Countdown to Christmas – Part 1

Countdown to Christmas – your essential guide

Countdown to ChristmasCountdown to Christmas!  Where has the time gone?  If you’re like me, last Christmas only seems a few weeks ago!  Halloween has been and gone and all those lovely carved pumpkins are now rotting away in the compost bin and the night sky has once again fallen silent after Bonfire night.  So it’s time once again to look forward to Christmas and the busiest time of the year for the kitchen.

We probably say it every year, but let’s be better organised this Christmas!  There’s lots we can do over the coming weeks to avoid any last minute stress and dramas – here’s Part 1 of your essential guide to counting down to Christmas.

Made your Christmas cake yet?

We can make a good start right now in November in this countdown to Christmas by making the Christmas cake.  We have a great rich fruit cake recipe for you to try.  Store it in an airtight tin and remember to ‘feed’ the fruit cake each week with a tablespoon full of rum or brandy.  By the time you come to decorate your cake in mid-December, you will have a very rich fruit cake indeed!

What about that Christmas pudding?

Christmas puddingWe can also make our Christmas pudding.  There is a special day for this called ‘Stir up Sunday’, which this year is on 23 November – I’ll be writing a special blog on that so watch this space!  Personally, I find the earlier you can make your Christmas pudding the better the pudding will be!

We have a great Christmas pudding recipe for you to try!  Once you have made the pudding, allow it to cool.  Keep it in its basin and wrap up tightly and store in a cool place until Christmas morning.  On Christmas Day, your pudding will need a couple of hours of steaming to finish it off, all ready for that flaming brandy!  Don’t forget to get everyone in the family to give the pudding a stir when you are mixing it and make a wish (I can’t guarantee your wishes will come true though…).

What are we having for lunch?

Sound familiar?  Very sensible in this case as it’s better to think now about what you want to eat for your Christmas lunch.  I expect many of us will be sticking to the good old turkey but you may consider a change, such as a game bird, goose or even a lovely joint of beef.  If you go for a beef joint, try treating yourself to a fore rib joint that is still on the bones – roast it on the bones for a fabulous taste.  I’m sure your friendly butcher will be taking Christmas orders – don’t leave it to the last minute!

Checked your roasting tin?

It’s not as silly as it sounds!  Now is the time for checking you have a large enough roasting tin!  There can’t be anything worse than finding out on Christmas morning that you haven’t a roasting tin large enough for your turkey!  If you choose a goose, make sure you have a deep roasting tin and sit the goose on a rack – you’ll be surprised at the amount of grease that will leave your goose when roasting!

To be continued…

This should be enough to get you busy and occupied for the time being.  Part 2 of your essential countdown to Christmas guide will be here before you know it!