how far in advance can i prepare veg for christmas day?

(25 Posts)
2anddone Mon 08-Nov-10 16:06:20

hi every year i have a manic christmas eve running around visiting my family, friends and in laws to be able to have guilt free christmas day just the 4 of us. Then once children are in bed i then do all the vegetable prep for christmas day (i do cook it on the day but like to peel it in advance and also the stuffing, sausages in bacon and yorkshire pudding mix) all i really want to do is collapse in front of the tv with a dvd. So what i am asking is would i get away with doing the preparations on the 23rd at night or first thing on 24th to save having to do it in the evening? Also how would i store it i usually put it straight in the saucepans in water on the hob and the sausages etc in the fridge

DollyTwat Mon 08-Nov-10 16:08:49

my granny would have the veg on about now!

I've done the veg the night before, part cooked, put into microwavable containers then finished off Christmas day.

My dad has a hostess trolley (from the 70's) and I'm fairly certain they'll be in there a few days before!!

ShatnersBassoon Mon 08-Nov-10 16:13:06

Shops sell prepared vegetables and stuffing etc that must have a shelf life of a couple of days at least...? Not sure about spuds though.

Do you have Yorkshire pudding with turkey? I've never heard the like.

alfabetty Mon 08-Nov-10 16:13:54

Pre-prepared veg tends to last days, so not quite sure why you couldn't do it a day or two in advance - the bags the prepped Brussels and carrots come in don't appear to be vacuum packed or otherwise specially treated.

Peel, chop etc then keep in tupperware in the fridge? The yorkshire mix and sausages/stuffing etc will def keep in the fridge for a day or two.

ANTagony Mon 08-Nov-10 16:18:49

I've done my stuffing and sausages in bacon and frozen them on disposable baking trays - ready to take out Christmas eve. Likewise yorkshires freeze well and then its about 4-5 minutes in a hot oven just before serving.

I plan to for the first time this year parboil and freeze the potatoes for the roasties. Heston B did this with chips to make them very crispy on outside and not soak up all the fat (I'm planning a trial run first).

Veg can be done either a day in advance and kept in water in the fridge or if parboiled for a few minutes it can be done a couple of days in advance and bagged. The parboiling stops it drying or browing at the edges. I'd say so long as covered in water they should be fine in the saucepans on a cool side.

Gravy is the other thing that can be done and bottled in advance - either fridged for a couple of days and microwaved or frozen. You can use chicken wings and a load of route veg to make a nice cheap gravy base that has a meaty flavour.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 08-Nov-10 16:23:03

Sausages in bacon and cranberry sauce can be done well in advance and frozen.

Mum and I always make the stuffing and stuff the turkey in the afternoon of Christmas Eve, and whoever else is around peels the potatoes and preps sprouts etc. The potatoes we just leave in water, but sprouts can be left out as long as you have somewhere cold to put them - garage?

Are your children big enough to rope them into the prep yet?

SoMuchToBats Mon 08-Nov-10 16:49:48

You should have got your sprouts on to cook by now, surely wink

Batteryhuman Mon 08-Nov-10 16:54:07

I know someone who roasts the spuds in advance (cooked right through) and then freezes them and reheats from frozen. Not tried it myself.

Deux Mon 08-Nov-10 16:56:02

If you are mashing any veg, you can do this 24 - 48 hours in advance. Cook, mash and allow to cool and cover the bowl in clingfilm and store in fridge.

Then reheat in microwave. If I'm doing mashed potatoes, I don't put the butter and milk/cream in until I reheat it in the microwave. Works brilliantly.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 08-Nov-10 17:11:15

Another tip I have is to not do too many different things. By the time you have got turkey, sausages, 2 kinds of stuffing, gravy, cranberry, roasties, and sprouts that is quite a plateful. We often have carrots and peas too, but they can be done quickly in the microwave at the last minute and don't need either loads of prep or any oven space.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 08-Nov-10 17:12:01

Deux - I have never tried that with mash, I will give it a go as that would be v.useful on all sorts of occasions.

2anddone Mon 08-Nov-10 17:24:07

thanks everyone, yes we do have yorkshires with every roast regardless of meat the kids love them! As its just us we have roast potatoes, mash potatoes, carrots, brocaulli, parsnips and peas! I always seem to forget to order the sprouts!

tulpe Mon 08-Nov-10 17:45:06

roast potatoes can be prepped in advance:

1. bring peeled spuds to boil

2. drain and return to pan for shaking in usual manner (to help fluff up edges for crispy bits )

3. Open freeze on baking trays.

4. Once frozen, put into freezer bags and leave until christmas day.

5. Put spud into hot fat of choice, direct from freezer.

Will check roast from frozen timings for you and come back

MooMooFarm Mon 08-Nov-10 20:35:46

Get Aunt Bessie to prepare it all for you - all you have to do is get it out of the freezer!

Deux Mon 08-Nov-10 20:41:54

Alibaba, I came across this method of precooking mash when we were having a lot of people over and I wanted to cook a casserole and have mash with it.

I was dreading the kerfuffle involved in mashing potatoes for so many people. Would rather be drinking wine smile.

I actually googled and found some great American sites along the lines of 'How to make your Thanksgiving dinner in advance'.

One thing though. The first time I did it I underestimated how long I would need to reheat the mash in the microwave. I think in total it took 15 - 20 minutes for a large pyrex mixing bowl full.

I rice the potatoes which helps too. When I come to reheat, I dot the top of the mash with butter and pour over some milk, heat on high for 3 or so minutes and give it a stir and repeat till heated through.

You could also reheat them, covered, in the oven.

Tulpe I love your method for roasties. I think I'll have an experiment this weekend.

I'm going to stock up on disposable roasting tins too I think. Will make it a lot easier.

ByThePowerOfGreyskull Mon 08-Nov-10 20:45:35

Why not prepare and blanche all your veg and freeze it then on Christmas day you just have to grab it out of the freezer

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 08-Nov-10 20:56:31

Deux that is exactly the scenario I'm thinking of. I have a few really good casserole recipes that make good celebration food, and mash is the perfect accompaniment but is a nightmare to make fresh for more than about 4-5 people. I have a ricer which does make things a lot easier, no more worrying about lumps or breaking your arm mashing a huge panful grin

Deux Mon 08-Nov-10 21:04:40

As I'm on the, em, short side, mashing potatoes with a masher is a real chore - I really need to be wearing high heels or standing on a the DC's stool to have enough power to mash the old fashioned way. grin Countertops are too high, but that's another thread ...

WannabeNigella Tue 09-Nov-10 15:41:18

Marking place as LOVE this thread!

I'm always on the lookout for ways to make Christmas Day easier as I generally feed 12-14 and want to enjoy it with them, not be stuck in the kitchen.

mummycreepynora Wed 10-Nov-10 12:02:56

last year was the first proper one of me doing xmas dinner at home, so I had spreadsheets / timings of everything written down blush

unfortunately I appear to have lost it! confused although I definitely did :

swede & carrot mash 2 days before
yorkie mix (another one for every roast dinner!) 2 days before
braised red cabbage 2/3 days before - keeps ageeesss

the rest the day before I think? Get it ALL prepped as much as poss then its faaaaaaaaaaar easier on the day...

I like to make it all myself rather than let aunt bessie I'm afraid, especially for christmas grin

fruitful Wed 10-Nov-10 13:09:51

I'm testing out the frozen roast potatoes thing today. I have peeled them, parboiled, and bashed-with-semolina, spread on a tray and put them in a freezer. Gonna roast on Saturday.

recipe here except I used semolina instead of flour

IfYouCouldWouldYou Wed 10-Nov-10 18:38:22

a great tip for mashing potatoes/veg instead of a masher/if you dont have a ricer, is to use an electric hanheld whisk.

Dh introduced this to me when we first met and i have never looked back.

It only takes a couple of minutes and makes potatoes lovely and creamy. You start off on a slow speed with your butter until it becomes less chunky then whack it up full blast and add the milk slowly.

I am on the also on the small side and cannot use a masher as my arms aren't long enough!!!

My mum was impressed at how quick and effortless this is she bought an electric whisk especially (£5.00 from tesco)

Deux Thu 11-Nov-10 17:53:42

Trouble with the handheld is that you get puree as opposed to mash as the speed of the whisk breaks down the starch in the potatoes. I do think it affects the texture slightly. <Used to work for a famous electrical brand>.

I do quite like it though.

I guess it's a good way of introducing mustard/horseradish etc into the potatoes as it would be quick to incorporate.

fruitful Thu 11-Nov-10 22:29:19

You need a Spudnik. Stick it in the mash and rock it around - good for shorter arms cos you don't need to keep lifting it up. It's great (as long as your dcs don't keep stealing it to use as a Star Wars weapon, that is)

I thought using the handheld whisk was a great idea too, but sadly ds1 can taste the difference so I didn't get away with that.

fruitful Wed 17-Nov-10 11:46:30

Reporting back on the pre-prepared frozen roasties - they were fab.

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