I asked my mum who has many christmas dinners under her belt to write me a “how to” for my first real cooked christmas. I have memories of mum in the kitchen more years than I care to remember, and i think the smallest meal she ever cooked for was about 5 of us and the biggest is well in excess of 30! She is totally an expert!
So here it is – Thanks mum xxx
Before starting xmas cooking you need to make several seperate lists..
DECORATION THEME FOR TABLE
WRITE A SHOPPING LIST WITH EACH MEALS INGREDIENTS
LIST ALL SAUCES , SALT PEPPER AND HERBS NEEDED
LIST WHAT CAN BE DONE IN ADVANCE…
How to cook a turkey (whole bird) Remember your oven size when buying the turkey as you need to fit a tray of roast vegies in too…. perhaps you can buy the turkey breast roll which is easy and fast to cook….
Make a baste for the turkey using cranberry jelly, oil, tarragon or thyme or rosemary herbs……mix together and make a paste….. wipe turkey dry before painting the baste on bird…….
Stuffing is a must in the turkey to keep it moist….. buy two packets of turkey stuffing mix and stuff the turkey (the night before saves time )…………. cook on about 170 for about and hour per pound…. make sure it cooks for at least four hours slowly !!! keep basting….
about and hour and a half before you serve the turkey put the vegies into oven to roast…. the more u turn the roast vegies the better they cook….
take turkey out of oven 15 mins before the spuds etc and crank the oven up to 220 to crisp the vegies…. cover the turkey with foil until ready to carve…
cook gravy while vegies crisp up…. cover with foil to keep warm… mike carves meat while u put vegies on plates….
your lobster tails can be cleaned the day before you cook them , the Mornay sauce can be made the day before as well , cover and refrigerate…. but you canNOT cook the tails until an hour before you add the sauce and grill them , as they will stay cold if cooked night before as well as going tough…….
cover cooked tails up to an hour before u grill them…. enjoy yummmy…
make the trifle and jelly two days before xmas as the jelly needs to set and you wont have much room in the fridge on xmas eve for the jelly bowls…. do NOT put the cream or jelly on top until just before you serve it….
Heres the Trifle recipe…
two jam rolls , sliced in thin slices , Marsala or sweet sherry , one litre home-made custard , red and green jelly , fresh cream to decorate….
Slice cake set aside , make custard to a creamy consistency ,
Now : cover bottom of trifle BOWL with a thin layer of custard , layer cake slices onto custard , sprinkle sherry all over cake , pour and spread custard onto cake sprinkle with less sherry each layer , repeat , finishing with custard layer on top…… you must use the custard while its hot or it wont set….. refrigerate at least 24hrs ahead of decorating it….
THINGS YOU CAN DO THE DAY BEFORE XMAS….
fill salt and pepper shakers
set dinner table
decorate chairs with tinsel etc….
wrap serviets around the bon bons to save space on table
peel and cover with water and put in fridge potatoes and pumpkin and any fresh vegies your cooking the next day
put cranberry sauce and any other sauces or condiments in little containers , cover and leave on bench
nuts , lollies etc can be put in bowls and placed around the lounge etc
Buy lots of foil and glad wrap
The biggest hurdle you face will be the size of turkey versus oven ….
good luck let me know if you need any more hints
lots of love mum