Help me cook for my first Xmas.(14 Posts)
So, this year for the first time I cooking the whole dinner thing. Slight pressure as we've moved into the farmhouse the MIL has lived in for over 40 yeArs and hosted Christmas for as long - now it's my turn.
I bought the Delia Christmas book to get some ideas - seems by page 2 id failed though, apparently j should have sat down in mid October and planned 4 free days in my diary. I don't have 4 free minutes let alone 4 free days.
Plan is to do:
Saint 75 cocktails (brothers job to make) with smoked salmon blinis
Turkey, roasties, stuffing, pigs in blankets, bread & cranberry sauce, parsnips, Brussels, carrots & peas
Trifle, Xmas pud (bought) fruit salad
There will be 6 adults and 2 kids (both mine aged 2.7 and 14 months)
Ideas I've had to make stuff simpler but I'm not sure I could do:
-make bread sauce in advance & freeze. Not sure this will work.
-make stuffing & freeze. Will this work?
-use cheap foil trays to do roasties so there's no washing up
-buy pre prepared veg.
Any other tips?
I should add that I'll be on my own with the 2dc till 11 when my mil will arrive to help. Dh is out on the farm. I also have to provide a tea which will be cold and pulled out of fridge.
You can prepare and freeze the carrots and parsnips too. Unless you really want to cook M and S do bread sauce and pigs in blankets and trifle. Just a thought.
i think i put the bread sauce on the day before, peel the veggies the night before
write it all down, follow the timings
i would use delia smith
main thing, keep the plates warm and make hot gravy, that will get everything hot.
dont drink too much while you are cooking also
Don't stress it'll be fine ... You can freeze bread sauce, stuffing and roasties OP. You can prep' and cook your veg and freeze that too. Do your Turkey in the morning. Best of luck
Stuffing will freeze very well, just remember to thaw it out fully before stuffing the turkey, and don't over stuff. Add any stuffing, half onion in the cavity etc on to the weight of the bird when calculating the roasting time. Allow 'resting time' for the turkey, out of the oven and covered in foil and towels to keep it hot.
I make my stuffing and freeze some in a dish to bake separately and serve with the dinner, and some in a freezer bag to stuff the bird.
I'd buy the bread and cranberry sauces.
You can make pigs in blankets and freeze them, as long as the sausages and bacon haven't been frozen before and thawed, you can't re-freeze them raw. Again, thaw thoroughly before cooking.
Make sure you add something into the mix that is DIFFERENT to what the MIL always did so you can't be directly compared. Now is the time to invent a new tradition. For example I decorated a chocolate log with plastic dinosaurs (because they happened to be in the kitchen) a few years ago and now 'Jurassic Roulade' is a Thing, which my MIL certainly can't compare her trifle to!
Also a nice thing to do might be that during the meal make a toast to your MIL which acknowledges all her years of hard work, the fact that it isn't easy, and that you hope everyone (especially her) has enjoyed YOUR first Christmas meal. I'm sure this will make up for any burnt spuds/ mistimed veg.
Good luck and enjoy.
Set the Christmas table (if you have a separate dining room) on Christmas Eve.
Don't do a starter before Christmas lunch
Use a disposable foil roasting dish
Its just a roast with sprouts! M&S bread sauce is lovely pop it in a pan before MIL arrives no one will ever no! (I'd also do this with anything else you don't fancy making!) Have you considered a Turkey crown + another type of joint less too go wrong and I think the crowns come out nicer than a whole bird.
Gravy can be made the night before, as can you par boil the poatoes pop in the fridge then just rough up and throw in hot oiled tray when needed.
Carrots and parsnips in same roasting tray again part cook on Xmas eve then into hot oil(Jamie Oliver's recipe is lovely).
Sprouts are easy enough as are peas and you should have enough space on the job to cook them.
Good luck and enjoy your Xmas with your children nothing worse than being stuck in the kitchen while they play!
I normally have everything possible ready the day before - turkey stuffed and wrapped in foil, all veg peeled, table laid, plated etc on warming tray, serving utensils out. I have one of those thermal gravy jugs. Most importantly I do a time plan as I've normally had a glass of bubbly on the day. And a timer with a loud bell to remind me when I need to do the next bit. Don't forget, unless you have an Aga, all ovens are on a go slow on Christmas Day so browning things take longer
Sorry if this is a stupid question but I'm doing Christmas dinner for the first time too. What is the reason to use a disposable roasting tray?
Agree with bobs123 that a timetable is essential. I thought it would tie me down, but in fact it frees me up as I can see at a glance whether I need to be in the kitchen or not.
Instead of a starter at the table I have been doing smoked salmon nibbles etc at 12.30 or so (dinner is usually about 2.30) with champagne in the lounge. This means I can serve hot vegetables with the main course which are not overdone, and also that once I sit down at the table I can stay sitting for some time, not having to get up and down turning things off/up etc.
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