Christmas Day often passes by in a blur, particularly if you find yourself in the kitchen all day lovingly preparing a meal for your family. But there is a way to balance your love of cooking with your celebrations.
While we love cooking up the kind of delicious Christmas feast that makes everyone undo their top button and sneak away for a post-lunch nap (before returning to devour seconds and thirds) it can be disappointing to spend the entire day holed up in the kitchen peeling potatoes, while the rest of your family spends time together. Some parts of your meal, such as roast turkey, should definitely be cooked on the day, but there are some delicious Christmas recipes for desserts and sides that can be made in advance to save you time on the day.
Freeze your gravy
Sure it might not be the most difficult menu item to make on the day, but every minute saved can be worthwhile on Christmas day. If you’re making it the day before, your gravy can be stored in the fridge, but if storing in the freezer it can be kept for up to three months. On the day, simply defrost and heat up before serving. For added flavour and a silky consistency, stir through the juices from your roast turkey or chicken as you heat it up on the stove.
Pre-cook your stuffing
Who doesn’t love a generous serving of stuffing? Perhaps the best thing about this addition to the table is that it can be completely cooked in the week before Christmas and stored in the freezer. Defrost and heat up just before you serve your lunch for a delicious side everyone loves.
Christmas desserts to make ahead
The main course isn’t the only place you can save time on Christmas Day, in fact many of our beloved Christmas desserts can be made well ahead of time. Our can be stored in the fridge for one week or the freezer for one month, to be reheated prior to serving. You can also cook up some delicious gingerbread or traditional shortbread in the lead up to Christmas Day, and have them plated, as ornaments or elegantly stacked up to make a delicious edible centrepiece.
Sides to make the day before
Salads to serve on the side of your meal are usually quick and easy to prepare on the day from fresh ingredients, but for even richer flavours you can prep some of them in advance. Planning on serving our pumpkin salad recipe or our hasselback pumpkin? Pre-roast your pumpkin the day before so they’re ready to assemble in the morning. If cooking our honey bacon Brussels sprouts the day before, simply store in the fridge overnight and warm up before serving.
We all want to give our family a wonderful meal on Christmas Day, but following these tricks and making a few things in advance will ensure you’re not missing out on any of the important memories from the day either.