Top tips for a stress-free Christmas from Jane Lovett, author of Make It Easy Cookbook
Use the boot of the car as an extended fridge - it’s cold, spacious and rodent free! Very handy, as fridge space is always at a premium at this time of year. Excellent for the turkey and for all manner of other things – sprouts, stuffing, satsuma’s and all those extra stocking-up panic buys that we can’t resist - in fact anything goes really, although best to avoid anything sloppy in case you forget to do your best driving whilst the car is doubling up as a fridge!
Sausages and bacon rolls can be cooked anytime between now and the big day, drained on kitchen towel and put into the ovenproof serving dish in which you will serve them. Cool, cover and refrigerate. Re-heat for 5 –10 minutes, or until sizzling, in a hot oven, just before eating.
Potatoes can be peeled a day in advance and kept somewhere cool-ish submerged in water. Or, better still, potatoes for roasting can be par-boiled in advance (see Perfect Roast Potatoes recipe in Make it Easy Cookbook p.139), and frozen.
When entertaining, serving nibbles with drinks beforehand replaces the need for a starter, which as well as cutting down the work, also cuts down the washing up! Serving cheese instead of a dessert -perhaps - with some fresh fruit - cuts it down even more, so all that’s required is a main course. For a sweet hit, chocolates, mini mince pies or other sweet treats can be handed round with coffee afterwards.
Peel sprouts by pulling off any blemished outside leaves you don't like the look of. Cutting a thick slice off the bottom simply leaves outer leaves unattached, which then fall apart and become waterlogged & overcooked during cooking.
Make it Easy Cookbook by Jane Lovett, £12.99 paperback