, to ensure freshness. Put it in the fridge!

On the day:

Take a couple of blankets and put them in the car with your family. Put the fresh, cold foods into the boot carefully. Give the jelly to the most responsibly calm person in the car, other than the driver, naturally. Drive to your favourite park, beach or mountain outcrop – unpack and enjoy!

Dave Luis

Change expert, Dave Luis, believes that the big change equals big opportunity.

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