The most seasoned of cooks know that a relaxed Christmas is on where prep is done well in advance and the freezer is stocked with make ahead jewels, all ready for the big day.
Loads of vegetables can be made and frozen in advance. Roasties can be readied for the oven by boiling potatoes for seven minutes. Shake around in the colander and toss in seasoned duck fat before cooling completely. Place in a freezer-proof container and pop them in the deep freeze until the big day. Mashes and purees stand up really well to the freezer, so you can cook those in advance and freeze too. If you are roasting veg, par cook, toss in flavourings, cool and freeze in a freezer bag, ready to be poured into a baking dish on Christmas Day.
Sausage meat stuffing can be assembled, rolled and frozen in advance, as can all flavoured butters, bread sauce and cranberry sauce. Spend a few hours in the kitchen this week and tick as much off your list as you can.
The Sweet Life
If you don’t like the traditional pudding, consider a roulade, which will freeze beautifully. All mince pies and cookies can be frozen in batches, ready to be whipped out at a moment’s notice. It’s worth while keeping some ready rolled pastry in the freezer for leftover pies and canape receptacles.
All of this prep will be worth nothing if you don’t adhere to the rules of freezing. On Christmas Eve remove everything from the freezer to the fridge to allow it to thaw out slowly. Once it has thawed, transfer to whatever each thing will be cooked in, and revel in your amazing ability to multitask without breaking a sweat.