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Preparing the Christmas dinner - the last 20 minutes....

(16 Posts)
itstheyearzero Tue 20-Dec-16 15:34:02

I'm fine about how to cook everything on Christmas day, but I always end up running around like a headless turkey during the last 15-20 mins trying to make sure that everything is cooked properly/the turkey is carved/the gravy is done/keeping it all warm so it is hot when it's served up etc. Please give me your top tips to stay organized during the final throes! fgrin

LeBoob Tue 20-Dec-16 15:51:47

If the gravy is hot & tasty nothing else will be noticed grin

Arrowfanatic Tue 20-Dec-16 16:14:13

Get someone else to help.

FadedRed Tue 20-Dec-16 16:36:17

Make the gravy early and put it in a vacuum flask.
Invest £25 in the hot plate thingy from Aldi and put the cooked food onto that when it is done.
Have another glass of fizz and relax- it's a roast dinner, not the finals of Masterchef.

steveharley Tue 20-Dec-16 16:47:00

I turn the veg on, pop the gravy in a pan on low and go and eat my starter. When I come back it tends to be cooked. This could be why I find Christmas stress free 🎄

goose1964 Tue 20-Dec-16 18:40:47

We have hot plates like the ones in Indian restaurants

AmyAmoeba Tue 20-Dec-16 18:48:25

I cook a big breakfast to fill everyone up so that I can serve the turkey mid afternoon. That takes off some pressure.
Then I cook the turkey until it's done. Wrap it in tinfoil and towels and put it to one side.
Then I have to cook potatoes (already par boiled), sides and gravy, warm through the ham (boiled on Christmas Eve) heat the plates and keep cooked stuff warm. I pre plan what is cooked where : 4 rings on hob, oven, top oven and microwave. Timing is key and a written plan is essential. but once you know where you are cooking each dish and have a serving dish assigned to everything it just falls into place. It's busy rather than stressful.
Especially as I know the turkey is fine at this stage so all I have to concentrate on is the rest. Meat tastes better for resting like this than if you carve straight away.
I'm not bothering with a starter this year but if I were serving one it would be cold, plated up in the fridge, ready to land on the table.
I also keep a sink ful of hot soapy water to rinse as I go so the kitchen doesn't feel as chaotic and I ban everyone from the kitchen for the last half hour. That last tip is probably the most important one imho fgrin

Chottie Tue 20-Dec-16 18:52:03

I clear up as a go along and enlist the youngest DNs to carry through all the vegetable dishes. DH carves at the table, I bring in the gravy and check nothing has been left in the oven fsmile

DonkeyOaty Tue 20-Dec-16 18:55:06

OMG at putting the hot gravy in a vacuum flask. That is GENIUS!

busyrascal Tue 20-Dec-16 20:23:12

DH is in charge of the turkey and drinks here. I figure with those two things sorted I can focus on the rest without getting into too much of a tizzy.

itstheyearzero Tue 20-Dec-16 20:37:11

Some great tips here, thank you. I am going to try and be calmer about it all. and use some of your ideas.

PenguinsandPebbles Tue 20-Dec-16 20:40:46

OMG at putting the hot gravy in a vacuum flask. That is GENIUS!

Second that, this is life changing fgrin

fairiesandelves Tue 20-Dec-16 22:41:04

Great ideas thank you - does everyone plate up all the food or let people help themselves and just put meat on plates? Also I've seen a tip about heating plates in the dishwasher ? fsmile

Passthecake30 Tue 20-Dec-16 22:48:30

You can heat plates in the microwavefwink

I'm going to be more prepared this year and whip cream earlier and put it in the fridge, prepare starters and put in fridge. I find what works for me is barking instructions at dp and MIL whilst drinking lots of wine....!

Chottie Tue 20-Dec-16 23:35:50

I would never plate up food for any meal - it's always covered serving dishes on the dining room table. It's easier and quicker if people help themselves.

steppemum Tue 20-Dec-16 23:50:19

no plating up (really hate that)

everything in serving dishes on the table. I boil a full kettle at the same time as putting on last veg. Then pour some into each of the veg serving dishes. Then tip it out and wipe with tea towel as I fill them, that keeps them all warm, and keeps it warm longer on the table.

I also have a double oven, and put things on top oven to keep warm while the last bits cook.

Then, 3 sets of oven gloves and a call to arms and everyone else carries in while I fill the dishes and pass them over.

My top tip, is that I don't carve. Turkey is carved in dining room, usually by my dad.

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