Cooking Christmas dinner for the family can turn what should be an enjoyable day into a real nightmare as you frantically run around the kitchen trying to prevent the veggies from burning and ensuring that every element is there on the plate. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way – if you’re smart, and you do as much as you can in advance of the day, Christmas dinner will be a piece of cake…
Invest in the Right Tools
Investing in the best cooking tools for busy people and the essential tools you need to make Christmas dinner, such as a large enough tray to safely contain your turkey is the first step to getting ahead of the game. Get what you need now, and you won’t be left in a frenzy come Christmas Eve.
Prep the Gravy
So many people don’t realize that you can freeze gravy. Prep it now, defrost it on the big day and mix in some of the juices from your deliciously golden turkey as you heat it up and no one will ever know you cheated!
Start the Stuffing
Stuffing is another Christmas dinner staple that freezes well. If you want to really save time, as well as preparing the stuffing, actually cook it before freezing it in its oven dish, covered in plastic wrap, and then you only have to warm it up on Christmas Day.
Pre-Prepare Those Potatoes
Many people think that the potatoes is one element of their plate that they can’t get a kickstart on, but they’re wrong. You can parboil and freeze potatoes so that you don’t have to cook them for as long on the morning, or if you’re having them mashed, you can actually make that ahead and freeze it. At the very least, you can peel and chop potatoes on Christmas Eve – just make sure you keep them in a container, covered with water so that they don’t turn brown before the time comes to cook them.
Tackle the Turkey
The easiest way to get ahead of the turkey game is to buy one that’s oven ready, but if you prefer to buy your turkey unadulterated, then you’re going to want to bone, rinse and stuff it on Christmas Eve. Store it in a sealed container in the fridge, and then you’ll only have to worry about getting it into the oven on Christmas Day.
Veggies Can be Frozen
Many veggies, like carrots and parsnips, can be boiled and frozen well in advance of the big day. They can also be cooked and kept in the fridge for a couple of days, which will save you messing around with peeling them on the big day.
Christmas Puddings are the Ultimate Kickstarter
If you don’t want to have to worry about dessert, British Christmas pudding is the best dish to serve up. Why? Because you can make it months in advance and it will be just fine – in fact the longer ahead you make it, the better it’ll taste – which means you could make it right now! How’s that for a do-ahead?
Here’s to the simplest Christmas dinner of them all!