Christmas can be a stressful time especially when it comes to preparing and cooking your Christmas dinner. Below are some of our helpful tips to help you enjoy more of your day without being locked in the kitchen all day!
Plan Ahead - This may sound utterly boring and over the top but this is the key to a stress-free day. Planning oven space and timings to ensure you have everything ready at the same time will benefit you so much. Also ensure you work out how long your turkey will take in the oven the last thing you want is a raw turkey.
Itemise your shopping list, break it down by course or meal so that you're not left frantically searching the back of the cupboards for the cranberry sauce or goose fat that you forgot to buy.
Don't Cram! - It's tempting to cram everything into the oven at once in the hope that everything cooks, but trust me this isn't the case. All you end up doing is reducing the temperature of the oven and slow the cooking time down.
Make sure the bird fits in the oven before you do any prep, the last thing you'd want to do is find out it doesn't fit. So while its still in packaging place onto the tray you're intending to use and make sure it comfortably fits in the oven. Remember if air cannot circulate around the bird it won't cook evenly leaving you with pockets of raw meat.
Prepare - Don't leave everything until the day. Try and prepare what you can ahead of the main event, veg can be prepared the day before, gravy can be done even further ahead of time. Make the gravy as per your usual recipe then let it cool and add to freezer bags, squeeze excess air out and zip up. Lay flat in the freezer and defrost on the day adding the juices from the bird for added flavour.
Stuffing can be made the day before and refrigerated ready to go into the oven. Use a steamer for veg, not only will it taste better but it saves hob space.
Carrots, Parsnips and Potatoes can also be prepared the day before and left in pans of cold water (this also frees up space in the fridge)
Don't Do It All On Your Own! - Don't let Christmas pass you by as you slave away in the kitchen, get the family involved and spread the workload. Including the washing up, washing as you go will save you a lot of time and stress after the meal. If you have a dishwasher put it on shorter cycles and don't put anything in there that you may need to re-use.
Leftovers - You can turn your leftovers into many yummy dishes, left over Christmas pud can be chopped up finely and mixed into some softened vanilla ice cream and re-frozen to make delicious ice cream. Left over turkey, veg and potatoes can be mixed into a savoury cream sauce and topped with some shop brought puff pastry to make an easy pie.
Merry Christmas from all of the Shreddies team, and we wish all of our customers a very happy new year!