Cooking my first Christmas dinner ever

(13 Posts)
17leftfeet Mon 30-Sep-13 19:41:00

Planning ahead -I'm cooking for 6, doing a turkey crown on the day and will do a ham the day before so people can have a choice

I'm planning on using throw away roasting tins -because I'm lazy!

Any suggestions for a ham glaze? I've never actually done it before

Also what can I prepare early and either freeze or do the day before -I don't want to spend all day in the kitchen

mrsannekins Mon 30-Sep-13 19:59:35

Do all the prep ahead of time..Peeled veggies will keep in the fridge for a couple of days (I put mine in freezer bags), and get your potatoes ready the day before (again, I put mine in a freezer bag in the fridge). Although one year I was peeling carrots in bed on Christmas morning as it was too cold in the kitchen!

It's really not that hard to do, just write down everything you need to do, and tick it off as you go. For timings, I work backwards from when we want to eat. Sometimes it gets a bit 'gaaah' at the end when you have to dish up and its all steamy and people are getting in your way cos they're hungry.

I like nigella's ginger glaze for ham...must be on internet somewhere, ah ha, here it is: www.nigella.com/recipes/view/ginger-glazed-ham

DisappointedHorse Mon 30-Sep-13 20:03:51

Definitely prep and in advance and write down your timings, that's really all there is to it.

My dearly departed MiL gave me the best advice, if you're getting stressed, get drunk. No-one but you will care if it's not perfect anyway.

raisah Mon 30-Sep-13 20:07:01

Have a look here for ideas:

http://www.nigella.com/books/view/nigella-christmas-7

I haven't officially cooked a christmas dinner as I don't celebrate it but I imagine it is like cooking an extra posh roast. I do a family roast for my dm on new years day as it's her birthday so to prepare I:

* prepare all veg night before. Potatoes can be peeled & soaked in cold water

*marinade chicken/turkey in natural yogurt & mixed spice (xmas cake spice mix) as it really tenderises the
meat the night before.

* make up stuffing/starters day before

* peel,slice & freeze any onions a few days before so you have it on standby

*blend garlic & freeze in ice cubes
Most of the fiddly bit is peeling & chopping veg & onions, if you can sort that out you are fine.

raisah Mon 30-Sep-13 20:07:31

Have a look here for ideas:

http://www.nigella.com/books/view/nigella-christmas-7

I haven't officially cooked a christmas dinner as I don't celebrate it but I imagine it is like cooking an extra posh roast. I do a family roast for my dm on new years day as it's her birthday so to prepare I:

* prepare all veg night before. Potatoes can be peeled & soaked in cold water

*marinade chicken/turkey in natural yogurt & mixed spice (xmas cake spice mix) as it really tenderises the
meat the night before.

* make up stuffing/starters day before

* peel,slice & freeze any onions a few days before so you have it on standby

*blend garlic & freeze in ice cubes
Most of the fiddly bit is peeling & chopping veg & onions, if you can sort that out you are fine.

MrsPnut Mon 30-Sep-13 20:11:23

The best bit of advice I can offer is don't get overwhelmed - it's just a roast dinner.

Plan your timings well, and allow a bit extra just in case. Hot plates and hot gravy can cover a multitude of sins. Plan your starter to be plated up in advance, and include time to eat your starter in your timings for the main course. Allow the meat time to rest, a bit longer is always better than too little time and the cook needs a glass in her hand at all times!

raisah Mon 30-Sep-13 20:14:00
Hassled Mon 30-Sep-13 20:16:30

Work out a timing schedule - so you want to eat at X o'clock and work backwards from there - turkey goes in at this time, potatoes on at that time etc. I have it on my fridge and tick things off as I go along. The only secret to it is getting so many different things ready at the same time - timing is key.

17leftfeet Mon 30-Sep-13 20:17:38

Starter is soup so will be made a couple of weeks in advance and frozen in portions ��

mateysmum Mon 30-Sep-13 20:20:21

As well as all the veg prep, you can make the stuffings in advance. On Xmas Eve prep the bacon rolls and sausages and put in whatever you're going to cook them in in the fridge. Get all the cooking and serving dishes, crockery and cutlery organised, set the table (if you have a separate dining table). Make brandy butter etc. If you're having another pudding for Christmas pud haters, make that the day before too. Oh and if you have a cold starter then that can be prepared easily in advance.
The blessed Delia is my Christmas cooking goddess.

sonlypuppyfat Mon 30-Sep-13 20:24:51

The best thing ever is I've got these insulated dishes so you don't have to get every thing done at the same time. And when my meat is cooked I put it into a warmed up slowcooker to stop it going cold, I find the hardest part of Christmas dinner is getting it ready at the same time and these tips really help.

AnneEyhtMeyer Mon 30-Sep-13 21:02:38

I am by no means an expert, but here are the things I find help me:

I do a timetable which I follow religiously. Everything is on it, and I know if I follow it I won't forget anything.

I lay the table the night before.

I cook a gammon the day before. This gives some variety meat-wise, and if the worst happened and the oven broke we would still have something good to eat on Christmas day.

I do a cold starter and plate it up the night before, cling-film it and put it in the fridge.

I leave a 2 hour gap between the turkey coming out of the oven and serving lunch. The turkey remains hot, has time to rest, and I don't feel I have a massive cascade of things happening all at the same time.

I put boiling water in the serving dishes to pre-heat them, so that they keep the veg hot for longer, giving me more leeway in timings.

I buy ready-made gravy pouches from M&S. They are yummy and save me stressing about making gravy along with everything else I have to do. I do not admit to doing this to anyone.

I make some things in advance and freeze them, like mashed potato for example. Easily heats up in the microwave and saves prep time and a ring on the hob when everything is busy.

I always use disposable tins for the turkey, roasties, parsnips, sausages etc - it is my Christmas day too. Cooking it is enough without scrubbing tins.

Before I serve lunch I make sure that the dishwasher is full and on so that the kitchen isn't an absolute tip. This makes me feel a lot more relaxed.

The best bit of cooking Christmas lunch is that you know the house is full of lovely food and you don't have to cook for days. I love it!

sonlypuppyfat Mon 30-Sep-13 21:21:44

The pouches of gravy sound good, I usually but a turkey flavoured sachet make it up and put it in a flask, but I'm going to try those.

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