Christmas is a time for families to get together and one of use will no doubt be slaving away while everyone else realaxes around the tree! This year that someone is me and it is also my first time hosting all eleven of my in laws, so to say I am nervous is an understatement! To help myself prepare, I have done a lot of research and I am now passing on all my amazing festive food knowledge to you guys! First step is making sure you have some festive tunes on and second is to sit down and prepare a detailed ‘to do’ list to make sure as little as possible can go wrong!
Christmas dinner can be quite flexible (depending on your families tastes) so it’s a good idea to prepare a menu that works for you all. Once that’s done, you can make a shopping list. As close to Christmas as you can is best to buy your fresh veg and if you are choosing a frozen turkey, make sure it has time to defrost. To give yourself more time on the big day, lots of your dishes can be prepared ahead and frozen. My favourite dish I have prepared so far has got be Jamie Oliver’s ‘get ahead’ gravy, click here to view the recipe.
Xmas Eve – AM
Double check your shopping list while the shops are still open, once you have everything in you can relax a bit and enjoy cooking! If you have an alternative dessert to Xmas pudding such as a cheesecake, you can prep that and it can remain in the fridge until tomorrow.
Xmas Eve – PM
It’s time to prepare your veg – peel and core your parsnips, trim your sprouts and peel your potatoes. The parsnips and potatoes will cover with water to stop them browning, potatoes always freeze after a partial boil, but I always find fresh is better. Another personal preference is when you cook your turkey – I find cooking the turkey late Xmas Eve and resting overnight best as it frees up your oven on the day. Also, a cold turkey always carves a lot easier and then all you have to focus on is cooking the veg and trimmings. But whenever suits you, here is a great recipe for the perfect way to cook a turkey.
If you are choosing to make your own bread and cranberry sauce, Xmas eve is the best time to get this done. Before you head off to bed, make sure you have everything you need out of the freezer to defrost and any drinks that don’t fit in the fridge can be chilled outside or in your boot, may as well make use of the cold weather at this time of year!
The Big Day
With all this prep done, you should only have your veg and pigs in blankets etc left to cook through or finish off, unless you’ve chosen to your turkey today. If so, follow the instructions above and you should be fine for time. Once you have everything cooking, you are free to enjoy your day and a well deserved tipple or two! Don’t forget the most important point, get someone else to do the washing up!
Merry Christmas everyone!!