Holiday Planning: Ahead of the Game | Special Features

Christmas cooking can be intimidating. The pressure to make it good, tasty, and work - without breaking the bank - is intense. Fortunately, being organized and planning ahead of time can help to alleviate some of the stress while also spreading the cost.

The key to a successful Christmas Day is planning what you're going to cook and when, and then prepping the dishes ahead of time. To begin, a little housekeeping goes a long way. Do a freezer audit in the month leading up to Christmas; are there any odds and ends you can use up to maximize the space you have? Examine your refrigerator in the days leading up to Christmas Eve. You're going to need a lot of room on the 24th for all of your pre-prepared trays and puddings. What can you use up right now to make some space, and what can you save for later? place in the freezer to be used later

Preparing a few key dishes ahead of time will save you time and stress on The Big Day. So, once you've organized your freezer and fridge, start preparing these holiday favorites, and you'll impress your loved ones without (much) trouble.

Looking for creative ways to save money in the kitchen? Check out our top budget-friendly Christmas cooking tips.


Christmas pudding

Stir-up Sunday is all about planning ahead of time; according to this lovely tradition, this is THE day to make your Christmas pudding. It fell on November 20, 2022 this year, but if you missed it, there's still plenty of time for the flavors to mature in time for Christmas Day. Make this impressive-looking dessert from Jamie's Nan's recipe.  

Mellow mincemeat

Make a batch of mincemeat using this simple recipe and store it in the refrigerator. jars that have been sterilized , poised to become glorious mince pies in December Nothing says Christmas like mince pies, after all. And if you have any leftover mincemeat, go Pinterest crazy and decorate the jars to give as delicious handmade gifts.  


Get-ahead gravy

Gravy can make or break a Christmas dinner, and a good one can conceal a plethora of sins. So make Jamie's favorite, delectable Get-Ahead Gravy now and store it in the freezer until The Big Day. Your Christmas Day self will appreciate it. That sounds good. Learn more about this famous gravy by clicking here.

Classic mince pies

The festive season's flavor - and ideal for an impromptu pudding and afternoon treat This stunning version elevates a jar of mincemeat with butternut squash, maple syrup, and almonds. The beauty of these mince pies is that they can be frozen and baked from frozen. So easy

My Christmas cake

It is not too late to make your Christmas cake if you haven't already. Jamie's recipe is lighter than most, and it goes well with a cup of tea (or a glass of your favorite holiday drink). It'll be a real treat if you feed it a little booze a couple of times.  



This classic Italian dish (literally ' pick-me-up ' in English) is the ideal post-Christmas dinner dessert for anyone who is too full for a proper pud.   What's not to love about a Vin Santo-soaked sponge spiked with coffee, rich chocolate ganache and smooth cream, and finished with grated chocolate and orange? Freeze now so that it will be ready to defrost in your fridge on Christmas Eve.

Sloe gin gravlax

Begin curing this lovely gravadlax a few days before Christmas and finish on Christmas Eve. Serve with buttered sourdough, cucumber rounds, sour cream, and lemon wedges for squeezing over this magnificent Christmas starter - it's a beautifully light, fresh way to begin what can sometimes be a rather heavy meal.

Amazing Yorkies

Someone will always be dissatisfied unless their turkey comes with a Yorkshire pudding. Make the batter now, freeze it, and defrost in the fridge on Christmas Eve for perfectly fluffy puds. Make them without a fuss for Christmas and watch the compliments pour in. You are most welcome.

Pigs in blankets

Pigs in blankets are a Christmas dinner staple for many people. Make them now, freeze them, and then roast from frozen on the big day - talk about a holiday dinner winner! They're also a great addition to a buffet spread or as a festive snack, so consider making an extra batch.


Meat stuffing

Make this delicious stuffing the day before, pack it into a baking dish, cover with tin foil, and store in the fridge until ready to cook tomorrow while the turkey rests. If you make this delicious dish, the principle remains the same. vegetarian variant or this Gluten-free stuffing with parsnips, pork, and apples , too


Preparing these and arranging them in a tray on Christmas Eve will make Christmas morning so much more enjoyable. Get your potatoes , carrots , parsnips , cabbage in red and Brussels When ready, simply cover with foil and place in the fridge until ready to cook the next day. Also, while you're at it, get your turkey too

Apple & cranberry sauce

Whether you use fresh or frozen cranberries, this simple recipe yields the most flavorful sauce - you'll never go back to store-bought. It's also ideal for putting in sterile jars and giving as last-minute gifts. Make it now and store it in the refrigerator until tomorrow.

Beautiful bread sauce

It wouldn't be Christmas without some bread sauce on top of your turkey. Plus, it would be impolite not to make it. Make it right now, with a little extra milk. as it thickens overnight Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to reheat.

Incredible nut roast

This vibrant nut roast with mushrooms and cranberries is delicious whether you're a vegetarian or not. It's a delicious main course when served with a spicy tomato sauce. Cook it the day before (to save oven space for tomorrow), chill it, and reheat under foil on Christmas Day while the turkey rests.

Mrs Oliver's massive retro trifle

A beautifully fruity trifle is even better the next day because the alcohol has time to soak in and the layers have time to settle. And because this is Jamie's mother's recipe, you're guaranteed a Christmas Day hit.

Then, if you need some assistance with the cooking times on Christmas Day, refer to Jamie's grand scheme Then relax and enjoy your delectable lunch with your loved ones... Merry Christmas!

How to Freeze Food Safely

Remember to allow food to cool completely before freezing it - and to put it in the freezer within 2 hours. Make certain that everything is properly wrapped and labeled for future reference. Thaw in the refrigerator before using (unless the recipe specifies cooking from frozen), and use within 48 hours. If you've frozen cooked food, don't put it back in the freezer after reheating it.

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