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Christmas dinner cheats?

(20 Posts)
stoo Mon 22-Oct-12 19:59:33

Hello everyone
I'm sure this will annoy many of you "Delia's" out there but I've had enough! Each year I make Xmas dinner for me, DH, DD (10), DS (7) & mum (too old to mention!). Mum always wants to help but gets in the way & I send her to entertain kids. DH helpful when he remembers. But having done this for so many years now I am fed up with spending all Xmas day in the kitchen.

What are your tips for an easy Xmas dinner?!We usually have a chicken (I'm veggie so turkeys too big), roast veggies (lots), veggie stuffing, roast potatoes, cabbage, sprouts& chestnuts & any other veg I fancy!
Thank you in advance. smile

BillyBollyBandy Mon 22-Oct-12 21:40:37

Marks and Spencer! smile

RaspberryLemonPavlova Mon 22-Oct-12 22:13:08

Do as much as possible in advance.

I parboil roast potatoes and freeze (or you could buy them).

I cook ahead mashed potato, mashed swede and carrot, bacon wrapped sausages, gravy. My apple sauce is in the freezer as I always make it from the apples from our tree.

All other veg are prepped on Christmas Eve.

zipzap Mon 22-Oct-12 22:20:33

Do you all have a favourite meal? Whether it's pizza or lasagne or veggie galette or curry or ??? Preferably an easy to cook favourite meal (or at least one that can be prepared in advance and shoved in the oven on the day)...

Then just decide that you are going to serve family favourite as your christmas lunch.

In advance of Christmas day, make sure you have a nice sprig of holly kept by you and that will still be nice on christmas day. On the day, wrap the bottom of the holly first in clingfilm and then foil, so the stem is well covered.

Once the food is ready to be served, take holly sprig and plonk carefully and naicely position into the centre of the main dish, as you would for a christmas pudding.

Hey presto - you now have festive christmas-y family favourite as your christmas lunch grin

stoo Tue 23-Oct-12 13:30:32

thanks zipzap ever so helpful! hmm

stoo Tue 23-Oct-12 13:32:11

RLP I love the idea of prepping in advance & freezing but we have a ridiculously small freezer so I would struggle to fit it all in!
BBB any suggestions for what particularly floats your boat from M&S or is it all pretty good?

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 23-Oct-12 18:10:41

Cook all the oven stuff like stuffing and roasters in aluminium trays and then discard after cooking.

Not enviromentally friendly though.

You can cook a chicken, strip the breast, portion the legs etc and then heat it up in a big vat of gravy on the day.

M&S are fab if you can afford it.

BillyBollyBandy Tue 23-Oct-12 18:58:31

All good! You can pre order and pick up xmas eve (if the slots haven't all gone)

In particular

Turkey crown
Stuffing shock amazing
Red cabbage very good
Roasties DH loves, I find a bit crispy generally but I like mine soggy

They do an extras pack with stuffing, pigs in blankets, sprouts (I think) which is very good.

Oh and their yule log is like their very chocolately cake so very erm chocolately grin

Just realised you are veggie sorry. The stuffing has meat and I think the roasties are in goose fat, but there would be others probably much cheaper as not in xmas box The veg are great from there as well, microwave in bag and they are pefect imo.

SundaeGirl Wed 24-Oct-12 14:15:26

Make your gravy in advance and freeze it - it's the most stressy thing so I would def give it freezer space
Buy in everything.
Cook potatoes (but don't roast them) the day before.

TakingTheStairs Wed 24-Oct-12 14:25:51

Sorry to hi-jack the thread, but can I please ask;
For those of you that cook the potatoes in advance, do you boil them the whole way through or just par boil them?

nipitinthebud Wed 24-Oct-12 14:29:25

Prep all veg the day before and leave overnight in water in saucepans (dont need to go in fridge).

Parboil pots and drain; leave overnight. (I've not done this, but BIL in the restaurant trade swears by it....not sure if he covers in oil overnight?)

Roasted veg...Delia's way is good - prepping all day before in cubes, then bung in a plastic bag and marinate in olive oil, garlic, rosemary etc....overnight. When you're ready to cook, all you have to do is empty the whole lot into the tray and shove in the oven.

Can make bread sauce/cranberry sauce several days in advance (or buy...or ask your Mum to bring with her!)

Jamie O did a Xmas special a while ago where he made a whole load of different flavoured butters and froze them way ahead of time. Put in fridge day before and then you just have to cut off a slice and leave to melt into you assorted veg to give it a bit of a special wow factor.

nipitinthebud Wed 24-Oct-12 14:33:56

Other tip which we did last year, was to have a turkey breast portion (not a crown, but just one breast) - was only for 4 of us (2 adults, 2 DC), and we had about half left - so it'd be a good size for you too. Smeared it in butter, covered it totally in pancetta and roasted it. The 'easy' part of it is that carving is obviously a dream, as there's no bones! Done that way it was lovely and tender too.

FireOverBabylon Wed 24-Oct-12 14:35:21

If you run out of fridge space, remember your car boot is also freezing overnight come December.

Only helps if you're at home for Christmas and not driving prepped sprouts to the inlaws but worth bearing in mind if you're short on space / need to prep desserts in advance etc.

nipitinthebud Wed 24-Oct-12 14:35:41

Oh and do you have an electric steamer? I found that pretty good - as I did all the veg at the same time in different trays. Made it seem more manageable, not having loads of different pans on the go. Altho' wouldn't say buy one if you don't have one.

nipitinthebud Wed 24-Oct-12 14:36:36

An most importantly open a bottle of fizz at mid-day - definitely helps!

Marzipanface Wed 24-Oct-12 14:40:10

Parboil potatoes and cover with cold water, store somewhere cool overnight
Same with veg
Use prepared fresh stuffing. I also use pre-prepared pigs in blankets.

sittingbourne Wed 24-Oct-12 14:54:40

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

TakingTheStairs Wed 24-Oct-12 15:24:53

Sittingbourne wow, it almost seems as if you posted to advertise a business rather than actually replying to the thread hmm

Marzipanface Wed 24-Oct-12 18:09:54

Oh yes a crown or breast is easier as well. For some years I battled with a full turkey only to realise that no-one really likes turkey for the next fortnight in my house!

Much cheaper and easier.

I also do a ham on Christmas eve to have for Boxing day.

Have been known to buy preprepared veg as well.

Crumbs, this is making me hungry!

stoo Tue 30-Oct-12 23:51:29

Thanks all for the advice. Think the answer is prep Xmas eve & leave spuds in pan on stove, roast veg in bag in fridge, don't care what meat wink & roast stuff in non-Eco disposable trays & open fizz early! Christmas dinner by mumsnet. grin

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