The run-up to Christmas is a time for sitting on the sofa surrounded by fairy lights in your fluffiest pyjamas, watching Elf and Love Actually back-to-back on a constant loop, eating mince pies straight out of the box and sipping Baileys – in an ideal world, maybe. But not if you’re Santa (the guy’s work-life balance is all over the place in December) and not if you’re the one hosting Christmas dinner – there is simply too much to do.
Santa does have a huge team of elves to help him out in the weeks leading up to the big day though, and he must have somebody else peeling his potatoes for him. If not, why not? Don’t you think the poor guy has enough to do on Christmas Eve?!
Sadly, we can’t all be guaranteed the same level of help as Santa – actual elves are pretty hard to come by.
At Christmas time, we like to think of our cookware products as being almost like elves though. No, they don’t only come in red and green (black and silver, mainly), they don’t wear shoes with jingle bells on (that’d be weird) and they can’t make any toys for you (just lots of tasty grub instead).
Here’s how a few of our favourite elves (we’re committed to this analogy now) can help you to get ready for Christmas, saving you time and effort that you can invest in watching Love Actually for the 125th time instead:
The mince pie elf: DoubleForce Food Processor
You may have started churning out batches of mince pies as soon as Halloween was over, but if you’re yet to bake some, we can’t recommend making your own mincemeat more – it means you can add whatever alcohol, fruit and zest you like to create a mince pie filling that’s totally unique (well, we can’t guarantee that no one else has thought of adding lime zest too, but you can pretend).
The Kitchen Shed has a homemade mincemeat recipe that you can use as a guide and adapt to suit your own tastes and if you put the ingredients through the mince pie elf (ok, we’ll give it it’s proper name – the Tefal DoubleForce Food Processor), everything will be grated, chopped and blended for you, saving you lots of time.
You could also make your pastry in the DoubleForce, as it’ll mix your butter and flour together, before kneading it if needed (the temptation to write ‘kneaded’ was very strong here, but we didn’t want to confuse anyone).
The eggnog elf: BlendForce
Most people use the Tefal BlendForce to make smoothies, but we’re proposing that you use it to make eggnog over the festive season – it’s pretty much a Christmas smoothie, right?
If you’ve spent your life so far too afraid to ever ask ‘what actually is eggnog?’ we don’t want you to spend any longer missing out on this cream, egg, nutmeg and milk-based beverage – that pretty much explains it. A creamy, eggy, festive-spiced drink that can also feature rum if you want something boozy.
The Christmas Day starter elf: Easy Soup
The Tefal Easy Soup does what it says on the box: makes soup easy. This is great news if you haven’t settled on what to serve up as your Christmas Day starter yet, as you can simply bung in whatever you want to make soup out of and let our soup elf do the work.
Veg, meat and stock are good options; mince pies, brandy butter and After Eight mints, less so – although that’s left us intrigued. Very intrigued indeed…
The roast potato elf: ActiFry
The roast potato elf sounds like a truly wonderful creature. An adorable elf that goes around cooking and delivering roast potatoes is definitely something we would welcome in our lives (for payment, of course – like Hermione Granger, we are big believers in elf rights).
While we wait for that dream to come true, we reckon the Tefal ActiFry is a pretty good substitute. Simply pop your potatoes – and any other veg you want roasting with your Christmas dinner, like parsnips, for example – in there with a little bit of oil and they’ll cook in a much healthier (elfier?) way than if you were to roast them in lumps of lard. Lard’s an awful word, isn’t it? It’s also less dangerous – no one wants to get too close to spitting fat, and we’re all about elf’n’safety. Sorry.
The leftover turkey elf: Cook4Me
We’re not totally sure what Santa’s elves do once all of the presents have been delivered. Do they just work for one month of the year? Do they have other jobs the rest of the time, in supermarkets and government offices? If we were Santa, we’d extend the elves’ contracts so they helped us to function in that period in between Christmas and New Year, where we never quite know what to do with ourselves, can’t tell if it’s day or night and spend significant time contemplating whether our blood is now 99 per cent mincemeat.
One task that elves would definitely be useful for at this point in the festive season is cooking up the leftovers, especially when it gets to that stage where we’re trying to remember if we even like turkey if it’s not eaten with mouthfuls of pigs in blankets and lashings of cranberry sauce.
Enter the Tefal Cook4Me, which is a brilliant leftovers elf. Pile in your leftover meat, veg, gravy and a few spices, and it’ll cook you a gorgeous turkey curry that’ll remind you that you do like turkey.
It’s just on the 12th evening of eating it with cold roast spuds that you don’t like it.