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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 2
  • sunshine6650
    Help needed-preparing many xmas day foods xmas eve-keep fresh & nice!
    Hello All,

    As many of you im going to prepare much of the food for xmas day on xmas eve so the day is less hassle as possible as we have family over, am also using disposible baking/roasting trays (i bought them cheap so kinds OS!!)
    Can any one give me hints/tips/help if thIs is correct?

    *Parsnips to be roasted - chopped & marrinaded-kept covered in fridge on tray ready to be popped in oven on day

    *Roasts - As above - do i par boil these & oil coat them ready?
    *Mash - ill do xmas eve & heat on day.
    *brussels - ready to be done with pancetta on day.

    **Meat!! - Im going to roast these day before. do i slice it then so all ready or slice it on day? - if slice before how do you keep it juicy & not dry?

    Thank you so much - I am quite organised really just wanna make sure its brill as In Laws coming for 1st time & shes normally the 'family host!'

    **Cant do much before as having family thing on 23rd & using most of the freezer space then!!*

    Merry Christmas!

    Ness
    x x
    Last edited by sunshine6650; 16-12-2008 at 11:24 AM. Reason: add bit on.
    2010 is my DO IT year! grow own bits,savvy shopping,organised!!Get a hobby!!! be fit!! be happy!!
    Saving all change & paying off debts!!
    constantly looking to save money!!! all help needed!!
    • the rottweiler
    • By the rottweiler 16th Dec 08, 12:08 PM
    • 477 Posts
    • 534 Thanks
    the rottweiler
    Why dont you ask your MILs advice. Its a good way of keeping her on side and if she has good tips she will pass them on.
    I cant help as my 74 year old mum insists on doing xmas dinner for everyone (9 of us this year, but 16 last year) so i havent done one for years
  • wallbash
    I would leave the parsnips to the xmas morning. Also oiling the semi prepared roast potatoes looks like a disaster waiting to happen.
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 16th Dec 08, 12:29 PM
    • 17,526 Posts
    • 40,365 Thanks
    Pink.
    Hello All,

    As many of you im going to prepare much of the food for xmas day on xmas eve so the day is less hassle as possible as we have family over, am also using disposible baking/roasting trays (i bought them cheap so kinds OS!!)
    Can any one give me hints/tips/help if thIs is correct?

    *Parsnips to be roasted - chopped & marrinaded-kept covered in fridge on tray ready to be popped in oven on day I parboil the carrots and parsnips the night before and toss them in butter so they're ready to pop into the oven on the day and will roast quickly.

    *Roasts - As above - do i par boil these & oil coat them ready? I make these a day or two in advance. Roast as normal but slightly undercook them and roast on the day from frozen.
    *Mash - ill do xmas eve & heat on day. Leftover mash won't be as light and fluffy so stir in some extra milk/cream/butter before reheating.
    *brussels - ready to be done with pancetta on day.

    **Meat!! - Im going to roast these day before. do i slice it then so all ready or slice it on day? - if slice before how do you keep it juicy & not dry? I prefer to cook the meat on the day but if you are doing it beforehand slice it and reheat it (covered) with a little gravy to keep it moist. Make sure it's piping hot before serving. If you're doing stuffing it can be made in advance too and reheated at the last minute.

    Thank you so much - I am quite organised really just wanna make sure its brill as In Laws coming for 1st time & shes normally the 'family host!'

    **Cant do much before as having family thing on 23rd & using most of the freezer space then!!*

    Merry Christmas!

    Ness
    x x
    Originally posted by sunshine6650
    There's a current thread on preparing as much of the Christmas dinner in advance with lots of tips so I'll add your thread to that one to keep the suggestions together.

    Pink
  • jimjams mommy
    christmas Diner preping early
    I know my husband thinks I have gone mad as I got my veg ready for christmas lunch. ( They have just opened an adli near me and sprouts and parsnips were 39p!!!!!)

    I par - boiled my sprouts ready to fereeze and parsnips also.
    I scored the parsnips and lightly cover them with honey ready to pop in the freeze. so on the day wack in oven and steamer.

    I'm not the only one am I ? . only cooking for dh and little legs who is 22months lol

  • sandiep
    Red cabbage is best when cooked the day before. All the flavours come out much better. Braise it in a slow cooker with some red wine, some apple or sultantas, and anything else that you have in the food cupboard. Yumm
  • jimjams mommy
    yumm, thats a new one to try sounds goodx
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 18th Dec 08, 8:38 PM
    • 17,526 Posts
    • 40,365 Thanks
    Pink.
    Hi jimjams mom,

    Well done for getting organised so early. There are others with the same idea, so I'll add this thread to the current one on preparing Christmas dinner in advance.

    Pink
    • ragz
    • By ragz 18th Dec 08, 9:47 PM
    • 3,155 Posts
    • 27,331 Thanks
    ragz
    Now in the freezer for Christmas dinner (everyone thinks I'm crazy, they already take the pish for me freezing everything!)
    -parsnips and carrots for roasting, nearly done, just need browning more
    - potatoes, 3 portions, more to do (when there's room)
    - cheesy leeks, in dish, ready to throw in oven
    - mince pies
    - stuffing balls, just need browing more (OH moaned, he likes his soggy in a big dish!)
    - Carrot and swede mash

    Still to pre-cook
    - more roast potatoes, freeze (!)
    - cook the gammon
    - as mentioned, do red cabbage day before (sounds yummy, thanks)
    - find out how to cook the beef, hopefully cook overnight christmas eve
    - brandy butter (buy more brandy, may have put rather a lot in the mince pies!)

    Will think of more!
    Last edited by ragz; 19-12-2008 at 2:19 PM.
    Ragz is busy studying
    Progress is easier to acheive than perfection.
  • Olliebeak
    My carrot and swede mash is all done, parsnips and sprouts are banched and frozen too (don't fancy fully cooking them in advance!).

    Sprouts will be steamed over the potatoes while they cook and parsnips will be honey-glazed before roasting along side the roasties.

    Need to do stuffing balls and pigs in blankets this weekend. No more room in freezer for anything else after that until the turkey comes out .
    • deebee
    • By deebee 18th Dec 08, 11:05 PM
    • 507 Posts
    • 354 Thanks
    deebee
    I made my roasted vine tomato soup today, and popped it in the freezer, so that's a%age of Christmas day sorted; the plan is as follows:

    Roasted Vine Tomato Soup
    ~~~
    Prawn cocktail - a la Gordon Ramsay - with chopped apple
    ~~~
    M & S Beef Roast
    Grilled salmon fillet for me (I don't do meat)
    Yorkshire pudds
    Honey roast carrots
    Minted Peas
    Cauliflower cheese
    Roast and mashed potatoes
    ~~~
    Might make a chocolate marquise from scratch, if I don't find a yummy dessert in M&S
    ~~~
    coffee, cheeseboard, grapes, after eights
  • jimjams mommy
    I have my frozen veg sorted my carrots, parsnip, sprouts and roast veg. Some of the ideas sound great. I am no the only one!

    I keep telling myself and others its only a roast dinner lol
    • Chris25
    • By Chris25 19th Dec 08, 8:15 AM
    • 10,588 Posts
    • 10,151 Thanks
    Chris25
    .......heard a chef on the radio yesterday saying that if you prepare your roast potatoes on Christmas Eve, don't put them into the fridge - it's too cold and can turn them grey. Better to use an unheated room or garage.

    Once hers have got to just golden, she drains them off and when cool puts them into plastic box in the spare bedroom - then on Christmas day she puts them in the oven to crisp without any extra fat - she says they are always perfect!
    • rev229
    • By rev229 19th Dec 08, 10:53 AM
    • 1,011 Posts
    • 752 Thanks
    rev229
    yesterday I par boiled all my veg, spouts, carrots, parsnips and potatoes. I always par boil potatoes and freeze ready for roasting. I then pour some oil over them and roast from frozen they come out very crisp and floury in the middle. I got the tip from Good housekeeping a few years ago and it has never failed. I will cook the turkey breast on 24th, slice it all ready for 25th. We have 10 this year for lunch and at the moment my husband is in hospital, we are hoping he will be home on 25th. I have prepared everything to make my life easier on the day. Will sort the dining room out at the weekend ie table etc and cover with plastic dust sheet. Still have not put up the tree, will try to do it today.
    • Chris25
    • By Chris25 19th Dec 08, 2:13 PM
    • 10,588 Posts
    • 10,151 Thanks
    Chris25
    . I will cook the turkey breast on 24th, slice it all ready for 25th. .
    Originally posted by rev229

    rev229, do you reheat in the microwave or in gravy in the oven?
    • ragz
    • By ragz 19th Dec 08, 2:25 PM
    • 3,155 Posts
    • 27,331 Thanks
    ragz
    yesterday I par boiled all my veg, spouts, carrots, parsnips and potatoes. I always par boil potatoes and freeze ready for roasting. I then pour some oil over them and roast from frozen they come out very crisp and floury in the middle. I got the tip from Good housekeeping a few years ago and it has never failed. I will cook the turkey breast on 24th, slice it all ready for 25th. We have 10 this year for lunch and at the moment my husband is in hospital, we are hoping he will be home on 25th. I have prepared everything to make my life easier on the day. Will sort the dining room out at the weekend ie table etc and cover with plastic dust sheet. Still have not put up the tree, will try to do it today.
    Originally posted by rev229
    Hope your husband's out for Christmas Rev229, great forward planning with the veg, best of luck.

    I was wondering, can I cook my huge joint of beef the day before then slice it up and chuck it in the slow cooker with HM gravy? I was thinking it might be lovely and juicy and tender after sitting in hot gravy for a day, or will it just fall apart?
    Still haven't decided on best way to cook the gammon and I have not got a clue how I am meant to reheat/cook all the veg in my tiny oven, especially now our microwave is bust and I can't reheat anything in that.
    How do I reheat carrot/swede mash now it's frozen?
    Beginning to regret my freezing frenzy now I don't have the MW!
    Ragz is busy studying
    Progress is easier to acheive than perfection.
    • Chris25
    • By Chris25 19th Dec 08, 2:28 PM
    • 10,588 Posts
    • 10,151 Thanks
    Chris25
    I prefer my beef twice-cooked. I slice it and reheat in gravy in the oven - have tried the slowcooker but it fell apart (but still tasted great).

    Ragz - Do you have a steamer? you could put buttered foil over the holes and reheat veggies that way or put in low oven. And that would save-up your slow cooker for the gammon
    Last edited by Chris25; 19-12-2008 at 3:40 PM.
  • trying-very-trying
    Ragz, can you please tell me how you do the cheesy leeks, i.e how far you prep, then how you cook? Thanks.

    Thanks for all the ideas on here, I've never prepared christmas dinner, it's always been done on the day, but I must admit to buying a lot of the veggies, stuffing and the like rtc on xmas eve morning. I'm thinking though, that I might try and do Rev's roast tatties idea. Do, I add the oil before or after freezing?
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member # 593 - Proud To Be Dealing With My Debts!



    • deebee
    • By deebee 20th Dec 08, 12:49 AM
    • 507 Posts
    • 354 Thanks
    deebee
    mmm cheesy leeks sound yummy....made the roasted vine tomato soup yesterday, taht's now in the freezer, today I par-boiled my potatoes and fried them in some veg oil for a minute, popped into the freezer ready to cook on Christmas day, also prepared my batton carrots (huge pack from Aldi for 39p ), par boiled and bunged in the freezer ready, off to M & S tomorrow for a beef joint, and hopefully a yummy pud - hopefully something gooey with chocolate, and that should be christmas day sorted
  • D&DD
    You lot are awful
    I'm gonna have to buy bigger plates this year you know..all these 'extras' to do :rolleyes:
    The thing I always prep is Delias parmesan parsnips and freeze them.
    Most of the rest is done the day before
    Turkey cooked and sliced
    Beef or whatever cooked
    Carrots julienned etc
    much the same as others

    The rest I do when we get back from my parents while Dad handles all the assembly for the toys
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