10 Top Tips For Christmas Day in the Kitchen
December is nearly here and there is no escaping the fact that Christmas is just around the corner. We are under the full onslaught of TV advertising every time we switch on the telly. Flashing window displays on the high street and queues for endless Santa’s grottos are unavoidable. You may also be on the receiving end of a barrage of marketing emails and pop up adverts in your in-box every time you go online. Is anywhere safe from Christmas madness?
Don’t get me wrong – I love Christmas and am looking forward to celebrating in my own way but cooking for more than the usual three people, certainly makes me head for a complete melt-down. Here at TLH Leisure Resort we are all about keeping calm in the kitchen so we’ve asked Lee Johnston at the TLH Carlton Hotel for some of his top tips to keep calm, and cook on!
Lee’s Top 10 Tips
- Stay calm by planning your menu in November and make a list to buy as many ingredients as possible before the supermarkets become something akin to a boxing ring.
- Have an early practice run and cook Christmas dinner instead of your normal Sunday roast. This is a good chance to experiment with the latest “must try” sprout recipe and find out if the family will like it.
- Try cooking a single turkey supreme or crown instead of the full bird. (The legs always take longer than the breast.) You could even cook it the day before, slice it and reheat on Christmas Day. With all of the delicious seasonings and gravy no-one will taste the difference.
- Prepare your veg the day before and refrigerate in plastic bags or containers. Make sure you place peeled potatoes in cold water.
- Don’t have too many sherries on Christmas Eve – you’ll regret it in the morning.
- Make a list of everything you need to do, with timings. This way nothing will get forgotten and you’ll feel great every time you tick something off the list.
- If you can’t do much in the way of advanced preparation and you’ve got a house-full coming round, make it a fun day and get everyone involved. Now is not the time to be a control freak, so share the load and get your friends and family peeling the carrots, potatoes and whatever else you have on the menu.
- Why not get someone to bring a starter and someone else to bring the pudding? This will help share some of the expense too. And if you are making brandy sauce, make it the day before and warm it up before you serve the pud.
- Make sure you warm the plates – if there’s no room in the oven or hot cupboard, put them in a sink of hot water, or even the bath !
- Last but not least, make sure the bottle opener is kept in a safe place. Cheers!
The more you prepare, the easier things will be – and don’t forget, practice makes perfect.
Once the big event is over, why not sit down, relax and maybe plan to celebrate Christmas away next year. We have a great selection of festive breaks on offer at the TLH Carlton, and our other hotels, where Lee and his colleagues can do all of the cooking for you.