I would think that Christmas lunch is the one meal each year that we try our hardest to do perfectly. We have spent quite a few pounds on the turkey, food, drink, etc., invited friends and family and then start to worry whether we can cope with it all. Worry not – here are some essential Christmas lunch tips to help you through:
Preparation is key – mise en place
- Ensuring that the turkey you have bought will fit in your oven
- Having a roasting tray big enough to cook it in
- On Christmas Eve evening, peel your potatoes, cover them with ice cold water and add a slice or two of lemon to help them keep white
- Also on Christmas Eve evening, wash, peel and prepare all your vegetables, place them in bowls and cover with lids or cling film and store them in the fridge if possible or in a cold room
- It is important to ensure that, if using a frozen bird, the turkey is well defrosted.
- Prepare the stuffing, bacon rolls and chipolatas.
- Try to do as much as is safely possible, even to the extent of getting your crockery and cutlery ready!
- Make a bain marie that will sit over a low heat on the top of the stove, as this will be very useful in keeping the gravy and sauces hot without burning in the saucepans.
You may surprise yourself and find you even have time on Christmas morning to help the little ones open their presents and enjoy playing with their new toys.
Then, after lunch when everyone is stuffed and telling you that was the best Christmas lunch ever, you can smugly think to yourself how good you were and wonder what all the fuss was about. But, do insist on someone else doing the washing up!