Here’s a great little guide for foodie things you can prep early for Christmas so you don’t get stressed out running around trying to do all, be all and have all.
I’m all for buying ready prepared or frozen (with the exception of prepared veg) but if you insist on doing it yourself this are some ideas to get ahead
You can make a tasty Christmas gravy long before you need it. Simply freeze it in a container, and defrost on the day. You can add the juices from your Christmas turkey to it before serving.
BBC Good Food has a good ‘get ahead’ gravy on their website but if you don’t want to make yours from scratch but some ready prepared graving from the fridge section of your supermarket and to zing it up you can add the meat juices to it before serving
Stuffing freezes well and if you have a dish suitable for freezer and oven, you can make it, pop in into the container and freeze. If you like you can also cook it before freezing so you can free up some oven space on the day if you need to.
Mary Berry has a great recipe that’s easy to do and freezer-friendly
3. Red cabbage
Braised red cabbage is one of those foods that actually improves its flavour over time, so it’s well worth making in advance. It will keep a few days in the fridge, and reheats brilliantly.
A straight-forward recipe from The Vegetarian Society will add a tasty treat to your plate
Yes you can freeze your own roasties! They’re good for up to a month in the freezer so are a great time saver on the day.
Sainsbury’s has a great recipe to use
Make life easy on yourself – buy an oven-ready one! For even easier carving buy a turkey crown or my favourite this year a Turkey Cushion! Give it a go or get your butcher to do it for you. Pop it in the fridge and simply cook it on the day
6. Bread sauce and Cranberry sauce
Nobody wants to be faffing around with sauces on Christmas Day and you probably won’t have space on your hob for another saucepan. The good news is that bread sauce freezes well, but it also keeps for a surprisingly long time in the fridge – just make it a few days before, and you won’t even need to defrost it. Cranberry sauce can also be made ahead.
7. Root veg
Allroot veg can be prepped in advance. You can either prep it, keep ii in water in a sealed container in the fridge for a day or two or you can prepare, blanch and freeze them.
The easier way to cook them (and avoid having your kitchen walls looking like Niagara Falls has come to visit!) is to roast them. They can be popped in the oven whilst the meat is resting and be perfect when it’s time to serve
Christmas pudding, of course, can be made months ahead: simply steam it for a few hours on Christmas Day till reheated. Keep all other desserts cold and easy to serve.
Don’t like Christmas pudding? No problem, buy a ready-made frozen or fridge dessert to bring out on the day. Oh, and there really is no need to make several desserts. Let’s face it, we don’t actually need five desserts after a full-on Christmas lunch!
If you’re having lots of people around then consider asking them to bring food with them. Allocate what you’d like them to bring (starter,vegetables, dessert, cheese etc) but allow them to decide what to make/bring within that category. So long as they know what the main portion of the meal is(turkey/beef/goose/tofu etc) they can decide what will taste nice and make sure to advise them of any dietary requirements. And if people ‘don’t cook’ then they can bring something ready prepared.
The top tip I can really think of to keep Christmas cooking simple is to keep the menu simple. You’re cooking for your family and friends,not trying to win Masterchef. Stick to what you know, what you’re good at and what will give you the least amount of stress and worry
Check out my ‘7 Steps to a Relaxing Christmas’ for stress-busting ideas