I'm 30 and this is my first Christmas cooking - HELP!!

(22 Posts)
navyeye Fri 22-Nov-13 20:28:20

And you can't just say things like "cook the stuffing and freeze it" What stuffing? What recipe is best? What type of Turkey, most posts refer to a crown, but where should I get it from? Can you smell my panic?!

I can cook, I can follow recipes, but usually my dad does it all and I get drunk. But this year, seems as how I'm a fully fledged adult now with a 13 months old, I'm going solo and he's off to Barbados! There are only 4 adults and 2 children, but I want it to be nice, I want there to be far too much food to.

I like to generally buy things locally but what if the local butcher does horrible turkeys and the local veg man runs out of veg? What kind of times do I need to buy all this stuff to make sure I'm not left with rubbish?

Am i going to spend Christmas dashing from shop to shop and stuck in the kitchen all morning?

<weeps!>

raisah Fri 22-Nov-13 20:52:24
navyeye Fri 22-Nov-13 20:57:38

Thanks Raisah, I've just read it, lots of awesome ideas. I'm after specific food timing and sourcing tips though really. I think I'm just getting myself in a tizz and not thinking straight!

purrtrillpadpadpad Fri 22-Nov-13 21:03:29

The most adorable panic ever, if you don't mind my saying so. You. Can. Do. This. Have you done a roast dinner? It's just that with extra nommy bits. You'll be fine.

- this advice comes to you from someone who totally killed her top oven making roasties last Christmas and who hasn't been able to grill anything since. A British Gas repair guy actually declared my oven 'deceased' in a particularly flamboyant fashion when we enquired about getting it fixed.
The roasties weren't that good sad.

twinklytoes Fri 22-Nov-13 21:12:22

regards the turkey - I'd buy a crown if you only need meat for the main meal and noone likes the legs. If you know someone eating needs to have a leg of turkey or you have to eat turkey left overs for the next week then buy a whole turkey.

there's loads of christmas foodie mags and books that provide all the timings - have a look and go for one that fits around your day.

oh, on my first christmas dinner - I grilled the turkey (didn't turn the switch on oven far enough) with all the stress and a mother who kept hovering in the background as I cooked! it was a sure fire way to never have to do christmas dinner again !!

raisah Fri 22-Nov-13 21:12:25

How on earth did you kill your oven?!!
Not to panic, it is just a posh roast with extra side dishes. I did a curry banquet for 30 once, its all about prep & timing & roping in helpers at certain times. I prefer to work on my own because my helpers (dh & dc) usually end up making more work for me.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/Christmas/1918570-cooking-a-turkey-for-the-1st-time-any-tips

Taffeta Fri 22-Nov-13 21:14:35

As much as hate that kind of shit, you need a schedule. [shudder]

Delia has a list in her Christmas book, but it's all a bit too Gina F for me.

I do this. Book a supermarket delivery for 22/23 Dec. Fruit and veg I get from the van, pre order for delivery around the same time. I have tried many different ways with the turkey itself, and the last 5 years DH has bought one on his last day a work in London, either on 23 or 24 Dec. They always have loads. This year, for a change I have ordered a crown in with my Waitrose delivery on 22nd. That way, if there's a fuck up, or if they miss out any essential items I can just get DH to pick them up in town on 23 or 24.

Timings on the day depend on the size of beast you are cooking. Work out what time you want to eat, allow 40 mins minimum for resting the meat when it's out of oven and carving, and that will guide you as to start time.

I usually populate the oven with all the other shit once the turkey is out and resting. Shove some foil and teatowels over it to keep it warm. Chipolatas, roast potatoes etc need a hot oven, prob hotter than you would've cooked your turkey at, so this works best.

Most importantly, have a really good well chilled bottle of Prosecco in the kitchen just for you. Guard it with your life and pretend it is for the gravy and growl if anyone gets near it. It makes cooking Christmas dinner a pleasure.

navyeye Fri 22-Nov-13 22:48:05

I just tried to watch some Nigella Christmas episodes on youtube, she's smug and floaty with her waffle... JUST GET TO THE TURKEY WOMAN. Had to give up. Did note her first tip, much like yours Taffeta, "secure your booze" will definitely be following that one.

purrtrillpadpadpad - blimey you killed your oven? That's impressive! I'be yet to kill an oven and I have done a roast before. Never a bird though, always beef in my house! Can I really like a turkey on the side wrapped up snug in a clean towel for 2 hours like the other thread says - REALLY? Then I guess I can do all the side part during that snuggle turkey time?

twinklytoes - oh I see a crown is just the breast. I quite like breast but the men folk tend to like the legs. If you gee a whole turkey though it is a lot of faff slathering in bacon and what not to keep it juicy? I need to find this Nigella recipe from her Feast book everyone is raving about.

Tafetta, Gina F is like my life hero, well not really, but I do like spreadsheets and order so this Christmas chaos fills me with dread.

The thing is I can't just buy a magazine and follow what it says, I can only do it if I'm sure the rules I'm following are the VERY BEST rules. I'm the sort of person that doesn't buy loo roll without looking up on which? to see what one is the best!

Mumsnet just knows the best way to do stuff.

twinklytoes Fri 22-Nov-13 22:53:30

butter under the skin and loads of it. somewhere I remember reading to cook the turkey upside down, - the theory being that all the moisture etc stays in the breast meat (?jamie oliver).

the faff is probably just removing the giblets.

paperlantern Fri 22-Nov-13 23:10:48

navy eye- your over thinking it.grin
yes you can go complex and make everything from scratch but I wouldn't on your first time.

1)get a fresh turkey (a whole proper turkey the dark meat is the bestgrin ) stick in oven in oven tray and cook in accordance with timing on wrapper.

2)boil potatoes for ten minutes stick in baking tray with turkey and goose fat and cook for between 1 and half and 2 hours

3) get aunt Bessies if you a not confident cooking fresh Yorkshires

4) get premaid stuffing stick both yorkies and stuffing in oven towards the end

5) boil a selection of veg

6) carve turkey and stick the rest on the table for everyone to help themselves

7) get a premade Christmas log cake or pudding depending on taste

seriously it can be that simple. pregnant I got premade potatoes to.

have a trial run now!

paperlantern Fri 22-Nov-13 23:12:33

oh if you're a perfectionist my advice probably isn't for yougrin

navyeye Fri 22-Nov-13 23:29:50

paperlantern, I wish I could do it your way, I really do! I might 2 pre-made deserts but I think that's all the short cuts I can take.

If the turkey really can sit on the side for 2 hours then I think I can do it, I can prep the veg and turkey the night before. Then on the day I can stick turkey in the oven go to park for a bit and then come home to carry on basting. Then leave turkey cwtched up in blankets while I do the other bits and then serve dinner.

We woint eat until about 3/4 pm anyway so I think could work. For a starter we will just have prawn cocktail as my sister loves it, so that's easy.

I'm going to have to look into this cooking the turkey upside down business though twinklytoes. I thought that was what all the bacon and foil was about?

notso Fri 22-Nov-13 23:32:14

Jamie's Christmas DVD is good as a starting point. I've not watched the whole thing but the recipe cards are good.
His stuffing is Christmas according to DD although I use pork mince not sausage eat.
His Nan's Christmas pud is really good too.
I make my stuffing and pigs in blankets around now and freeze them.
I also make the stock for my gravy at the beginning of December, then just simmer the giblets and neck in it on the day and add the juices out of the roasting tray.
The turkey can certainly keep for ages in foil and tea towels, that gives plenty of time for everything else.

purrtrillpadpadpad Sat 23-Nov-13 08:34:22

This thread is making me sooooo hungry.

Op, we killed our oven by making the best roasties ever made on planet earth. Fact. Can't be beaten! <throws down gauntlet>

HappyHippyChick Sat 23-Nov-13 08:58:48

Here is Delia's timetable OP if that helps.

navyeye Wed 27-Nov-13 12:36:13

Love Delias timetable! Peace has been restored, a 4kg turkey has been ordered and 6 bottles of prosecco!

marzipanned Wed 27-Nov-13 12:47:38

navyeye In addition to doing the veg prep and stuffing on the 24th, I always do the cranberry and bread sauce on the 23rd. Pigs in blankets can also be prepped on 23rd and left in fridge.

The Delia link is very good, as is this one:
www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2010/dec/20/how-to-cook-perfect-christmas-dinner

I would also say that it really doesn't matter if the turkey breast is a wee bit dry as long as you have excellent gravy. I've always cooked mine right side up and it's been fine, with regular basting (about once an hour)

navyeye Wed 27-Nov-13 15:01:44

ohh good thinking marzipanned - we're not bread sauce fans but cranberry the day before is fab. Not the 23rd though, that's my birthday!

navyeye Wed 27-Nov-13 15:08:19

Just read that link, going to buy one of those Muslin cloths! Thanks marzipanned.

marzipanned Wed 27-Nov-13 15:19:13

No problem!! I haven't tried the muslin cloth but it does sound pretty genius.

newfavouritething Wed 27-Nov-13 17:00:54

My tips would be have a roast chicken a week or two before, make gravy with that (roasting tin scrapings, veg water, then boil carcass) and freeze. Can always boil turkey giblets etc the day before and add them together on the day. I cook the sausages and bacon rolls the day before and pop in microwave. Also do broccoli/cauli cheese as can be cooked and assembled in the morning, then popped in the oven to brown when you do roasties/stuffing etc. I can't be faffed with proper stuffing so add a pack of sausage meat to paxo.

The cooking is easy - the timing is the tricky bit. I wrote a timeline type chart for my husband so that he could learn how to do a roast dinner.

kateandme Wed 27-Nov-13 18:31:12

dont panic.its a large sunday roast.easy:D
tesco also has a chrismtas planner on their gorcery site.bbcgoodfood.com is excelent for recipes.sides,mains,plans etc.
prep the veg and stuff before you need it and leave to sit in the pans in water.when it comes to cooking fill the kettle,much easier and quicker.
rest your turkey and dont overcook so make sure you work out the weight and cooking time given in the intructions.
most butchers will be very helpful with cooking insturctions.or have you tried farm shop

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