17 December 2010

Let Christmas Begin!

Exams are done, semester is finished and now it's time to relax and knit (lots).
I'm breaking from tradition this year and having Christmas with my boyfriend and away from my parents. It's not necessarily what was planned, but sometimes these things have to be done.
This means that we get to keep the dog with us and have a nice chilled out celebration without arguments (of which there are normally many).
This does, however mean that I have to learn to make a Christmas dinner and a Christmas cake...
...any tips anyone??


Jo said...

I've never made a Christmas cake, so can't help there.

With the Christmas dinner, though, the best tip that I was ever given was write everything down along with timings of how long it is going to take to cook things. That way you can work backwards from when you want to eat and actually have a timetable for when to start cooking each thing (I actually write it out with times i.e. 12:15 preheat oven, 12:30 put chicken on, 12:45 parboil potatoes, 1:00 put potatoes in oven etc.). It takes out the stress of suddenly realising that you forgot to put the sprouts on!

Stuffing is really easy to make - you don't need the shop pre-mix stuff... Basic stuffing is just a couple of slices of bread turned into breadcrumbs mixes with an egg to bind it - you can then add in whatever you fancy - I put in a finely chopped onion and some fresh rosemary, but you could also add bacon, mushrooms etc. Using a food processor helps to get it chopped finely enough - if it looks too sloppy once you've added the ingredients, just add more bread. If you are stuffing the bird (whether chicken or turkey), then remember to add the weight of the stuffing to the weight of the bird to work out the cooking times.

ruth said...

Too late now to make a decent Christmas cake so go buy an uniced one, poke LOTS of holes in it with a knitting needle, then feed it sherry/port/brandy - about 5 tablespoons should do it :) then cover with apricot jam (warmed slightly so it is runny, marzipan, and then ice (ready to roll is easiest) and decorate (dye marzipan green and red and make holly leaves and berries.

Christmas Dinner - Jo is absolutely right - streaky bacon on top of the turkey breast keeps it nice and juicy, take the turkey out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you start to cook it so that it is at room temperature. Look on the delia/good food website for timings if they aren't on the turkey packaging (I think it is 70 minutes a kg for up to 6kg but don't quote me on that one). Christmas pud is easy- microwave! Brandy sauce - melt butter, mix with plain flour to make a roux, slowly add milk to make up the quantity that you want, add sugar (about 2 teaspoons of butter, flour and sugar and about 250mls of milk, heat until thickens, lower heat and add brandy (a good slosh - ours is always thoroughly alcoholic by the time we have all sloshed some in when Mum isn't looking.....) and then have the gaviscon on standby!! Enjoy!