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  • FIRST POST
    motherkitty
    Christmas Dinner (preparing in advance)
    • #1
    • 14th Dec 08, 6:11 PM
    Christmas Dinner (preparing in advance) 14th Dec 08 at 6:11 PM
    I am trying to plan the cooking for Christmas Day and was thinking, apart from preparing the veg on christmas Eve, whether I could do anything else in advance.
    Could I do things like mash swede, make gravy and make up stuffing balls on Christmas Eve, and maybe even freeze yorkshires to use on the day rater than buy frozen ones in.
    Also, my family like to eat a steamed suet pudding with a roast dinner. Would i be able to make that in advance too and freeze it to use on the day without spoiling the flavour or texture? Or can you do these in the microwave?
    Just wondered whether any of you do this successfully as it would save being tied to the kitchen all morning!
Page 1
    • RichyRich
    • By RichyRich 14th Dec 08, 7:09 PM
    • 1,768 Posts
    • 2,020 Thanks
    RichyRich
    • #2
    • 14th Dec 08, 7:09 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Dec 08, 7:09 PM
    You could mash taties and swede and warm up in the microwave next day without too much trouble. Yorkies will freeze just fine and heat up in the oven in a matter of minutes. Same with stuffing balls. No probs with making gravy the day before - you can keep a stew for a few days can't you! Can't help you with the suet pudding I'm afraid - though I'm sure there'll be a microwave recipe knocking around somewhere.

    Have a fantastic day!
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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 14th Dec 08, 7:22 PM
    • 17,526 Posts
    • 40,365 Thanks
    Pink.
    • #3
    • 14th Dec 08, 7:22 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Dec 08, 7:22 PM
    Hi motherkitty,

    You can make your roast potatoes in advance too. Have a look at this thread:

    frozen HM roast potatoes

    Pink
    • ivyleaf
    • By ivyleaf 14th Dec 08, 8:02 PM
    • 3,715 Posts
    • 39,444 Thanks
    ivyleaf
    • #4
    • 14th Dec 08, 8:02 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Dec 08, 8:02 PM
    Thanks for this, Pink-winged, I shall try this myself!
    • ragz
    • By ragz 14th Dec 08, 8:08 PM
    • 3,155 Posts
    • 27,331 Thanks
    ragz
    • #5
    • 14th Dec 08, 8:08 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Dec 08, 8:08 PM
    I am trying to plan the cooking for Christmas Day and was thinking, apart from preparing the veg on christmas Eve, whether I could do anything else in advance.
    Could I do things like mash swede, make gravy and make up stuffing balls on Christmas Eve, and maybe even freeze yorkshires to use on the day rater than buy frozen ones in.
    Also, my family like to eat a steamed suet pudding with a roast dinner. Would i be able to make that in advance too and freeze it to use on the day without spoiling the flavour or texture? Or can you do these in the microwave?
    Just wondered whether any of you do this successfully as it would save being tied to the kitchen all morning!
    Originally posted by motherkitty
    I have made up my stuffing balls, baked them and frozen them so that I can just put them in the oven for 10 minutes on Christmas day.
    Also made up cheesy leeks and frozen them in oven dish to go straight in, roast potatoes are roasted and frozen, planning to roast and freeze parsnips and boil and mash carrot/swede but I need to make room in my freezer!
    I just didn't want to spend all of Christmas day cooking!
    Though I would like to know if anyone does their meat in advance, I have a duck crown that will need to be done on the day, a gammon joint which I think I can do the day before and a beef joint that someone mentioned somewhere could be cooked on low overnight?

    Feeling all organised now!
    Ragz is busy studying
    Progress is easier to acheive than perfection.
    • love lifer
    • By love lifer 14th Dec 08, 8:19 PM
    • 670 Posts
    • 539 Thanks
    love lifer
    • #6
    • 14th Dec 08, 8:19 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Dec 08, 8:19 PM
    i had a crisp butty last year- cuts out all preparation time
    • DianneB
    • By DianneB 14th Dec 08, 8:54 PM
    • 774 Posts
    • 1,561 Thanks
    DianneB
    • #7
    • 14th Dec 08, 8:54 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Dec 08, 8:54 PM
    i had a crisp butty last year- cuts out all preparation time
    Originally posted by love lifer
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    • juliapenguin
    • By juliapenguin 14th Dec 08, 9:42 PM
    • 757 Posts
    • 3,031 Thanks
    juliapenguin
    • #8
    • 14th Dec 08, 9:42 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Dec 08, 9:42 PM
    Will somebody make me a crisp butty now? I'm poorly in bed with flu and haven't even got any crisps in the house... I'm just starting to feel a bit hungry.
  • lilac_lady
    • #9
    • 14th Dec 08, 9:46 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Dec 08, 9:46 PM
    I cook the turkey on Christmas Eve and slice it into a large ovenproof dish then add the gravy to it and cover with tinfoil. I put it in the oven on a low heat and when it's served it melts in your mouth. It saves everyone saying "Is it ready yet?" every 2 minutes!
  • Olliebeak
    Every year I spend Christmas Eve prepping my veggies while listening to the midnight choir programme on tv.

    This year will be a break with tradition - I'm going to cook my carrot&turnip ahead and freeze in chinese takeaway container in advance. Not too sure if I fancy doing the sprouts this way though. Also going to do some spicy parsnip soup and freeze that in advance. Good idea about the stuffing balls - so that's something else that will happen. I've got some frozen chicken stock that can go into the turkey gravy, so I'll save the water drained from the c&t as well.

    Looks like Christmas Lunch should be a doddle this year - thanks for the idea OldSylers .
    • Skint_Catt
    • By Skint_Catt 14th Dec 08, 10:33 PM
    • 11,428 Posts
    • 23,685 Thanks
    Skint_Catt
    We cook the turkey on Christmas Eve too as it tastes better cold. Well thats the theory anyway, except Mum got her dates mixed up last year and cooked it on the 23rd. Still tasted great though
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  • dannodw
    Dont freeze your yorkies

    Make the batter the night before, they only take 15 minutes to cook and never taste they same if not fresh (imo)

    Mine never fail,

    Equal measures of plain flour, eggs, 50% milk and 50% water and a pinch of salt.

    Whisk together,

    Couldn't be easier.

    We love our Yorkshire Puddings, haven't tasted a supermarket bought one in my life
  • wallbash
    Have been reading about the freezing of the Roast potatoes .
    Will promise to try the method sometime in the near future BUT it wont be at the xmas dinner. Too risky. You can over cook the brussels, make weak gravy,serve the white wine ( no you cant !!) only nearly chilled BUT if the roast potatoes are a failure , Dinner is ruined!
  • afterglow
    why not do it all in advance, after all restaurants and hotels do, just matter of storing it well and reheating each component in suitable manner (ie not miking the whole lot which takes forever and makes all soggy)
    so yep cook everyhting in advance and store in fridge in different well sealed containers, then on xmas day get ur oven, grill, microwave and couple pans hot water on for reheating, if u do it right theres virtually no difference, after all its what the professionas do!!!
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    • blueberrypie
    • By blueberrypie 15th Dec 08, 9:40 AM
    • 2,357 Posts
    • 5,197 Thanks
    blueberrypie
    We take it one step further and *eat* it a day in advance ;-)

    Well we did last year, and it worked so well we're going to do it from now on. I spent the 24th in the kitchen cooking and eating mince-pies and playing games with whoever wandered in, got it all on the table for about 6pm - usual main mealtime, so people were actually ready for it - and the kids weren't a) too full chocolate to eat it, and b) itching to get back to their gifts, so it was much more relaxed. Then we heated leftovers on Xmas Day. Nobody had to spend half of Xmas Day in the kitchen, so the adults had time to spend relaxing and being with the family too :-)
    Last edited by blueberrypie; 15-12-2008 at 9:43 AM.
  • irishwexford
    As my grandchildren are all older now we have decided to have Christmas dinner at 6pm so OH and I can go for a nice long walk in morning and hold a bacon roll brunch about 1pm. I saw the thread for HM roast potatoes and will be roasting them and parsnips in advance. I will blanch carrots and freeze them as well. Will prepare stuffing and sausages in blankets but thought about freezing them uncooked. If I did cook them would it be best to put in fridge overnight or simply put in oven frozen ? I have two veggies to cook for so have to roast potatoes in oil and the smell clings to me as well as whole house. I must admit Christmas day sounds stress to me for a change. I have decided to do a trial run with potatoes and parsnips this week.
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 15th Dec 08, 10:35 AM
    • 9,089 Posts
    • 28,909 Thanks
    thriftlady
    Things I am doing/have done in advance are;

    made cranberry sauce and frozen it

    wrapped chipolatas in bacon, froze on a baking tray then bagged up

    will make bread sauce and freeze

    made 4 batches of quick flaky pastry for mince pies and sausage rolls

    will make stuffing on Christmas Eve

    will peel and prep potatoes, parsnips and carrots on Chritmas Eve and keep in water

    have made the pudding
    • mon1o
    • By mon1o 15th Dec 08, 10:53 AM
    • 748 Posts
    • 1,355 Thanks
    mon1o
    Hi ive just found this im cooking for 5 adults and 2 children and have a small oven so ideally, if i can make some things in advance that would be great! I have some questions though:

    Would you freeze the sausages in bacon cooked or uncooked? If cooked, do you defrost before you re heat?

    Is it best to freeze roasties roasted or ready to roast?

    Can you freeze veg once youve cooked it (honey glazed carrots, parsnips, sprouts, green beans)?

    I like the idea of cooking the turkey and then slicing it the night before. Im gonna do this i think.

    Sorry for all my questions, its the first time ive cooked xmas dinner so it has to be right!

    Monica x
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 15th Dec 08, 11:28 AM
    • 9,089 Posts
    • 28,909 Thanks
    thriftlady
    Would you freeze the sausages in bacon cooked or uncooked? If cooked, do you defrost before you re heat?
    Originally posted by mon1o
    Yes, all raw. It's just to save doing the wrapping on Christmas Day. I'll defrost them in the fridge on Christmas Eve then cook on Christmas Day. I think you can cook them all and then freeze too.
    • Butterfly Brain
    • By Butterfly Brain 15th Dec 08, 10:22 PM
    • 8,655 Posts
    • 60,243 Thanks
    Butterfly Brain
    I have prepared all my veggies
    Made mince pies
    Prepared Sausages and bacon
    Made the Pudding
    Made the Christmas cake
    All I have to do on Christmas Eve is prepare the yorkshire batter and stuffing balls
    And on Christmas day Roast the Turkey and Potatoes
    My kids would go mad if they didn't come down to the smell of the Turkey and the Christmas tree - it is all part of Christmas to them
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