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Christmas fair fare

Do you need inspiration on what food works well at a Christmas fair? Refreshment stalls are always popular, so unleash your foodie credentials and cook up some treats that make mouths water!

Turkey baps

Lucy Gianferrari,
Stockport: 'We ran a festive kitchen as part of our Christmas fair. We decorated tables with Christmassy tablecloths, and served turkey baps with cranberry sauce, hot dogs, Bailey's coffee, warmed mulled cider, and hot chocolate. We ordered the turkey from a local butcher two months in advance. It was difficult estimating how popular the baps would be and how much to buy, so we 
had to hope that guests would be hungry! The butcher kindly delivered the turkey - pre-sliced, cooked, and still warm - 20 minutes before the fair started. We had four volunteers - 
two preparing food, and two serving and taking payment. The turkey baps were served to order, as everything was pre-cooked and ready to go. People could 
also help themselves to cranberry sauce. We made £322 from the festive kitchen - with £1,852 raised by the Christmas fair overall.'

Jam and pickles

Ask local allotment and gardening societies to donate surplus homegrown edibles, then cajole keen cooks into turning them into jams and chutneys. Visitors to your fair will love buying local produce, and these will make popular gifts, too.

Reindeer hot chocolates

Rachael Atkinson, PTA Secretary, St William's Catholic Primary School, Pilling, Lancashire (19 pupils): 'We sold reindeer hot chocolate kits for £1.50 each - these included chocolate powder and marshmallows in triangular clear bags, then we put eyes and a red pom-pom for a nose on each one. We attached a ribbon and a bell to finish off.'

International cuisine

Roo Kanis-Buck, PTA Chair, Holy Famil School, Langley Berkshire (479 pupils): 'We have a wide variety of nationalities in our school, so we have a noodle bar and Polish food at our fair. The parents source the ingredients, prepare, cook and serve. The food is priced at £2.50. Two mums from the Philippines run the noodle bar, serving a chicken-based noodle dish and a vegetarian one. The takings last year were £440! The Polish stall had Polish flag bunting and Polish music. They had baked goods, and a hot cabbage dish and Polish sausages. They took £140!'

Christmas puddings

Run a competition in school inviting pupils to design labels for Christmas, chocolate, or sticky toffee puddings. Ask parents to pre-order their puddings to cover your costs, then buy extra to sell at the fair. Order in bulk from The Ultimate Plum Pudding Company, making between £2-3 profit per pudding. Taster sets are also available, so that people can 'try before they buy'.

Pizza perfect

Lynda McCallum, former PTA Chair, Whiteinch Nursery School, Glasgow: 'We approached our local Domino's Pizza and asked if they had a mobile pizza stall. They couldn't have been more helpful! It cost us absolutely nothing, they sold slices of pizza for £1 each, of which we earned 50p. They sent two members of staff, a mobile stall and a supply of pizzas and packaging. When they were running low, they contacted their local store and had extra pizzas delivered by bike! At the end of the event, they gave us £60.'

Kids in the kitchen

Encourage pupils to make their own sweet treats to sell - think peppermint creams, coconut ice, and chocolate truffles. Decide on treats that involve minimal cooking. Finish with cellophane and ribbon to make the perfect gift.

Festive hot chocolate

Louisa Quy, Vice Chair, Brunswick Park Primary School, Southgate, London (420 pupils): 'We decided to run a hot chocolate stall at our Christmas fair. Three slow cookers provided by parents kept the hot chocolate warm. A local coffee chain donated strong paper cups and lids for us to use, and two helpers manned the stall, one serving and the other topping up the slow cookers when necessary. We found the best way to serve was using a ladle. For £1 a cup, people could add marshmallows and/or squirty cream. Refilling the slow cookers was challenging, and transporting the hot chocolate from the kitchen across the playground had to be done carefully. This year we will position the stall nearer the kitchen to make this journey shorter. To make our hot chocolate, we used milk and a powder mix. Our outlay was £46, and we made £59 profit. The feedback from the fair was brilliant, and we made £2,600.'

Reindeer and snowman poop

Amanda Read, PTA Chair, Longfields Primary School, Bicester, Oxfordshire (340 pupils): 'Bags of reindeer and snowman poop were made up by our Treasurer, using chocolate- and yoghurt-covered raisins. He bought some festive-themed bags online, decorated them with colourful string, and attached a small poem to each one. We kept the price low, as we wanted the children to be able to purchase them. We made £125 profit.'

Decorate a gingerbread hat

Lara Bradford, PTA Chair, Greenleas School, Leighton Buzzard, Beds (450 pupils): 'We charged £1 for children to decorate a gingerbread Santa hat - it was important that we had something for all ages, as our pupils range from two to nine. This stall went down brilliantly, and we raised £337!'

Christmas fair food recommendations from Facebook

We've had several food-related fair threads appear on our PTA+ Facebook page over the years. We've picked out the best bits of advice below... To read all the responses, click here, here, here, and here!

Jacqui Faithfull: 'Turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing in French bread or brie and cranberry sauce for the veggies, we charge £2.50. We buy our turkey in trays from Brakes - its pre-cooked and we put gravy on and heat it in the oven. We also serve fancy hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows, Irish coffee, mulled wine. We also have hot dogs for the kids.'

Claire Lane: 'We do a chicken curry and a chick pea curry, jacket potatoes and soup, plus hot dogs for the kids. Curries are cooked by parents to a set recipe. It's very popular!'

Jackie Lewis: 'We do cakes and samosas. Non alcoholic mulled wine, tea, coffee, squash and hot chocolate. Considering a BBQ with burgers and hot dogs although turkey baps sound great!'

Ann Davies: 'Last year we paid £25 for a cooked turkey (cooked by butcher, we collected hot). It made about 40 rolls with stuffing - charged £2.50, hot dogs £1.'

Terri Clarke: 'We do pulled pork baps with crackling and apple sauce for 3.50 and Hotdogs 2.50 and is always a sell out. School of 210.'

Sarah Crook: 'We do hot pork rolls with stuffing and apple sauce and veggie sausages and hot dogs always sells well.'

Pam Moriarty Moule: 'We've done bacon rolls, chilli & home made soups at ours.'

Tracey Johnson: 'We do burgers hotdogs and mince pies always sells out I no its the same as our summer fare (apart from mince pies!) but if it ain't broke don't fix it.'

Vicky Harvey: 'We do pizza slices,hot dogs,sausages rolls and mince pies which all go down well and are not too much hard work.'

Arianna Carlini:  'We usually do international food and it is always a great hit (our school is very international with over 20 nationalities represented). Last year we also had mince pies and non alcoholic mulled wine.

Tracey Morgan-Willcox: 'We have a BBQ selling sausages and burgers and also Hot Pulled Pork Rolls and Turkey and Stuffing Rolls, always sell out especially quick to go is the pork and turkey rolls. The BBQ is are biggest earner.

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