Saturday, 22 December 2012

It's just a roast 2012 - The final countdown*

*please add in your own "do do do dooos"*

So yesterday we looked at a simple and straightforward turkey recipe and timings. Today we're going to put that into my time plan. If you've been doing Christmas dinner for years this will be old hat to you. If you're like me and still relatively new at this then a time plan helps keep me on track when I'm distracted by babies, wine or impeding disaster. 

Let's start with what you can do in advance. I'm working on the basis that you've either bought or made things like mince pies, Christmas cake etc beforehand - so I'm not including these here. 

Christmas Eve

Open a bottle of wine or make a cup of tea/ coffee. Turn on Carols from Kings or similar CD. Banish everyone to the lounge/ their bedroom and put on an age appropriate Christmas film. 

Potatoes - peel and quarter your potatoes, I work on a basis of 1 potato per person and a half per person for luck (remember that you can mash them up and fry them off with any leftover greens for Boxing day bubble and squeak) Put these in a big pan of cold water. Don't add salt yet. Leave (the potatoes not the house)

Vegetables - Peel your parsnips, carrots, chop them up how you want them and put them in another pan of cold water. Brussels can be prepped too (I'm not getting involved in debates about whether they're pure evil or not) I steam them.

Stuffing - I make our District Commisioner's stuffing in advance and freeze it. I get it out of the freezer now so it's ready to go in, in the morning. 

Pigs in blankets - If you're using cocktail sausages, cut strips of streaky bacon in half, roll the sausages in the bacon, put in a dish and cover with foil and pop in the fridge until Christmas morning. 

I make my Get ahead gravy, and take it out the freezer now and put it in a bowl in the fridge, again it's ready to go then when you want it.

Christmas pudding - whether you've made it in advance to a family recipe, or been to Leith's to make it (yes, I'm still excited about that) or bought it I do it the same. If you have a slow cooker, put it in that in it's bowl now, add a pint of water and switch it on in the morning when you get up. 

So that's Christmas Eve, doing as much as you can in advance should make Christmas day less stressful - if you're anxious in any way shape or form follow this prescription:

Drink wine/ gin
Say out loud "it's just a roast"
Repeat ad infinitum

Tomorrow... your timeplan for Christmas Day

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