Less than 24 hours to go, and the last-minute scurry is on: last chance for the shops today, for the rest of the food, those presents you haven’t got around to buying yet, more wrapping paper and sticky tape, an extra bottle or two. What have you forgotten? There’s bound to be something. You got the nuts, but have you got any nutcrackers?
For those of you who are more organised, well done. Sit back and relax, and watch the rest of the world panic, and run in ever-decreasing circles as the sun goes down and the shops begin to close.
If you’re new to all this Christmas cooking lark, or if you’ve done it every year, but still get into a flap, take time out to read through some of the blogs I’ve posted in the last month or so: they’re there to help you.
Here’s a quick list of the links that will gently take you by the hand and lead you through.
First and foremost, here’s my guide to cooking Christmas Dinner the Stress Free Way. I’ve obviously struck a chord here, as this page alone has received hundreds of hits, which is remarkable for a pretty new blog. Take it easy, take it step-by-step, and get as much done today as you can.
Follow the links here for more details on cooking perfect roast potatoes, and how to make gravy from scratch.
Don’t believe those who tell you that your Christmas Pudding has to be cooked months in advance and allowed to mature: this Christmas Pudding recipe can be made today, and will be great tomorrow. If you fancy an experiment, I’ve expanded on it with my guestimate (guessipe?) on how to convert it into this year’s must-have, Heston Blumenthal’s Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding (catchy title, huh?)
Here, I tell you how to make those lovely little accompaniments, Pigs in Blankets – they’re the work of ten minutes to prepare, and everybody loves them.
For after the event, I tell you how to deal with all those Christmas leftovers, and go into detail on how to make a stock from the carcass of the big bird by following my chicken stock recipe.
To illustrate the principals of getting ahead, my turkey is already sitting in the fridge all prepared and ready to go, most of the veg are peeled, still raw and sitting in cold water, where they will come to no harm, and the pigs in blankets are good to go.
Today, I shall be making the gravy, or at least the giblet part of it, ready to add the juices from the cooked bird tomorrow. I’ll also be making the bread sauce, (sorry, no recipe here) and the stuffing (see Stress-Free page), and will get some of the other tasks out of the way.
But, so that I don’t sound too smug, let me tell you that although I may be ahead in the kitchen, I’ve still got a few presents to get. So, as prepared as I am in culinary terms, I’ll still be rushing round the shops this afternoon along with everyone else. Now, where did I put those nutcrackers?