Monday, 5 December 2011

Planning and Preparing for All That Food at Christmas!/chriscookerysch

It's never too early to think about Christmas. We all know by now how much planning is needed for Christmas to go by without any major hiccups so the best thing to do is be prepared. To do that you need to plan what you need to buy and prioritise.

Christmas food is obviously one of the few things you must buy during the Christmas season. However you could still plan ahead now by making lists of what you need to buy and where you need to buy it. Some items will have a long use by date, so can be purchased in early December or even late November. You can make your life easier by using a supermarket's online shopping facility - start compiling your shop early and save it for nearer the time when you'll actually want to order.

If your going to make your own Christmas cake you should be making it now if not already made.( Aug to Sept)

Early December

Order your Bird or game,what ever you decide to have or buy a frozen one now. To work out what size you need, count on serving 450g per person. A frozen turkey will need 1-2 days to thaw. Make and freeze your mince pies now.Buy all your tinned and dried ingredients now, so your not rushing and end up forgetting it on the big day.

Think about the tabletop decorations if you're planning something special.

One week before Christmas

  • Start to defrost the turkey at the back of the fridge.
  • Write your shopping list and purchase all non-perishables (don't forget pet food).

Two days before Christmas

  • Make Cranberry sauce and store in the fridge.
  • For stuffings and bread sauce you will need stale bread. Cut and cube it now and lay it out on a baking tray in a single laye to dry out.
  • Make sure all napkins and tablecloths are washed and ironed.
  • Wash or polish cutlery, glasses, serving dishes and china.
  • Pick up the flowers you ordered for the table.
  • Arrange flowers and water well.
  • If possible, wait until Christmas Eve to buy vegetables, salads and fish. If not, buy them now.

Christmas Eve morning

  • Pick up fresh turkey.
  • Do last-minute shopping.You should have a check list,most things should be crossed off by now.
  • Prepare Vegetables,pigs in blankets and anything else to make life easier for yourself for tomorrow
  • Defrost mince pies
  • Prepare your chosen puddings and refrigerate. If you're serving a traditional pudding, make brandy butter and refrigerate.

Christmas Eve afternoon

  • Prepare stuffings Don't refrigerate, but leave covered in a cool place. The stuffings should not be too cold when you stuff the turkey.
  • If you can make your starter ie, soup then do so.
  • make bread sauce Cover tightly with cling film and store in the fridge.
  • Set the table, leaving the flowers until the morning.

Christmas Eve evening

Take the turkey out of the fridge, cover with foil and allow it to come to room temperature,then weight your bird so you can work out the cooking time(25 mins per lb + 25mins). Do the same with the stuffing and butter so that it softens for the morning. With all the newly-created space, fill up the fridge with wines, mineral water and fresh juice.

Christmas day.


  • Preheat the oven about 180c and prepare the Bird. IT SHOULD BE STUFFED AND READY TO GO.
  • You now know the cooking time 4-5 hrs depending on size of bird.


  • Make breakfast if you haven't already.
  • If you are using a warming oven, put in the required plates and serving dishes.
  • Set up coffee and tea trays for later.


  • Get everything for cooking out and into the proper pans. Reheat Bread Sauce and place it in a jug with butter on top to melt over the surface, and keep warm.Your roast will take about 1 hr to cook so work out time when to put in oven


  • Start steaming the Christmas pudding. (Make a tradictional pudding.)
  • If you're drinking red wine with your meal, you may want to give it time to breathe. Open now.
  • You've survived the morning, well done! Pour yourself a glass of bucks fizz to celebrate.


  • Your roast should be in the oven now start to cook vegetables and pigs in blankets
  • Remove turkey from oven, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest.


  • Check bacon rolls, remove and keep warm.


  • Put gravy on to heat. While they are cooking, dish up food into serving dishes and carve the turkey.
  • Check Christmas pudding.


Tuck in!

These time are a guild line you can work out your timing from the size of your meat. Then work backwords with

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