Tips for Ensuring a Stress Free Christmas Dinner
2nd December 2014
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On Christmas Day, do you find that whilst everyone else is enjoying the festivities, opening presents and relaxing over a glass of wine, you are stuck in the kitchen peeling carrots, slicing meat and boiling potatoes?  Does dinner not taste as nice because you're too exhausted to enjoy it? 

Well this year, why not do a little careful planning and make stress and chaos a thing of the past.  Christmas dinner is just a roast dinner and there are plenty of things you can plan days and weeks ahead: 


Gravy can be made long before Christmas day.  Simply freeze it and then defrost on the day.  Before you serve, why not add the juices from your turkey and vegetables. 


Stuffing freezes very well and you can even cook it before freezing so you only have to pop it in the oven on the day! 

Brussel sprouts and other vegetables

Blanche and refresh sprouts by boiling them and then dropping them into cold water to stop the cooking process. On Christmas day, reheat them in a pan or microwave.  This process can be done with most vegetables. 


Potatoes can be parboiled and put in the freezer to give them a head start on Christmas day.  If you prefer to cook them fresh, peel and prepare them the night before. 


Most turkeys are oven ready so easy to pop in the oven on the day.  If yours is in the freezer, here are the thawing times for frozen turkeys
4—5kg: 20 hours at room temperature; 65 hours in fridge
5—6kg: 24 hours at room temperature; 70 hours in fridge
6—7kg: 30 hours at room temperature; 75 hours in the fridge
8—9kg: 40 hours at room temperature; 80 hours in the fridge
9—11kg: 48 hours at room temperature; 96 hours in the fridge 

Bread sauce and Cranberry Sauce

Both sauces can be made ahead of the day and freeze well. 


There are two choices with parsnips, you can boil them and keep them in the fridge for up to a day before or you can freeze them. 


Christmas pudding can be made months ahead, or you can buy Christmas puds that are easily popped in the microwave.  If you like to offer several desserts, buy puddings that don't take up oven space and can be served straight away. 

Preparation in advance is definitely the way forward, why not lay the table on Christmas Eve and that's another job less for you to do. 

Finally ... sit back and enjoy the day with everyone else.

About the Author

John A

Member since: 27th February 2014

After 30 yrs of experience in the Horticultural Industry building two garden centres from green field sites and a wholesale nursery I thought it time for a change.Although this is a complete change of...

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