to provide this food...

(203 Posts)
Whathashappenedtomyboobs Wed 28-Nov-12 17:55:17

So, this Christmas I have 11 family members (including DH, DS and I) coming to my home for Christmas dinner.
I really don't want to spend ALL of my time in the kitchen sweating over a hot stove, so today I went out and brought frozen Roast potatoes, parsnips, mixed veg, yorkshire pudding and peas. Nothing fresh in this house apart from the turkey I'm picking up Christmas eve and the puddings my mum will be making.

SoleSource Wed 28-Nov-12 17:57:44

Up to you. I couldn't do that. That's me. I couldn't cook for eleven without major prep the day/night before.

Totally up to you, you are cooking for 11 after all.

But I wouldn't do it.

And I'd be able to tell as a guest.
Frozen roasties are utterly rank.

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Wed 28-Nov-12 18:00:22

I've got 11 for Christmas too, doesn't take long to peel potatoes or prep veg, so I wouldn't buy all frozen.

I think frozen Yorkshires and frozen roast potatoes are pretty vile. If you said you'd cooked them properly this weekend and frozen them into oven dish things I'd be more sympathetic.

OTOH, I cooked for a similar number last year and it took hours and hours, so YANBU to seek out an easier way.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Wed 28-Nov-12 18:00:57

yep its up to you.

We wouldn't. but to be fair dh does our christmas dinner. He manages to feed 13 and still spend most of christmas day with us.

We peel sprouts while drinking wine, when the kids are in bed christmas eve. smile

DragonMamma Wed 28-Nov-12 18:01:22

Prep the night before.

I'd be gutted to have frozen veg on Xmas day, it's awful stuff (peas being the only exception and yorkies for a midweek roast)

ClippedPhoenix Wed 28-Nov-12 18:04:16

Can't your DH help with the prep? Anything frozen to do with roast dinners is shite.

freddiefrog Wed 28-Nov-12 18:04:37

DH and I always prep the night before. We share a bottle of Baileys and peel everything while we're waiting for kids to fall asleep so we can do the Father Christmas run.

I'd buy frozen Yorkshire puddings. Mine are shit so Aunt Bessie is a major improvement, but frozen roasties are horrible IMO

BlueberryHill Wed 28-Nov-12 18:06:12

Aunt Bessies frozen Yorkshires are great, but I hate making them and love eating them. Everything else I would do fresh, I do the prep the night before whilst drinking wine.

I like frozen yorkshires. If it's the easiest thing for you then do it! I'm fully planning on cutting as many corners as possible.

thebody Wed 28-Nov-12 18:06:23

Why don't you and dh drink copious amounts if wine on Xmas eve and peel away.?

Why did you ask 11 to dinner if you don't want to cook it?

Get dh to help you, next year eat out or don't invite.

Frozen stuff is horrible.

MammaTJ Wed 28-Nov-12 18:06:30

I have cooked a roast for 12 from scratch and it was not too hard with prep done the day before. Yuck to frozen roasts potatoes.

BlueberryHill Wed 28-Nov-12 18:06:42

x post freddie

MrsMushroom Wed 28-Nov-12 18:09:54

Yabu. Peel the veggies the night before and leave in cold water. Then turn them on to par boil before roasting. That's not spending all your time in the kitchen!

EuroShagmore Wed 28-Nov-12 18:12:25

I like frozen yorkshires but I wouldn't serve the other frozen stuff to guests. Just rope in some help with potato peeling and veg prep.

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Wed 28-Nov-12 18:12:43

Doing M&S cook by numbers here, but it will be fresh, collected on Xmas eve.

We want to spend time with Ds playing with Lego and eating choc, not sweating in the kitchen. Fully understand that OP, if you are ok with it, go for it. Veg and yorkies should be ok.

But fresh roasties are much nicer .....

Sirzy Wed 28-Nov-12 18:13:19

frozen yorkshire puddings are horrible, they taste nothing like proper home made.

Personally I would rather prep everything the night before and get all the adults (or children old enough to do something) to help. Personally I would be disappointed to have a frozen christmas dinner (although I wouldn't say anything obviously)

Crikeyblimey Wed 28-Nov-12 18:14:17

When we do the whole family Christmas thing (18+) we all do a bit, so one person isn't left with the work and food bill. Someone provides starters, someone does meat, someone veg, someone pud and someone else the cheese and crackers. Works out just fine but then we all live fairly close so veg etc. can be transported and either kept warm or finished off in the host oven.
I know this doesn't answer your question but I thought I'd share anyway!

Sirzy Wed 28-Nov-12 18:14:53

I even cook the turkey on Christmas eve (mainly to leave room for the ham but if your short of time on Christmas day it helps anyway!)

madlibscientist Wed 28-Nov-12 18:17:02

I did a huge feast at the weekend for 19 to celebrate American Thanksgiving...I don't blame you for wanting to make it easy; I work 2 jobs, so really had to juggle, but I would not have invited all those people if I weren't going to do it properly. It was AMAZING!!! And I did lots of prep beforehand, so wasn't stuck in the kitchen when guests arrived...

grovel Wed 28-Nov-12 18:17:54

I'd only question the spuds.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 28-Nov-12 18:18:39

Well christmas lunch for 11 is quite a bit of work but you can do an awful lot before.

I would find what you've bought pretty awful to be honest.

I wouldn't do it personally. Some shortcuts are fine to take, but frozen mixed veg for Christmas dinner? Bleurgh. I'd be really disappointed if that was served to me, I'd rather te hosts had told me they were struggling so I could help out by bringing and preparing the veg.

Get some baby carrots that don't need peeling, chop up some broccoli. Will be so much nicer. The Yorkshires are fine and the parsnips might be passable if you roast them with honey.

YANBU- times too precious to waste in the kitchen, ffs.

it wouldn't bother me as a guest, either.

Vix286 Wed 28-Nov-12 18:21:29

Do it OP, I am using frozen potatoes and yorkshires as they are both edible as opposed to my efforts. The veg will be fresh but that's because I can cope with boiling things! grin

Is there much difference between the time it takes to boil a few french beans and the time it takes to boil frozen veg? The difference in taste is enormous.

McChristmasPants2012 Wed 28-Nov-12 18:22:22

I would be bitterly disappointed to have frozen veg (apart from peas) on my Christmas dinner.

It's one of the very few times I cook up a storm.

Going against the grain here I would. Don't see why not everyone is still getting a nice meal and company.

AmberSocks Wed 28-Nov-12 18:22:35

a couple of years ago we ordered all our food from M&S,it was all ready prepared,you could get roasties and veg etc,it was lovely and tasted as good as if id peeled and cooked them myself that morning,it wasnt majorly expensive either when you think of the convenience.

musicmaiden Wed 28-Nov-12 18:24:02

I think it's fine to have frozen Yorkshires and peas as they are reasonable shortcuts given the numbers, but the rest is just laziness really. Roast veg, once prepped, is really easy. Get some help the night before FGS!

Sirzy Wed 28-Nov-12 18:26:08

* still getting a nice meal*

You see to me that is pretty debatable. I wouldn't class a plate of frozen veg as a nice meal, i wouldn't say anything and would eat it of course but I would be disappointed.

PatriciaHolm Wed 28-Nov-12 18:26:12

Frozen veg, other than peas, are vile and taste completely different to the fresh version. I wouldn't do it, and i'm cooking for 15! Frozen veg don't make for a nice meal I'm afraid, I wouldn't serve it to guests at all, i don't have it in the house! Honestly, veg is one of the easiest bits of the meal.

thegreylady Wed 28-Nov-12 18:26:12

There will be 7 of us on Christmas day and 11 on Christmas Eve.Nothing will be frozen.Potatoes and all veg prepared day before ready to cook.Pudding and cake already made last weekend.
I will buy mince pies though M&S are yummy smile

expatinscotland Wed 28-Nov-12 18:27:00

Entirely possible to buy fresh and prep and freeze.

thegreylady Wed 28-Nov-12 18:28:20

fwiw Yorkshire pudding is surely for beef not turkey!!

Whathashappenedtomyboobs Wed 28-Nov-12 18:31:09

Oh we have Yorkshire with any roast r meat here, so I'm guessing IBU x

almapudden Wed 28-Nov-12 18:32:01

That sounds grim tbh. Frozen Yorkshire puddings are fine, anything else is hospital food.

Do as much as you can the night before or get people to give you a hand. Honestly, as a guest I'd much rather spend 10 minutes peeling potatoes than have to eat frozen ones.

Viviennemary Wed 28-Nov-12 18:32:03

Good idea. Don't forget the ready made gravy. M & S do quite a nice one. The only thing I might do fresh are the brussel sprouts. Even I can't usually ruin them.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 28-Nov-12 18:33:02

Eurgh.

Not the OP, some of the smuggers on this thread. I smile to myself at the "How awful, nothing will be eaten 'frozen' in this house - except for peas, mince pies, yorkshire puddings... and any other thing preferred ready made crew" though.

I bet you're sorry you asked the question now. Take heart, I still remember the roast potato thread of last year... grin

coldcupoftea Wed 28-Nov-12 18:33:05

I think at a push I would do M&S ready prepared stuff from the chiller cabinet rather than frozen.

Maybe just simplify what you are cooking instead? DH has a tendency to go way over the top wirh cooking roast dinners and then have a big meltdown so last year I limited him to just roasties and one tray of roast carrots/parsnips and a cauliflower cheese (made in advance and microwaved on the day). We bought ready made gravy and pigs in blankets. And a turkey obviously!

EggNogRules Wed 28-Nov-12 18:35:09

My lovely sis makes an ace festive roast from frozen. She also uses disposable trays and I very much admire how tidy her kitchen is afterwards. It means she can serve at least 20 at once and it is always piping hot. DM and Dsis bring joints of meat and pigs in blankets; myself and Dsil bring dessert and cheese. People will be glad to help.

If you have enough space in your oven a tray of yorkshire pudding will take no time at all. I prefer homemade but also use frozen yorkshire that comes in batter form - sometimes that is all that will fit in the oven. OH likes the frozen ones best because they are 'crispy and less eggy'.

If I have unexpected extras for dinner I use frozen roasties and add a seasoning (salt, garlic/onion powder). I have them ready on stand by in the freezer in a roasting bag.

I always use frozen parsnips and mushy peas; fresh: sprouts, carrots, green veg and roasties.

PickledInAPearTree Wed 28-Nov-12 18:35:31

Frozen Yorkshire yes
Frozen veg - no apart from peas
Frozen roasties - minging

I would do some easy fresh veg and buy chilled or pre chopped to cut corners instead...

Roast potatoes I don't bother pre cooking so that's quicker.

Whathashappenedtomyboobs Wed 28-Nov-12 18:36:59

Think I may do frozen breaded mushrooms for starters now grin

PickledInAPearTree Wed 28-Nov-12 18:40:15

I like them. grin

FellatioNelson Wed 28-Nov-12 18:40:21

If you invited me for Christmas lunch and gave me that I'd assume you hated my guts and resented my being there.

livingfortoday Wed 28-Nov-12 18:40:39

Orde rig from m and s 60-80 for Xmas day dinner bundle sorted.

PickledInAPearTree Wed 28-Nov-12 18:41:04

My mother makes 18 types of vegetables.

It's frightening.

Whathashappenedtomyboobs Wed 28-Nov-12 18:44:59

FellatioNelson really? If I hated your guts I wouldn't invite you into my home.

FellatioNelson Wed 28-Nov-12 18:46:39

Sometimes with family at christmas you don't always feel you have the choice. At least that's the impression I get from MN.

FellatioNelson Wed 28-Nov-12 18:48:01

Do you all really have Yorkshire Pud for Christmas lunch? confused That is not traditional you know. grin

HairyGrotter Wed 28-Nov-12 18:48:18

HEATHEN...HOW DARE YOU?

Do what you want, and what's easiest, I'm usually pretty pissed on fizz when cooking to even notice what the food tastes like come serving up time.

Crack on and enjoy your day!

giraffe213 Wed 28-Nov-12 18:48:35

Nothing wrong with that. Your house, you cook what you want. FWIW I quite like frozen roasties.

Whoever said "doesn't take long to peel potatoes".. for 11 people... you can come to my house and help me or buy me a proper decent vegetable peeler grin

I am a bit confused at people who disdain frozen veg but are happy to each shop bought mince pies.. each to their own I guess!

PickledInAPearTree Wed 28-Nov-12 18:49:21

I don't but I do love a Yorkshire pudding.

I would find that a most welcome addition! grin

Sirzy Wed 28-Nov-12 18:49:36

I don't use shop bought mince pies either so am I allowed to dislike frozen veg?

Whathashappenedtomyboobs Wed 28-Nov-12 18:50:20

Well due to overwhelming disgust, I guess I'll be prepping and cooking....

PickledInAPearTree Wed 28-Nov-12 18:50:38

Frozen veg & potatoes I don't like the taste of.

I ain't Heston but that's just me.

You can buy potatoes already peeled.

Sirzy Wed 28-Nov-12 18:50:39

My grandpa used to serve Yorkshire puddings as a starter at Christmas (and any other time he did roast beef) he did have beef with the Christmas dinner though

PickledInAPearTree Wed 28-Nov-12 18:51:42

You can buy all the veg already done if you can't be arsed. Just get the chilled stuff and no one will ever know.

I don't blame you!

Sirzy Wed 28-Nov-12 18:51:54

Why invite so many people to eat if you don;t like the idea of cooking for them?

Why not invite them just for drinks and snacks later in the day?

FellatioNelson Wed 28-Nov-12 18:52:34

Actually, upon reflection I'll amend my post. I would not assume you hated my guts but I would assume you were only cooking for everyone under duress and that you resented having to do it.

shrimponastick Wed 28-Nov-12 18:54:56

Mushy peas for Xmas dinner ???shock

Whathashappenedtomyboobs Wed 28-Nov-12 18:55:21

Because Sirzy I like their company. I get it, I'm a terrible person, how dare I!

amyboo Wed 28-Nov-12 18:56:05

Me and DH prep the night before. It's not that hard, and frozen veg, especially softer veg like carrots and parsnips, are horrid... MIL always uses frozen veg and they end up like mush. Why not crack open some pre-Christmas champers, nibbles, ut a Christmas film on and sit on the sofa and prep veg?

Whathashappenedtomyboobs Wed 28-Nov-12 18:57:16

I don't resent having to do it, the frozen meal would probably be better than if I did it myself.

PickledInAPearTree Wed 28-Nov-12 18:58:23

Def get chilled. All you need to do it zap it.

Not everyone enjoys cooking isn't it.

Pandemoniaa Wed 28-Nov-12 19:00:25

I'd be absolutely fine with the Auntie Bessie's Yorkshires. To be honest, Yorkshire pudding isn't traditional with turkey anyway so I'd not be precious. But apart from the peas, the rest of the frozen veg wouldn't really cut the mustard on Christmas Day and I'd not serve them to guests. Or to me and DP, for that matter. Parsnips and spuds are easy to prep the day before.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 28-Nov-12 19:04:19

Once you've bought them though they no longer belong to Aunt Bessie, they're YOURS grin

starfishmummy Wed 28-Nov-12 19:04:43

I wouldn't do it, but MIL does it every time we go for a roast dinner - all veg, roasties and yorkshires are from farm foods. She also gets those joints that come in foil trays and incinerates them. Pudding is great though - its hard to go wrong with something from the m&s chiller cabinet.

SweetMingePie Wed 28-Nov-12 19:05:23

We had frozen parsnips last year, thought they were quite nice. Dislike any other form of frozen vegetables unless peas though, would prefer fresh like sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower.

Could you prepare the veg the day before,put fresh water in just before you cook it.

Frozen yorkshires don't bother me either.

Viviennemary Wed 28-Nov-12 19:06:13

I can't see anything wrong with Aunt Bessie's roast potatoes. And roast potatoes for a lot of people are quite hard to do unless you have a catering sized oven or employ a chef. Getting the fat hot enough to brown the potatoes and stop everything else from burning including your fingers. It's a nightmare!

wordfactory Wed 28-Nov-12 19:07:00

Don't go the frozen route OP. Except peas.

Buy ready prepped veg if you must and oven bake. M&S are giod for this. Forget the yorkshires - unecessary unless well prepared. No one will miss them.

ihearsounds Wed 28-Nov-12 19:07:06

Frozen mushrooms are vile. Had them once and never, ever again. I would rather starve. I lurve mushrooms, but these were vile slimy nasty things.

I regularly cook for 11+ (6 people in house, plus regular guests) Christmas there is always at least 12 of us. Buy the little potatoes, no peeling or chopping, don't even have to par boil before going in oven. Buy chantaney carrots, and baby parnsip, only the parnsips will need peeling and the only chopping is the tops from both. Only decent frozen peas imho are petit pois. Frozen yorkies are aunt bessies... You can also rope in help from the guests, I do lol.

BlueberryHill Wed 28-Nov-12 19:11:35

Wordfactory - you do not just forget the yorkshires. I don't care if they aren't traditional, I love them and eat them at every opportunity.

Bunbaker Wed 28-Nov-12 19:11:52

Good Housekeeping recommends that you parboil potatoes for about 5 mins and then freeze them. You can then roast them from frozen. I can guarantee that it works. I loathe parsnips, but OH and DD like Aunt Bessie's so I wouldn't hesitate to do them. I'm afraid that frozen veg other than peas are horrible, especially carrots, sprouts and broccoli.

You can prep all your veg the night before and to cook them won't take much longer than frozen ones.

I wouldn't have a problem with Aunt Bessie's yorkshires at all.

Hopeforever Wed 28-Nov-12 19:12:55

Frozen Roast pots done in goose fat are fine, I'd rather spend time with the family than prepping.

DH works till 1am Christmas Eve night and again christmas day 9am til 1pm. Kids and family come first.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Wed 28-Nov-12 19:13:06

Wow, OP! You rocked the boat here. Who would've thought it's such a controversial thing to fo. grin

Florin Wed 28-Nov-12 19:13:18

Make the Yorkshire pudding batter the night before, it is better that way anyway. Apart from peas I have never bought frozen veg. I even cook it fresh for my son a couple of times a day as he is being blw as well as our normal meals it is not that hard, buy pre-prepared if necessary but cook it fresh.

wordfactory Wed 28-Nov-12 19:14:23

Blue As a Yorkshire lass I cannot stomach frozen. Rather do without.

As for roast potatoes, if you really can't be bothered OP, how about cubing some reds, skins still on and tray baking (30 mins). Not as good, but better than frozen.

DrSeuss Wed 28-Nov-12 19:16:45

So, for one Christmas in their lifetime of say 70 Christmases, people will eat a meal of slightly lower quality so that their hostess actually gets some enjoyment out of the day. How terrible!

BTW, get the frozen goose fat roasties as they are better and M and S yorkshires.

Jesus was not born in a stable so that you could be chained to a stove! Serve lots of wine and make sure the frozen stuff is top notch. Make sure cream, brandy butter etc is the good kind, not cheap.

If anyone objects, tell them you are so looking forward to next Christmas and their delicious home cooking.

You will still be one up on my best friend's aunt who cooks the lot on Christmas Eve, plates it up in portions then microwaves them!

PickledInAPearTree Wed 28-Nov-12 19:16:49

See the Yorkshire pudding is the one thing that wouldn't bother me.

Stonefield Wed 28-Nov-12 19:18:07

I think you should do whatever suits you op. I think lots of posters are being ridiculously precious and smug with it. There are lots of lovely pre-prepared things you can buy and you can just cook from scratch what you feel up to doing. I am working Christmas eve and boxing day, will be 7 months pregnant and have a one year old I would like to play with. I will do whatever the hell I feel like and won't be feeling guilty about itgrin

Beanbagz Wed 28-Nov-12 19:18:31

It's up to you but i couldn't invite people round to dinner and feed them frozen veg!

I cooked Christmas dinner for 13 (inc. 3 vegetarians) a couple of years ago and with careful planning and delegation made everything from scratch apart from the Christmas pudding.

ledkr Wed 28-Nov-12 19:18:41

God you do what you like it's one bloody meal and not for royalty. I'd be inclined to chick in some fresh swede and carrots and maybe a nice gravy though. Enjoy

DrSeuss Wed 28-Nov-12 19:18:46

Also, your name suggests a youngish child. Better see him open presents than peel spuds!

Final thought-how about a pot luck?

Frozen roast potatoes are horrible. My mum tried to fob us off one year so I peeled and roasted the potatoes!

StellaNova Wed 28-Nov-12 19:19:25

I have been given a Christmas dinner like that. I thought "It's completely understandable, here's a stressed out mum trying to feed - I think it was 7 adults and three kids". I also thought: "The potatoes are not very yummy". wink

YANBU

foreignmummy Wed 28-Nov-12 19:20:21

Not unreasonable at all. Whatever reduces your stress levels and makes the day enjoyable for you. It's your christmas day too! I'm sure your guests will just be grateful somebody else is doing the cooking

wordfactory Wed 28-Nov-12 19:20:25

See DrS I don't believe in Jesus, but I do believe that in the Christmas feast and all that signifies. For me it is the one day when things shuld be done well.

However, for those that don't want to, I'd rather eat other short cuts than the frozen tatty route. I would most certainly not turn my nose up at a tray bake of lovely veg.

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Wed 28-Nov-12 19:20:53

DrSuess grin to you aunt who cooks and plates up on Christmas Eve and microwaves on Christmas Day! There you go OP...problem solved grin

DrSeuss Wed 28-Nov-12 19:22:24

It's f*** disgusting! Soggy, just foul!

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Wed 28-Nov-12 19:22:27

Your not you

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Wed 28-Nov-12 19:22:50

I can imagine!

Coconutty Wed 28-Nov-12 19:23:04

Jesus there are some right ungrateful bastards around, aren't there? Serve what you like, I wouldn't judge you or think you were lacking at all.

I would get the ready prepped veg from tesco but think frozen yorkies and roasties will be okay.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 28-Nov-12 19:26:51

YABVVU.

maddening Wed 28-Nov-12 19:26:55

I don't see what's wrong with frozen veg.

if you wanted fresh you can buy ready prepped fresh veg - even fresh ready to go roast potatoes. you can get some lovely gravy in poaches from marks as well.

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Wed 28-Nov-12 19:27:54

I wouldn't not for Christmas dinner.

What about M and S fresh but prepared stuff?
You can get everything. Goose fat potatoes, bread sauce, gravy etc.

Frozen stuff is ok at a push in the week but not at Christmas.

Laquitar Wed 28-Nov-12 19:28:43

I would't mind. Christmas day is about bailys and chocs, not bloody potatoes!

ledkr Wed 28-Nov-12 19:33:47

Laquitar great point. The less dinner you eat the more room for a plethora of other fat nicer grub and bevs after all a roast is a roast innit

NUFC69 Wed 28-Nov-12 19:34:28

I read recently that Mary Berry (I think it was) always completely cooks her roast potatoes the day before Christmas, and then just pops them into the oven on the day to warm them back up - sounds like a good idea to me. We always do the preparation the night before and I will also do things like Parsnip and Leek mash the day before which I can then just pop in the oven for a short while to warm it up. I don't like frozen veg apart from peas, either - if you can't be bothered to do the preparation, just spend the money buying ready prepared stuff.

Whathashappenedtomyboobs Wed 28-Nov-12 19:36:13

Ok get it...

BlueberryHill Wed 28-Nov-12 19:36:31

Wordfactory, Yorkshire lass too, my MIL now includes them when we go there for Christmas meals. I am slowly converting the country.

Whathashappenedtomyboobs Wed 28-Nov-12 19:36:42

I get it..

My Mother In Law has done mainly frozen for Christmas Day (apart from the pots).
While the food has never been anything special it has always been fine and it is only part of the whole day. I would never tell my Mother in Law the meal wasn't of a Michelin standard because I always have so much fun sat around the table with our extended family and children that the meal becomes significantly better than the food on the plate. Everyone lends a hand at some point but on my in laws side they aren't very comfortable in the kitchen. My Mother in Law always puts lots of effort into doing a lovely table, providing nibbles and making sure everyone is happy. Whereas my Mum is all about the meal. Which is always really good but sometimes a bit stressful.
Whenever I've cooked for over 8, I've always done gammon and dauphinois potatoes. So I've done all my prep on the 23rd. I also only do three types of veg (including frozen peas which are meant to be fresher than refrigerated) so it isn't hard work prep wise. I make my own stuffing in advance too.
I do think that the less stress you feel under on the day will make for a happier host and therefore a better day.

PickledInAPearTree Wed 28-Nov-12 19:47:06

Gammon & dauphinois potatoes is a really good one.

bedmonster Wed 28-Nov-12 19:49:50

Okay whats, you get the picture!! But is there any reason you have to do a roast? I know it's traditional but to be honest, IMO there's no point in eating it if you've cooked everything from frozen - it tastes, er, not as good.
BUT you could reheat something you've made in advance? Something really fancy/luxurious/that you wouldn't normally eat that has been all prepped and only requires sticking in the oven to warm.
That's what i'd do if I had guests coming for any other dinner and didn't want to cook. You could make it perfectly clear before hand so that anyone who was upset about not having the roast could make their own alternative arrangements, and then just enjoy your day.

piprabbit Wed 28-Nov-12 19:54:12

Make your own frozen roasties and I swear they will be your best ever.
Prepare and parboil as usual. Then spread them out on a baking tray to cool down. Once they are cool bag and freeze them.
When you want to use them, heat some oil in a roasting tin and then bung in the frozen potatoes - cook til very crispy, golden and melty inside.

You can do the same with parsnips.

Much, much nicer than buying frozen roasties.

DrSeuss Wed 28-Nov-12 20:07:16

I have never understood the Christmas perspective of my late mother. She complained loudly about having to cook, while refusing to take any shortcuts or have anyone help. Christmas in our house was an unpleasant, tense affair while we waited for her to blow. So, I take short cuts whenever possible in a bid to actually get some fun out of the whole day!

Katiekitty Wed 28-Nov-12 20:07:29

Wow, amazed by the amount of restaurant-critic-judgy-pants here.

OP - let's hope you're inviting friends and family who love to see you and have a good get-together, rather than tutters who evaluate the gravy, spuds and M&S chiller cabinet-worthy level of your roast-preparation.

What's wrong with you all?

OP isn't running a restaurant
May not want to go to M&S for it all
Sheesh

PickledInAPearTree Wed 28-Nov-12 20:08:46

She asked. That's why.

ChasedByBees Wed 28-Nov-12 20:08:56

If you peel the potatoes the night before and toss them in oil, they'll be fine in the fridge. I would buy in chilled veg if you need to cheat. You can also buy high quality gravy and it won't take much longer if at all - it might cost a bit more though.

Why are you the only that would be chained to the kitchen stove though - what about your DH?

Mrsjay Wed 28-Nov-12 20:10:43

tbh It really wouldnt bother me if you served me frozen veg and yorkies i hate frozen roasties though but would eat them really it is just a dinner and why should you get in a tizz cooking for 11,

Pickled in pear, I pinched and have adapted a Nigella recipe, its a bread sauce style dauphinois (I love bread sauce but am not good with too much wheat so if I have stuffing I can't cope with bread sauce).

You warm through the milk and cream with mace and a clove studded onion, salt and pepper). I enjoy the leftovers with cold peas and more pepper!

For me it makes up for the lack if gravy (don't do it with a gammon personally).

PickledInAPearTree Wed 28-Nov-12 20:14:09

I'm cooking on Christmas Eve and doing dauphinois and gammon too.

Ill look that up, sounds lovely.

Mrsjay Wed 28-Nov-12 20:14:51

OP i bet you are glad you are not getting any of the repliers to your dinner they would be running fork through veg with upturned noses grin

McChristmasPants2012 Wed 28-Nov-12 20:33:57

I don't mind frozen veg for a mid week roast, but to me Christmas dinner is special and I go all out.

Whathashappenedtomyboobs Wed 28-Nov-12 21:09:21

Well I've been reading my Mrs Beatons cook book and also taken on board your comments...some are a bit feisty, but, hay ho i wanted to know what people thought.

I personally am really looking forward to having my family over, and as much as they are all fab cooks, I don't think they are as pretentious as some of you lot and would be grateful for anything that was put in front of them and our company.

I do not want any of my family to think I'm lazy, don't want them their and to no enjoy their day (I really don't think a frozen roast potato will do this) but I am going to make a compromise...

I have ordered a lovely turkey and sausages wrapped in bacon from our local farm shop. I will cook my own potatoes and veg but I will be using some frozen bits like parsnips (because they are lush)Yorkshire pud and peas and I'm buying gravy.

shrimponastick Wed 28-Nov-12 21:16:35

i have cooked christmas dinner for 14 a few years running now.

I make about 3 trays of yorkshire puddings the day before and cover loosely with cling film and re heat them on xmas day. It only takes a few mins in a hot oven to reheat them and they are perfect. I will not have aunt bessies in my house - my mum gets them, as does mil. they are rank.

Veg gets prepped the night before. Roast potatoes are simple.

My only gripe is that I would like two ovens, but manage.

I find wine helps... ;)

StinkyWicket Wed 28-Nov-12 21:19:00

You should invite my mum, she can't stop herself from prepping every single vegetable in sight grin

kilmuir Wed 28-Nov-12 21:23:32

Christmas for you too OP.
My children love aunt bessies yorkshires.
Love home made roasties and must be homemade gravy

squeakytoy Wed 28-Nov-12 21:35:57

frozen roast potatoes are not too bad if you cook them after they have defrosted.. that way they are crispy on the outside, and soft in the middle..

I would do them that way, and also do some mash too (which can be bought fresh/chilled, or home made in advance then just reheated).

Fakebook Wed 28-Nov-12 21:43:53

How long does it take to peel some potatoes and parsnips? Honestly don't buy this things frozen its disgusting.

Whathashappenedtomyboobs Wed 28-Nov-12 21:46:50

Read my last post Fakebook

yellowsubmarine53 Wed 28-Nov-12 21:52:25

If everyone drinks enough, it won't matter what it tastes like, would be my theory...

I totally hear you re not wanting to spend the whole of Xmas day in the kitchen - I only did a proper turkey thing once and it was like having another guest with all the basting, prodding and god knows what.

I would either ask everyone to do and bring a bit, or serve something very easy, simple and non-traditional ie nice starter, salmon, new spuds, salad, fresh veg, choice of deserts.

fluffypillow Wed 28-Nov-12 21:53:06

frozen roasties are vile sad Would hate frozen veggies too (don't mind peas)

I think frozen yorkshires are good though.

I'd just rope in some adults to help tbh. Why should you have to do it all?

yellowsubmarine53 Wed 28-Nov-12 21:53:16

Just read your update - sounds good!

TheCatIsEatingIt Wed 28-Nov-12 21:54:37

It'll get you out of having to do it next year.

TheCatIsEatingIt Wed 28-Nov-12 21:55:29

Sorry, hadn't read your update. The new plan sounds lovely.

Good compromise OP. Life is too short to do everything yourself especially when you could be quaffing fizzy pop.

Adversecamber Wed 28-Nov-12 21:59:09

I have never eaten a Yorkshire pudding on Christmas Day in my entire life.

TwitchyTail Wed 28-Nov-12 22:08:59

I must be the only person on the planet who just loves frozen roast potatoes grin The nice kind (you know, Waitrose or Taste the Difference goose fat type ones).

Send them my way OP.

Greensleeves Wed 28-Nov-12 22:14:26

OP - do NOT let this daft bloody thread cast a pall over your Christmas!

Another one here who had horrible tense Christmases as a child (every year - suitcases being emptied out of upstairs windows, people screaming and storming off in taxis at 2am, presents being coldly rejected/binned...the lot grin)

Everyone has certain elements of this huge sprawling cross-cultural "Christmas" phenomenon that mean something to them. I have to have the perfect crackers. If I can't find silver with frosted red berries then it's not the real deal. Chocolate advent calenders make me shit. DH paics about not finding brandy butter, we all hate the stuff. For some people, obviously it's all about the roasties grin.

Your Christmas is about YOU and your loved ones, not a load of foodies on the internet. It will be fine. They're frozen potatoes, not carbuncles from the last leper in Hell.

yellowsubmarine53 Wed 28-Nov-12 22:18:44

Excellent post, Greensleeves.

My dh too has brandy butter panics each year...

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 28-Nov-12 22:28:20

Frozen roasties are vile.

You can do your own - parboil and rough up, cover with dripping and then freeze them. Or just do all the veg prep on Christmas Eve, make your pigs in blankets in advance and freeze, the same with cranberry. Stuff the turkey and prep it for the oven the night before and then you don't need to be in the kitchen until a couple of hours before you want to eat.

I do eat shop bought mince pies in the run up to Christmas - ie now! - but I make my own for Christmas week, including making my own mincemeat.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 28-Nov-12 22:29:48

I hadn't read your update - that sounds a good plan.

bedmonster Wed 28-Nov-12 23:20:07

Twitchy You must be! I think they're rank and taste of cardboard! My lovely mum serves them as she doesn't like roasties (home made or otherwise) and can't stand the faff of them. Fair enough, and when she invites us for sunday dinner we always accept as the meal itself is a lovely afternoon for all of us, sitting round the table having a few glasses of wine and munching away. But the roasties make me heave!!! grin

2ticks Thu 29-Nov-12 00:11:16

Blimey - from the comments on this thread you would think you had suggested serving the potatoes still frozen, straight from the freezer!

Only 7 here this year, but we will be using frozen potatoes, parsnips, peas and yorkshires (can't have a roast without yorkshires). No food snobbiness in my guests - thank goodness!

Enjoy the day!

TerrorNotSoFrightened Thu 29-Nov-12 00:22:07

I have read this thread with interest.
And am still going to serve two bags of tesco finest goose fat roast potatoes.
smile

cate16 Thu 29-Nov-12 00:46:55

I did this once - BIG MISTAKE! Never again.

I'm all for short-cuts, however....
When you put lots of frozen roast potatoes in oven the temp plummets they take about 4 times as long to cook(and I've got a bloody good oven) - your timings go completely to pot........... frozen veg 'on mass' take ages to boil.
I ended up spending nearly all afternoon in kitchen, dinner was about 2 hours late, dinner was 'so, so' and I was knackered.

We'd had a bad year and I just wanted a simple day for the whole family.

Only ever did it the once, went back to good old method of prep night before- it's so much easier.

FellatioNelson Thu 29-Nov-12 03:42:21

Grrrrr...I was starting to feel a bit sorry for you Whathas until you threw in the word pretentious! What on earth has pretention got to do with this? Since when was chopping and cooking some fresh veg, and actually, you know - making a bit of an effort for what is supposed to be the best feast of the year to mark a special family occasion 'pretentious'? confused

It's not like anyone has said you are beyond the pale unless you serve seven courses with homemade game pate, vintage champers and hand crafted petit fours, is it? hmm

FellatioNelson Thu 29-Nov-12 03:47:25

The one time we had Christmas dinner at my sisters she served turkey flavoured bisto gravy granules mixed with water (none of the lovely fresh turkey stock was involved AT ALL confused) and whacked it on the table in a huge ugly plastic measuring jug.

Why? Why would you do that? <shakes head sadly>

Will nobody think of poor baby Jesus? grin

FellatioNelson Thu 29-Nov-12 03:49:39

However, will concede that if you are a poor/stressed cook then go to M&S and buy some ready made FRESH stuff. Goose fat roast potatoes and some spiced red cabbage, honeyed parsnips, sprouts with bacon, that kind of thing.

Just not school dinner fodder, pleeeeease.

(I'm clearly emotionally over-invested in this thread now.)

PearlyWhites Thu 29-Nov-12 04:05:28

How do you prepare/ recook roast pototoes? That sounds like something to save me time

FellatioNelson Thu 29-Nov-12 05:07:40

Par-boil your potatoes, until starting to go soft and flaky on the outside but still quite firmish in the centre. Drain them, leaveto stand for a bit so the steam comes off them, then put the lid back on the pan and give them a good shake. Don't go OTT (especially if you have boiled them a bit too much) otherwise they will disintegrate and you'll have roast mash. grin

After shaking look in the pan - they should be nice and bashed up around the edges; this is what will give you a crispy crunchy coating. Lay them out out a flat try to cool, and dust with seasoned flour. (I use a mix of flour and semolina but it's not a big deal if you don't.)

Once they are cool, put them in the fridge. You can do this the day before.

When you are ready to cook them, heat your fat of choice (for fantastic flavor I always choose either a tin/jar of goose fat or a good old fashioned block of beef dripping. But you can use olive oil (not extra virgin) or lard or sunflower oil - whatever.

It's best if the fat is really hot, so I usually get it to a good heat in a small pan first, then pour it over the potatoes and whack them in a very hot oven. Turnt hem once or twice halfway through. To get them nice and crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside you need a bit of space around them in the roasting dish, but if you have a small oven and lots of people that is not always possible. No matter, it just means you need to allow longer for them to crisp up. If you can space them well and have the over very high you can do them in half an hour flat, but realistically they usually take longer, what with the stuffing and pigs in blankets etc.

Take your turkey out earlier cover it in foil and leave it somewhere to rest while you do all this. It won't hurt to leave the turkey sitting for an hour or more.

Personally I never put the meat juices around the roast potatoes, as although it gives a great flavour it deters them from going really crispy. I use the meat juices for the gravy though.

musicalendorphins Thu 29-Nov-12 05:42:08

I think your last plan is perfect.
Many frozen vegetables are excellent.
I have heard you can peel potatoes and keep them in water in a pot overnight out of the fridge , I would like to know if it is true, and if I could do it for carrots as well?

FellatioNelson Thu 29-Nov-12 05:45:43

Of course you can!

musicalendorphins Thu 29-Nov-12 06:00:02

Thanks smile , I'm glad to learn this, it will free up some time.

oldnewmummy Thu 29-Nov-12 06:37:59

NUFC69

Parsnip and leek mash sounds great - could you share the recipe, please?

Anyone: I've never successfully managed proper fresh gravy - any tips? (Can't buy from M&S as in Australia.)

Bunbaker Thu 29-Nov-12 06:50:17

"I have ordered a lovely turkey and sausages wrapped in bacon from our local farm shop. I will cook my own potatoes and veg but I will be using some frozen bits like parsnips (because they are lush)Yorkshire pud and peas and I'm buying gravy."

I would do that as well. Just tip the meat juices into the gravy and it will have that just made taste.

Am I the only one who doesn't do yorkshires with Christmas dinner?

Also who does do all the veg prep on Christmas day anyway? We have always done that on Christmas eve - even my mum and auntie did in their day.

FellatioNelson Thu 29-Nov-12 06:58:13

No, bun I never do. It's just WRONG. grin

RubyGates Thu 29-Nov-12 07:15:52

Do whatever you need to do to enjoy your Christmas day with your family.
Do you want to be that poor downtrodden woman from the Asda advert? Thought not.
How id being brow-beaten by a bunch of strangers from the internet any different from being bullied into spending all day int the kitchen by your family?

The only place I hear the word vile is on here! Frozen roasties are not vile! They're just not what many martyrs would chose to serve on Christmas day. If you have niether the time nor the inclination to prepare your own, and you'd rather spend the day acually interacting with your family then they're not going to be a bad option.

Don't listen to the meanies! Free yourself from the shackles of domestic expectation! Grasp your fizz bottle firmly in both hands! Go beyond the kitchen and watch your family have fun and JOIN IN!

Whathashappenedtomyboobs Thu 29-Nov-12 07:28:16

Calm down FellatioNelson it wasn't a personal attack on you smile

Whathashappenedtomyboobs Thu 29-Nov-12 07:29:25

ha ha thanks Ruby

Sirzy Thu 29-Nov-12 07:35:42

It was posted on am I being unreasonable, people said she was being unreasonable in their views. Surely that is the idea of AIBU? It would be pretty boring if everyone just said "oh that would be lovely" wouldn't it?

usualsuspect3 Thu 29-Nov-12 07:40:05

Sounds like a good plan to me. I don't think YABU at all.

But I'm not one to faint at the sight of an Aunt Bessies roast spud.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 29-Nov-12 07:43:43

It is not food snobbery, it is just wanting to eat things that taste lovely on a special day.

If you cook a proper roast most weekends like I do and many others, then just ramping it up a bit for Christmas day doesn't seem daunting with a bit of planning. Why would you want to downgrade what you eat on a regular basis for your Christmas feast with family? It just doesn't make sense to me on any level.

If you are a regular user of frozen potatoes, yorkshires (not that they should be with a turkey...), and other veg then fair enough because you and presumably your guests are used to it.

The Asda woman is an idiot because she enlists no help and does all the prep on the day.
We are at my parents this year, and Christmas eve will see me and mum stuffing the turkey while DH and my brothers peel a potato mountain and prep the sprouts grin

DaveMccave Thu 29-Nov-12 07:46:13

Frozen roast dinners are ok by me on your average sunday, but christmas day I'd be gutted! Especially roast potatoes. Peeling is the only time difference with fresh and frozen parsnips and fresh are much nicer. Or do crushed parsnips?

I remember turning up at my mums one christmas eve and she told me she hadn't bought any fresh veg this year because she couldn't be bothered. I was gutted, and rushed out to buy the last of the fresh veg from the local shop, and prepped it all myself. We always do that on christmas eve together now and leave it in pans of water, never wait until the day, that would be unneccesary time in the kitchen. Sometimes we do the turkey christmas eve. Sometimes a turkey crown on the day and a ham in the slow cooker.

Inviting that many people and then saying it's too much is strange, don't invite them if you don't want to do it! Delegate dishes. I'd much rather be asked to bring a plate of roasties or some yorkshire batter than eat frozen.

You don't have to be a martyr to cook a proper dinner, it should be at least a 50-50 job with your partner if you don't want to ask other guests for help.

usualsuspect3 Thu 29-Nov-12 07:46:38

I won't buy frozen, but I will buy it all ready prepped. Sod spending Christmas eve peeling and chopping.

mrsmellow Thu 29-Nov-12 07:46:46

OP glad you have a sensible solution. You could also make some stuffing in advance! I'm just so envious - I'm overseas and tied into a bbq with friends (and it will be too damn hot for roast), mouthwatering at all this talk! I hope you have a lovely day.

usualsuspect3 Thu 29-Nov-12 07:47:16

Apart from the yorkies, I will buy them frozen.

Bunbaker Thu 29-Nov-12 07:51:51

"If you have neither the time nor the inclination to prepare your own, and you'd rather spend the day actually interacting with your family then they're not going to be a bad option."

Or you parboil them the week/month before and stick them in the freezer. No-one with half an ounce of common sense does all this on Christmas day do they?

TrickyWoo Thu 29-Nov-12 08:13:30

OP that sounds lovely, I am also buying gravy, would do with yorkshires or peas if was doing. Luckily my DDad peels all our veg while DS, DD, me, MIL and DM are at Christinglecservice (DH at work). My DBro does pigs in blankets, my parents bring stuffing and pudding, MIL an amazing trifle (trad here!). On the day, DH & I share 'the timing plan', every time the timer rings we take it in turns to go and do the next thing then set the timer again. Same spreadsheet each year!

RedHelenB Thu 29-Nov-12 08:18:07

Better than Denise's attempt on Royle family at any rate!!! Have to agree though, potatoes & parsnips best done yourself.

ThatDudeSanta Thu 29-Nov-12 08:25:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Startail Thu 29-Nov-12 08:36:08

Frozen Yorkshires are what you always get in this house.
Other veg would be fresh.

We often have frozen roasties as DD2 likes them and they are quick, but at Christmas it has to be the real thing

BegoniaBampot Thu 29-Nov-12 08:47:28

OP if you invited me for dinner I'd happily eat what you put out and be grateful. Even your frozen roasters.

Mrsjay Thu 29-Nov-12 09:41:16

MY friend once went out at 6 pm on christmas eve because she had no STAR ANISE shock apparently she had seen it on a cooking show for gravy was a must apparently , some people do get into such a tizz, mum buys cranberry jelly for me cos i like it I dont like cranberry sauce but i spoon a little on my plate grin

Mrsjay Thu 29-Nov-12 09:42:03

Better than Denise's attempt on Royle family at any rate!

Carrot crush and cupasoup grin

PearlyWhites Thu 29-Nov-12 09:50:18

Thanks fellatio smile

FollowingTheTao Thu 29-Nov-12 10:07:14

OP I think about myself as a good cook but I am shock at some of the answers.
Frozen vegs aren't dire as such. Peas, green beans, cauliflower all come to mind as just as good as the fresh stuff. (And where are you going to find fresh peas at this time the year anyway?)

I would say you do need to think about how you are going to cook them though and decide if you want them fresh or not.
I think root veg don't seem to do well when frozen so I tend to get parsnips, carrots, potatoes from fresh.
Green beans, peas always frozen.
Sprouts from frozen do very well is you cook them with your roast meat. They soak up the juices and really taste and look good.

As for the Yorkshire pudding... I have yet to meet someone who baked them at home from scratch, even on Christmas day. What I have heard though is lots and lots of stories about how people have tried to make some and failed, ending up with 'something' that didn't remotely look like a yorkshire pudding. So unless you know you can bake them well, I would stay clear of them and just buy frozen.

Seriously, a good meal isn't about whether the ingredients were frozen in the first place or not. It's about how you have prepared them.

I buy ready cut veg from Asda and then cook everything from scratch. It is the prep of peeling that I take an age over so this saves time.
The soup and pudding will be made on Christmas eve.
I then have the timings written down like a military operation. Im cooking for 9 adults and 4 kids this year.

FellatioNelson Thu 29-Nov-12 11:37:17

exactly Alibaba

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 29-Nov-12 12:05:13

usual - it takes about 1.5 hours, we listen to the carols while we do it. Then we have a yummy dinner, go to the pub and come home and finish the wrapping drunk fighting over who gets the scissors. grin

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 29-Nov-12 12:06:53

Thank you Fellatio wink

Whathashappenedtomyboobs Thu 29-Nov-12 20:03:25

Some really nice posts and some not but I'm loving the people that actually give advise not just say its vile then brag about how perfect they are at cooking.
Now, I invited 11 over because I wanted to, not because I had to or any other reason.
I've been going thru my cook books which where Xmas gifts (umm....!!!) And have thought about it and I'm going to attempt to cook a nice meal.
If everyone's Shitting Xmas eve then its your fault!

mum2threesons Fri 30-Nov-12 08:51:18

I buy frozen roasties and yorkshire puddings, Nothing wrong with using them Christmas day at all.
My 10 hungry guests have never said they're horrible and I always have clean plates at the end of a Christmas meal.
If you want to, then there's no reason why you can't.
Enjoy smile

natalie12188 Sat 01-Dec-12 00:12:15

tbh my mum cooks for over 20 people on christmas day with not one frozen thing in sight and has always done since she was 18 this includes 4 different meats homemade stuffing roasted carrots and parsnips homemade gravy and she starts prep on xmas eve aswell as having a little family get together with nibbles on christmas eve but this is my mum im talking about only certain people can do it there's nothing wrong with frozen food each to their own and all that whats wrong with it all these people complaining about it are talking as if their day is going to be perfect...leave this lass alone if she wants to do frozen then fine im pretty sure that she will still be loved after it!!!!......and one last thing m&s really? either you all have got no finance issues during christmas time or are just too snobby to go to asda!!!

FellatioNelson Sat 01-Dec-12 04:07:08

Well to be fair I would never say they were horrible, if I was a guest in someone else's home - but I might think it.

It depends. You can get some very good goose fat or beef dripping roast potatoes but the Aunt Bessie sort are dry and hard, and taste processed.

Bertrude Sat 01-Dec-12 05:26:58

I wonder where I am on the horrid and vile scale...

I have just placed my order at the local golf club for THEM to cook my turkey, ham, veg, bread sauce and gravy for the 10 of us on Christmas day. All I will be making is mash and rosaries (and maybe Yorkshire puds), the starter and the pud and most of that prep will be done on Christmas eve.

I won't even know if theyve used frozen veg or not shock horror, but it'll all be collected piping hot an hour before serving well, 30 mins before guests arrive so they don't know I've cheated

Now is that bad or is that genius? I'm thinking the latter, as it means I don't have to worry on Christmas eve about getting too drunk that I wake up late and forget I'm cooking.

Bertrude Sat 01-Dec-12 05:27:29

Obviously I meant roasties in my last post, I will not be serving rosaries.

RubyGates Sat 01-Dec-12 07:08:13

Bertrude! How marvellous!
What a genius idea!
<hand trophy of clever cheatiness to Bertrude> smile

Moln Sat 01-Dec-12 07:47:29

The star anise was in Jamie Oliver's gravy.

I made his gravy once, it was very tasty, just like he said (well he said something stupid sounding bit like pukka). I made it a week before Christmas and froze it (are there any posters flapping theur arms about screaming 'vile'now? grin )

saying that I've never, ever seen star anise in the shops.

Also what I want to know is what the heck are people doing to frozen veg if it's soggy and vile? Overcooking it sounds like.

Vile really is a MN word isn't it. Best read in a very posh English accent whilst looking all aghast

MsGee Sat 01-Dec-12 08:16:40

I will be doing Xmas lunch for three. Everything will be frozen or pre-pared (by a supermarket). It's how we do Sunday roast every week.

I'm not overly confident in the kitchen and want to spend Xmas day playing with DD and will be putting playmobil together all day

When my folks and in laws come for a pre Xmas roast they will get the same. It's really a non issue here. That said I do remember my mum hoisting her judgy pants because my auntie did frozen roast potatoes one year.

also if you get the posh frozen potatoes which are in dripping they're nicer

KitCat26 Sat 01-Dec-12 08:22:58

Brilliant Bertrude!

Personally I would stick with frozen Yorkshires and peas, the rest I would prep the night before. says she buying it all ready prepped from M&S

Bunbaker Sat 01-Dec-12 08:54:45

"As for the Yorkshire pudding... I have yet to meet someone who baked them at home from scratch, even on Christmas day. What I have heard though is lots and lots of stories about how people have tried to make some and failed, ending up with 'something' that didn't remotely look like a yorkshire pudding. So unless you know you can bake them well, I would stay clear of them and just buy frozen."

I agree, or shock horror, forego them entirely.

"saying that I've never, ever seen star anise in the shops."

Any decent sized supermarket will have them in the spices section. Anyway Whathashappenedtomyboobs I hope you have a lovely Christmas.

WelshMaenad Sat 01-Dec-12 09:03:12

I get my star anise from Induan grocers, big bags of them for a quid versus several quid for just a few in supermarkets.

I readily admit to being too snobby for Asda. Is this a problem?

WelshMaenad Sat 01-Dec-12 09:05:42

Also, I make Yorkers from scratch all the time, I have never bought a frozen one. Ever. Does this make me some kind of mythical beast?

I don't really get why Christmas lunch is so hard to prepare. It's just a roast. I do a roast with at least five different veg, all fresh, all from scratch, every Sunday. Christmas just involves more bacon lardons.

Moln Sat 01-Dec-12 09:11:32

Not my decent sized supermarkers there's not! I'm starting to suspect they are illegal here. Might head over to WelshMaenad's Indian grogery and start a black market trade here (Ireland that is)!

Though I might have a look in the Asian Market in town first...

Bunbaker Sat 01-Dec-12 09:29:10

I live in an area with one of the lowest ethnic populations in the UK and I can buy star anise from Tesco. In fact they stock two brands.

Bunbaker Sat 01-Dec-12 09:30:01

Sorry. Didn't see that you were in Ireland (note to self - must read posts properly before replying)

fuzzpig Sat 01-Dec-12 10:49:47

I only did a proper turkey thing once and it was like having another guest with all the basting, prodding and god knows what.

I'm worried about how you treat your human guests, yellow grin

yellowsubmarine53 Sat 01-Dec-12 14:19:17

Ha! It honestly was like having another toddler, in terms of how often I had to attend to its bodily fluids or dress. Everytime things went quiet, I had a 'omg, what's it up to?' moment.

What I learnt was make sure you take EVERYTHING out of the dratted thing. It was a relief to discover that they now put giblets in melt-proof wrapping for idiots like me, but not an ideal 'aha' moment on Xmas Day.

And cook the bastard thing into oblivion. It was in the oven for AGES (meaning that we had Xmas dinner with out the turkey and turkey sandwiches in the evening) and there was still red meat (meaning that we slung the bloody thing out on Boxing Day).

I offer this cautionary tale for vegetarians who might think that a whole turkey on Xmas day is a sensible starting point into cooking meat and in solidarity for those who wish to do no more on Xmas day than rip over a few packets.

fuzzpig Sat 01-Dec-12 15:58:44

I am lucky DH was a chef for a long time, so even though I like cooking and participating in the creation of Xmas dinner (whether turkey or not), I can rely on him to know all the timings!

Ha! It honestly was like having another toddler

That's what I feel about my parents when they visit <weary sigh>

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Sat 01-Dec-12 17:49:40

natalie we do have to be very careful with our money, but we will M&S for Xmas day as it is a treat for us, and the quality of the food is superb and appreciated, and we can taste the difference. I shop at Lidl and Asda the rest of the year round, but if I want to make it special for me, DH and my family for one special day, I bloody well will, so take your "snobby" comment and swivel, dearie.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 01-Dec-12 18:10:56

YANBU apart from maybe the frozen veg, frozen brussel sprouts are rank but I guess with lots of gravy on them you won't notice and I happen to like frozen roasties. I can't see stuffing and pigs in blankets on your list though, which can also be bought frozen and tbh any shop bought stuffing is a million times better than my mums disgusting apricot stuffing that I was subjected to as a child.

I have bought a "bundle" from M&S with everything I need for Christmas day. As long as the turkey is big and the gravy hot I'm not sure if people notice much else.

DH will trough his way through a big portion, DS will stick his nose up at it all apart from the roasties probably, BIL who lives alone will be delighted and grateful to have a free meal and DM & DF are old and don't eat that much anyway so will have more than enough to pick at.

You know your family so I'm sure it will be absolutely fine.

fuzzpig Sat 01-Dec-12 18:26:08

I don't really see the problem with some frozen veg. If you cook it properly it doesn't go mushy! We regularly use peas (obviously), broccoli, cauliflower and sliced runner beans. We even use <shock> mixed veg sometimes as it's super quick, as well as cheap.

I don't use frozen Yorkers though - they are ok, but DH is coeliac so he makes his from scratch, they are AMAZING. And I really don't give a flying figgy pudding that they aren't traditional!

fuzzpig Sat 01-Dec-12 18:29:03

I use paxo (or mrs crimbles gluten free) stuffing, but add chopped up hazelnuts and chopped dried apricots, it's lovely, and much better than I could make from scratch (I do intend to try my own again one day though)

BluelightsAndSirens Sat 01-Dec-12 20:41:14

I like Jamie's gravy and buy the star anise from Asdaaaaaaaaa.

There are a lot of lonely people in the world that would love a Christmas dinner made with frozen veg AND roasties AND yorkies, Christmas is a time for family and friends and for remembering how lucky you are to have a choice.

Happy Christmas.

<go gets coat whilst hearing thousands of MN'ers muttering fuck off Blue there's a dear>

giraffe213 Sat 01-Dec-12 23:23:16

"frozen brussel sprouts are rank" - yes but so are fresh ones, so what's the difference? grin

RubyGates Sun 02-Dec-12 08:02:19

Good point giraffe! What's the point in preparing piles of Satan's little green farts, if no-one's going to eat them?

ThereISaidIt Sun 02-Dec-12 08:33:18

I'd write a menu, the divide it out by those who will eat it.
That's what we do. Someone brings wine, someone brings cheese, someone brings nibbles and crisps etc.
makes it more manageable money wise too. Of course if all the guests are kids, that blows this suggestion out of the water!

YoHoHoAndABottleOfSherry Sun 02-Dec-12 08:40:00

I think your revised menu with just frozen yorkshire pudding, parsnips and peas and the rest fresh, sounds lovely - I'd come for Christmas lunch with you!

I personally think frozen roasted parsnips taste nicer than fresh ones anyway blush

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 02-Dec-12 08:41:46

I quite like fresh brussels - particularly when my uncle does them, he frys them in the pan with bacon and almonds they are lush.

But then this is the man who makes 3 types of fresh stuffing because he didn't know which one would taste best.

TBH I wouldn't split out the menu, its one meal with a lot of nonsense attached to it. Buying frozen cuts the costs, just make sure its someone elses house next year. Though I'm quite happy to do the turkey as it means DS can open his presents at home.

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