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making christmas dinner a bit easier.

(11 Posts)
OTS Thu 29-Nov-12 08:36:30

I am cooking my first christmas dinner this year. It will just be me, DH and 18 month old DS. I don't want to be spending most of christmas morning in the kitchen, I want to be playing with DS etc. So... what can I do the day before?

I was planning on cooking the veg and then just heating up the following day.
Can I par boil the potatoes and parsnips so that I just have to roast them the next day, or will they go funny if they are par boiled and then left?
I'm buying frozen sausage and bacon things, they don't taste that different and it will make it so much easier for me!
Any other suggestions how I can make it easier?

My mum cooks the turkey on xmas eve. When it cools my dad takes all the meat off the bone (while we all sit around like begging dogs grin ) and then the meat is wrapped in tinfoil and refridgerated.

She keeps the juices. So on xmas day she slices enough white meat for everyone, puts it in a dish with some of the juices, covers and reheats. Its always lovely and moist.

She does the same with the ham. Preps all her veg and stuffing etc and makes the mash. So xmas day is just a case of putting things in the oven or on the hob. My mums xmas dinner is delicious!

You could definately make the desserts ahead too!

And you can par boil things and keep them. Roasties will actually be tastier if they are cooled before going into the hot oil smile

Mrsbranestawm Thu 29-Nov-12 09:05:56

OP, you have tiny numbers there for Christmas dinner (ie 2). Buy a small turkey crown and maybe some pre-prepped veggies. I'm assuming you want a relaxed day, not a culinary triumph? Don't try too hard.

OTS Thu 29-Nov-12 09:18:58

I thought of getting a turkey crown as neither of us really like the legs, and DS obviously won't eat much anyway.

Yeah, not too bothered about it being perfect, although it's our first Christmas just us, and both our mums always make perfect Christmas dinners, I'm worried it will be a big let down!

Glad I can do most of it the day before, will save more time for playing with the Happyland fairground which really I bought for myself grin

TeeBee Thu 29-Nov-12 09:23:55

Cranberry sauce, apple sauce and gravy can all be made ahead and frozen.
If you make red cabbage, same.
Do all your veg peeling the day before.
Desserts definately the day before.
Turkey all prepared the night before, then just banged in the oven the following morning.

ethelb Thu 29-Nov-12 09:25:21

You can make the cabbage in the slow cooker and you can steam the pudding in a slow cooker too.

Viperidae Thu 29-Nov-12 09:27:33

I do just as wannabe's mum does. Cook turkey Xmas Eve, parboil potatoes and parsnips, prepare all other veg, etc so on the day it is just a matter of turning the stove on as the hard work is all done.

Mrsbranestawm Thu 29-Nov-12 09:36:39

OK, think of it this way. Who are you trying to impress? Is that person actually there? If you are trying to recreate your Mother's dinner and yet she isn't there and neither you nor your DH actually mind what you eat, then do your own thing.

We once had a picnic on Christmas day in Cromford in Derbyshire with our four DC. It was lovely, though a wee bit cold! We had chicken, sausage, bacon and cranberry sandwiches. I think I was running away from the expectations of older family members about having to cook a great big Christmas dinner for tons of people.

We saw them all on Boxing Day, in case anyone is worrying that I was being an arse.

In short, OP, do your own thing. Do not feel you need to meet anybody's expectations, because then Christmas just feels like work.

gregssausageroll Thu 29-Nov-12 09:52:56

Marks and Spencer do a meal for 2 in a box. Well, they did last year.

Dolallytats Thu 29-Nov-12 09:55:16

Not a tip for the actual meal, but cooking the meat and the roast tatties in throwaway foil trays makes the washing up a whole lot quicker!!

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