There are lots of things you can do to minimize the amount of time
you spend in the kitchen on the Christmas day. Try some of these tips
and hints :
- Make a list of everything you will need at least a week ahead
and buy all the non-perishable items well ahead of time. Try to get
all your last-minute shopping out of the way the day before to save
last minute trips to the shop.
- Order special items like seafood ahead, then pick them up, with
any other perishable foods, the day before. Store them carefully to
make sure that they retain their full flavor and freshness.
- Set the table the day before, then cover it with a light-weight
cloth to protect it from dust and greasy fingerprints.
- Prepare ahead as much as you can so that only finishing touches
are needed on some dishes.
- Use a sturdy aluminum foil baking tray for roasting. You will
save a lot of elbow grease by just throwing it out at the end of the
- If you have a small oven, don't forget to check that you will be
able to fit in any dishes that need to be cooked at the same time.
- Chill the drinks and don't forget to enjoy yourself.
Countdown to Christmas
This at-a-glance timetable will help you plan and organize your
Christmas cooking for a traditional dinner with turkey.
Make preserves and relishes to serve with cold meats over the festive
Second week: Make moist & rich Christmas cake.
Fourth week: Make Christmas pudding. Decide on Christmas dinner menu.
Order turkey, goose, beef or ham.
First week: Make mincemeat. Compile complete shopping list for main
Christmas meals under headings for different stores, or for the various
counters at the supermarket. Continue to add to list throughout the
Second week: Shop for dry goods such as rice, dried fruits and flour.
Order special bread requirements. Order milk, cream and other dairy
produce. Make brandy butter.
Third week: Cover moist and rich Christmas cake with fondant icing
and decorate, leave 1 day, then cover and stone.
Fourth week: Shop for chilled ingredients. Buy wines and other
Check thawing time for frozen turkey, duck, beef or other meat. Large
turkeys (11.5kg/25lb) need 86 hours (3.5 days) to thaw in the fridge, or
40 hours at room temperature. Make a note to take the meat from the
freezer at the appropriate time.
Shop for fresh vegetables, if not possible to do so on 24 December.
Shop for fresh vegetables, if possible. Assemble Christmas Salad and
refrigerate dressing separately. Make stuffing for poultry.
This timetable is planned for Christmas dinner to be served at 2pm.
If you wish to serve it at a different time, please adjust the times
Stuff poultry. Form leftover stuffing into balls or spoon into a
greased ovenproof dish. Set table, if not already done. Put steamer or
large saucepan on cooker and bring water to the boil at 10:40am. Put
Christmas pudding on to steam.
To cook a 5.5kg / 12lb turkey
(Turkey Roasting and Carving Techniques)
9:05am Preheat oven to 200C/400F/ Gas 6
9:25am Put turkey in oven, covered
9:45am Reduce heat to 180C/350F/ Gas 4. Baste turkey now and at
12:15pm Put potatoes around meat. Remove foil from turkey and baste
again. Turn the potatoes
12:45pm Increase heat to 200C/400F/ Gas 6. Put any dishes of stuffing
1:45pm Remove turkey and potatoes from oven, put on heated
dish, cover with foil and keep warm. Make