There may not be enough room in the fridge to slide a wafer-thin mint, but the weekend before Christmas is not the time to be considering cooking.
Pretty much all the food is spoken for, and tucking in now will only lead to another trip to the supermarket, and it was bad enough last time.
What we need is for someone else to do the hard work with no mess and no turkey, and those stomachs need a little stretching for the big day after all. Consider it training.
Having lived within a garlic-sniff of Papa Luigis Italian restaurant in Euxton for a number of years, it’s a constant source of puzzlement as to why I’ve never ventured in.
I’ve had every encouragement. The place is almost always busy; a sure sign that locals love it, and return time after time.
It features highly in this newspaper’s Italian Restaurant of the Year competition with clockwork regularity.
So now was as good a time as any to join the throngs shouting to be heard over East 17 at the festive DJ was in full swing. The staff Christmas shirts were also a thing of wonder.
I’d pre-ordered a takeaway, but as I made my way though the party in my winter coat with the car still running outside, I considered stopping a while to soak up a little of the high-octane Christmas spirit.
With the table seating plans on sheets of A4 spread out along the reception bar, this looked like organised chaos, but organised it was, as no sooner had I announced my arrival, my food was rushed out and I was on my way.
The takeaway service at Papa Luigis is a simple affair; any pizza or pasta from the restaurant menu is £6.95 - that’s it.
We ordered two items from the pasta menu - a Penne Isla and a Tagliolini Casalinga, and in the interests of thorough research, a Pizza Tropicale on the side.
And on the side it was too, as this wafer thin small-ish offering was delicious but not a patch on the filling portions of pasta kept warm in sizeable foil trays.
The Casalinga is sumptuous strips of pasta with onions, bacon, plenty of juicy mushrooms, dolcelatte cheese and more than a touch of cream, but this is not the time to be worrying about waistlines. January is but around the corner for that.
Opposite me is a baked dish of penne pasta with onions, garlic, Italian sausage and ham in a tomato sauce, topped with fresh Buffalo mozzarella.
We’re a big fan of extra cheese on everything, so here’s a delicious pasta dish, with a flavourful sauce packed with tasty goodies, with the added bonus of even more cheese (it’s the festive season after all).
I always look forward to reviewing a takeaway from an established restaurant. The same was true about the Bangla Spice Brasserie at the other end of Wigan Road - it feels like you’re getting a hefty discount for top quality food from established chefs.