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Christmas cooking - hopefully sharing helpful holiday hints!

mossycowmossycow Posts: 411Member, Community champion Chatterbox
edited December 2018 in Reasons to be cheerful
Hi guys, 
I know, I really do know how hard the December holidays are. 

But it's also an excuse to be kind to ourselves and each other and enjoy as much as we can. For me this is enjoying food. 

But as a disabled person I try to make cooking as easy and cheap as possible and that means maybe being more creative? 

So I wondered if you had an Christmas/holiday cooking tips.... 

THANKS! 


"To bloom where we are planted"

Replies

  • mossycowmossycow Posts: 411Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    For me, Christmas Dinner means making dinner for us three (husband and daughter). We see family and friends on other days as my husband usually works Xmas, luckily this year not till 5pm.

    So even though I love cooking, I don't want to do much on Xmas morning when we spend the time together. 

    SO! 

    If I was asked for a Christmas tip, I'd suggest doing as much as possible ahead of the day. 

    —I like to roast the meats ahead of time. I choose a day where the weather is crap and I need a rest day,prepare the meat the day before.... Then.. On a cold day I get the oven on, fill it to the brim and cook everything together. I leave the meats to rest till the next day, safe in the oven in our cold kitchen (I can't do everything in one day). Then I prepare a plastic tub of all the meat we want on Xmas day then put the rest in the freezer, a cache of meat treats for another day.

    On Xmas day, I make some gravy, add to the meats tub, heat it in the microwave and it is delicious and easy. 

    — Have a look at what can be cooked ahead... And I do a bit each day the week before...


    My other tip is TURKEY LEGS. One leg does us three, though this year a bought one for leftovers too. They cost about £3 per leg, don't go dry and taste gorgeous

    — We're also having HAM. I got a gammon joint for about £3 which is enough for us plus left overs. I like to cook it in the slow cooker... Then roast it with some honey and mustard on it. (the slow cooker water makes the most amazing peas pudding.i tip in yellow split peas, nutmeg and pepper into the slow cooker water when the ham is taken out and cook it for about 6 hours.... It's like hammy bean butter.....)


    Does anyone do roast spuds ahead of time? 

    What do you do that save stime and money?

    "To bloom where we are planted"

  • thespicemanthespiceman Posts: 3,220Member, Community champion Brian Blessed
    Hello @mossycow ; Thank you for sharing with the community. Your Christmas Tips.

    Excellent.  As I am one of the many on my own as I am every Christmas. Always get contacted by many former friends who are in a blind panic and also on the stress level. Christmas being the highest one.

    Add to that often badger me and hassle me to come for lunch because of the experiences . I have had due to my knowledge in kitchens and doing large numbers of people.

    Volunteering mainly in various charities.  In other words want me to cook for them.

    Need to share my number one tip is to make it simple.

    Plan and have a strategy.  Make a list of what you need to eat and stick to it.

    Budget the numbers.  Use the time you have to think of ways to do short cuts.

    One is look at what they do in other countries. Italian Christmases. Santé Natale.  As it is called in Italian they do Misto Rosti which means mixed roasts.

    In the centre of the table three roasts. Lamb, Chicken, Pork.  All carved ready to help yourself.

    Same with vegetables all in tureen's serving dishes . Plus gravy, stocks sauces. You are given a empty white bowl and help yourself. Every one is relaxed.

    Before that usually Soup or Gnocchi, Risotto.  Some times all of them.

    Another good tip is to have fish like Salmon or Trout easy to cook and it is traditional meal. Turkey only came to this country .With the Victorians.  Prince Albert .Queen Victoria husband introduced it.  As with a number of other things around Christmas.  

    Vegetables make it easy for yourself buy frozen .  Most supermarkets sell frozen veggies of all sorts and nothing wrong in buying them. Good quality. Especially Brussel Sprouts and Roast Potatoes.

    Also beware of BOGOFS. Buy one get one free.  Also offers.

    Remember you are in control and the day should be pleasant and enjoyable.

    Add to the cooking of Turkey . Thighs and Breast of a large bird take a long time difference. So cut of the legs and thighs cook them separate.

    Do the crown and do that first then add the legs later.

    Done this many a time for harassed friends who bought a huge Turkey can not get in the oven. So we cut of the thighs and legs left them. Then cooked the main crown first.

    Chicken spatch **** it which means taking out the breast bone squashing flat and cooking in a baking tray lot quicker and safer.  Use can use a sharp pair of scissors to do this.

    With Roast Potatoes underneath. Talking of Roast Potatoes those who wish to buy fresh potatoes. Peel and blanch in a pan cool down then freeze ready for the big day.  Straight into a roasting dish sear and into a oven.

    Always have ideas for left overs. Will put those on the forum later.

    Also one final point plenty of zip bags and freezer bags to make sauces, stocks and any thing left over can freeze.  Including for those that do any wine. Into a sauce or stock. Freeze.

    Hope that helps any body.

    @thespiceman


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