It’s easy to keep food cold in September: just put it in the fridge. It’s harder at Christmas because your fridge is likely to be jam-packed and yet Christmas is not a good time to get lax about food safety. So here are the classic solutions:
- Get the drinks out of the fridge and into an ice bucket. (The laundry trough is traditional but there are fancy options too.)
- Set up an esky or two. (But keep an eye on them – they’re no good when the ice has melted.)
- Borrow an extra fridge. Bar fridges are almost portable but if your neighbour is away for Christmas, perhaps you could borrow their kitchen fridge if they don’t mind you trekking in and out of their house.
- If you’re updating your fridge and the old one still works, it’s unlikely to be energy efficient to put it in the garage and use it as a beer fridge year round but it could be a life saver at Christmas (if you can afford the space it will take all year).
Last night, at Bronwyn’s house, I got her to write down what she ate last week. She was quite receptive to the idea of switching her Tuesday muffin to Tuesday corn chips and home-made salsa but she looked amazed when I told her that many flavoured corn chips contain sugar.
“How on earth do you know that?” she asked.
“I read the ingredients.” I answered.
“You take your glasses to the supermarket?”
“Of course. I wouldn’t be able to read the fine print otherwise. Don’t you?”
“I don’t always remember my purse,” she replied.
We ended up making a date to go to the supermarket together on Wednesday evening. (I’ll text her beforehand to ensure she brings both her purse and her glasses.)
 And not just with jam.
 There is, of course, never a good time to be lax about food safety (unless you have a rich grandparent and no scruples).
 My cousin Russell once used his fish pond but it took a lot of ice.
 My cousin Linda lives in a small country town, right across the street from the hall, so she uses the hall kitchen as an extension of her own when catering big events. (Now you know why the turkey crossed the road.)
 And it can be a good place to hide the Christmas presents until you get the tree up.