Count Down to Christmas: Everything you need to do, week by week.

Christmas Planner – Week One
At this stage you need to be making lists, gathering recipes and placing orders. Here are some points to start with:
  • Make a comprehensive list of who has been invited and for how many meals
  • Order the turkey
  • Order a ham
  • Make Christmas pudding and steam for 8 hours
  • Make or buy your un-iced Christmas cake, pour over a few tablespoons of brandy each week
  • Buy crackers, candles and napkins for Christmas table
  • Stock up on soft drinks, long life juice and Squash
  • Re-arrange freezer to allow room for Christmas supplies
  • Buy and freeze chiabatta loaves for use as pizza bases, crostini etc
  • Buy chicken winglets and make some concentrated chicken stock as a base for the turkey gravy. Store in freezer
  • Check cupboard for dry goods, tins, spices, mincemeat, etc
  • Make and freeze batches of pastry for mince pies
  • Make cranberry relish and store in fridge/freezer
  • Make cheese straws and shortbread, store in air-tight tin
  • Order extra cream and milk for 24th December
  • Make extra ice cubes and store in plastic bags in freezer
  • Check recipes and make a list of ingredients needed
Christmas Planner Week Two
  • Check wine rack and order wine, spirts and after dinner drinks
  • Buy mixers, soft drinks, mineral water and long life juice
  • Buy long life milk for emergencies
  • Order cheese, one or two large pieces of cheese will look better than a collection of small slices. Try an alternative to Stilton such as Been Leigh or Cashal, both blue cheeses, this year and have beautiful mature farmhouse cheddar such as Montgomery or Quickes as the second cheese
  • Buy cheese biscuits and nuts. Store fresh chestnuts in the refrigerator
  • Count china and cutlery borrowing or buying extra as needed
  • Make sure you have a roasting pan and serving platter large enough for the turkey or goose
During the course of this week you should aim to:
  • Cover the cake with almond paste then white icing store in an airtight tin
  • Make brandy butter and store in fridge or freeze
  • Draw up a table plans and check for any dietary problems
  • Count cutlery and china to check quantities, wash any little used dishes, clean silver, rinse and polish glasses
  • Buy cheese biscuits, coffee beans, tea
  • Make a list and order as necessary all fruit and vegetables remembering onions, fresh herbs, lemons and salad ingredients.
  • Make an oven-ready dish for Boxing Day, e.g.: lasagne, fish pie, root vegetable gratin etc., cover, label and store in freezer.
  • Buy tomatoes and store in a bowl in a cool room
  • Check Christmas wine, beer, sprits and mixers
  • Buy supply of bottle water
  • Buy large size foil, cling film and greaseproof paper
  • Stock freezer with croissants or home made muffins for breakfasts
  • Buy extra butter, soft margarine and cooking oil
  • Order bacon, sausage meat and sausages from butcher

Christmas planner – Week Three

  • Buy fruit and vegetables making sprouts your last purchase. These really do taste better if cooked as soon after picking as possible so these really should be a Christmas Eve purchase
  • Ice cake and decorate
  • Make more mince pies and this time store out of reach of marauding family
  • Buy fresh dairy products cream, milk, butter and cheese
  • Buy fresh orange juice
  • Buy Panatonne for Christmas breakfast, excellent with ham!
  • Make trifle, ice cream or other alternative pudding

Play carols loudly on family stereo

Christmas Eve

  • Collect Turkey and ham from butchers
  • Glaze ham, leave in cold place overnight
  • Make stuffings and store in fridge
  • Make bacon rolls arrange on baking sheet, place in fridge
  • Make stock from Turkey giblets
  • Peel potatoes, carrots and parsnips and place in bowl of cold water over night.
  • Peel sprouts and place in polythene bag in fridge overnight
  • Arrange sausages on oven roasting dish, place in fridge

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One thought on “Count Down to Christmas: Everything you need to do, week by week.

  1. Dear Thane
    We have grown up with your fruit cake recipe which my mum has made every Christmas since I can remember! She is distraught because this year she has readied her ingredients but has lost the recipe! I’d love to be able to email it to her…please, please could you help me? It would avert a Christmas cake disaster!

    Many thanks for lovely, reliable recipes
    Kate x

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