12 Christmas Day Cooking Tips

12 Christmas Day Cooking Tips
  1. Plan ahead - it’s the most obvious thing, but with everything else going on, it often gets pushed to the bottom of the list. Planning means planning, so that generally involves writing a list and a list will give you the confidence that you have thought of everything even if you haven’t! * First, plan the menu for Christmas day - breakfast, lunch - don’t worry about much after that, as you’ll have had your fill and there’ll always be some cold turkey or a hunk of cheese hiding somewhere in the fridge. Also, remember any dietary needs for those you are hosting - Gluten free/Vegan - if you do need to add or substitute something there’s heaps of ideas all over the web. * Plan quantities, there’s nothing worse than too much or too little - again there’s lots of help online that you can source. * Plan timings - and get ahead as much as you can. See what you can do one, two or even three days before. Your oven/hob is going to be pretty full all morning, so the more you can do ahead the easier it will become to manage your Christmas morning. Cranberry Sauce, Bread Sauce, stuffing can all be made in advance and re-heated on the day.

  2. Fridge Clear Out - you’re going to need all the space you can use when it comes to the fridge. Have a clear out the week before and get rid of all those old bits cheese and half eaten pickles that our now out of date.  If you still don’t have enough room, your Bird could be left in the cool of the boot of your car the night before, out of harms way.

  3. Get Help - don’t be afraid to delegate, it’s your day too. Whether it’s peeling the veg, making sure someone is in charge of the drinks for the day, or asking someone to be responsible for dessert or the cheese. Spread the load.

  4. Does it fit? The Christmas bird is always bigger than you remember it being the year before and then you’ve got other things in the oven cooking too - roast potatoes, carrots - that’s when the planning in no 1 above, comes in handy. So, once you’ve got your bird check that it does fit. (Remember you’ve got an hour before serving when the Turkey is resting, in which you can utilise the oven to its full capacity.)

  5. Equipment -  Do you have the right number of plates, bowls, knives, forks, saucepan, glasses, napkins and so on. This one really falls into Number 1 above, but we’ve deemed it important enough to have it’s own section. Tempers often fray, as you’re looking for the dish you know you’ve always had and was relying to serve the roast potatoes in, but now you can’t find it. Agh. Checking your equipment is definitely a job for a few days before the big day.
  6. Your Christmas Bird - a few things * Take your bird out of fridge first thing on Christmas morning to allow it to come up to room temperature - trying to cook a cold bird can add 30-60 minutes to the cooking time and will mean that the bird could become dry *Make sure to pre-heat your oven before putting the bird in - that can take up to 15 minutes depending on your oven * Follow the cooking instructions - either as supplied with your bird or have a look at our own Turkey and Goose suppliers recommended cooking times https://www.goodmansgeese.co.uk/buying_your_goose_or_turkey * Invest in a cooking thermometer - for around £10 you can purchase one and remove all the guesswork  as to  whether it’s cooked or not. As a general rule if the meat between the leg and the breast has reached 75oC then it’s probably cooked.

  7. Wash as you go - seems obvious, but if you don’t you can guarantee the bowl or pan you now need is at the bottom of the dirty pile in the sink. And by ‘Wash as you go’ - I mean get someone else to wash up as you go - you’ve got enough on your plate, without having to be getting your hands wet in the sink.

  8. Warm Your Plates - those last few minutes when everything is ready and it’s a race to get it to the table before it starts to get cold, can be helped by having pre-warmed your plates. If you don’t have room in the oven, a sink full of hot water does the trick. And the same for any serving bowls - aim to warm them first before putting before putting any hot food in them.

  9. Cheat - don’t be afraid to buy in certain elements of your lunch. Whether it’s the cranberry sauce or frozen roast potatoes, there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

  10. Flaming Pudding - if you’re a stickler for tradition and you want to set fire to the Pudding, avoid disappointment by heating the brandy in a small saucepan just before you want to light it. Whilst it’s heating, heat a metal ladle in hot water. Then pour the heated brandy into the hot ladle. Light the brandy in the ladle and once lit pour the flaming liquid over the pudding. Await your round of applause.

  11. Have a drink -  It’s never too early to have a drink on Christmas Day, if you’re responsible for getting lunch on the table. (Everything in moderation though, and a jug of water ready to hydrate yourself goes without saying.) Whatever your tipple, a glass of Champagne or, surprisingly for some, a dry, crisp sherry over ice, gives the ‘lift’ that’s often required to get the lunch on the table. Cheers!

  12. Enjoy your day - food cooked with a little bit of love, tastes so much better and don’t forget it’s only food. Merry Christmas!

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