A Christmas Countdown

This entry is filed under Christmas Recipes.

 Preparation prevents stress


Stay Ahead Of The Game This Christmas By Preparing In Advance…

This is your one stop shop for a Stress Free Christmas. You will find over 30 Festive Recipes in the Christmas  Recipe section.

Make your life easier by using this countdown for what to do each week on the run up to Christmas. Click the links below for everything from dead easy Canapes, the tastiest Turkey Gravy ever, tips for cooking the perfect Roast Turkey, a glorious Christmas Pudding Icecream and show stopping, Cherry Brandy Chocolate Truffles. Oh! And don’t forget to read the Top 10 Turkey Tips before buying your bird.

4 weeks before
Order your turkey, or buy a frozen one now – allowing 500g per person.
Purchase any ingredients that are likely to sell out early in the shops.
There’s still time to make christmas cake, pudding & mincepies
If you’re having a party, get your canapes here.
Start making freezer space!

3 weeks before
Make pastry for:
Canape bases

2 weeks before
Order any flower arrangements now
Make and freeze the following:
Smoked salmon and dill creme (canape filling)
Christmas pudding ice cream
Christmas stuffing(s)
Bread sauce 
Turkey stock

1 week before
Marzipan and ice the Christmas cake (if appropriate)
Make and refrigerate the following:
Pork rillettes
Spiced cranberry relish
Boozy rum crème fraiche
Cherry brandy chocolate truffles

5 days before
Clean silver, check over crockery and glassware.
Refill salt & pepper grinders.

3 days before
Start defrosting a frozen turkey overnight.

2 days before
Pick up the turkey, fruit/veg and any last minute shopping.
Unwrap the turkey and remove the giblets/gizzards etc.
Defrost the turkey stock and refrigerate.
Make the ham glaze and marinate overnight.

Christmas Eve
Prep, ¾ cook & chill the carrots & brussels. Refrigerate.
Par boil, cool & cover the potatoes ready for roasting & refrigerate.
Make parsnip puree, refrigerate in plastic container.
Make the turkey gravy.
Bake the glazed ham for an hour.
Defrost bread sauce.
Defrost stuffing.
Defrost the puff pastry croutes (for canapes).
Defrost smoked salmon/dill creme (for canapes).
Set the table for tomorrow’s feast.
Chill down wines and champagne.
Take the turkey out the fridge overnight & leave in cool-ish room.

Christmas Day
Stuff the turkey, cover breasts with ice bags for 30 mins.
Put the turkey in the oven.
Start steaming the Christmas pudding 2 hours before you need it.
Assemble the gingered salmon tartare and return to the fridge.
Roast the potatoes (start roasting 10 minutes before taking turkey out).
Assemble the salmon & dill canapes and pass round with chilled bubbly.
Take the turkey out to rest & pour the meat juices into the gravy.
Roast the stuffing balls for 30 mins (if appropriate).
Warm the dinner plates.
Start gently warming the gravy through on low heat.
Meanwhile, sit down and enjoy your first course – gingered salmon tartare.
Re-heat the vegetables and have someone carve the turkey.
Take the stuffing and potatoes out the oven and get everything to table.
Enjoy your lunch!

22 Responses to “A Christmas Countdown”

  1. Uma says:

    Hello Neil,
    So sorry for late reply. How did you get on?
    Personally I don’t think lemon works as well as oranges which compliment the mixed spice beautifully. For intensity, I buy seville oranges in January, then freeze the zest and juice. Their tart bitterness cuts through the sweet creaminess of the icecream and is sensational. You can always experiment with reeady made seville orange marmalade.

    I’m glad to hear you are still making it . I made it for 20 over Xmas, turned out to be their favourite dish all Christmas.
    Best regards

  2. Neil says:

    Hello Uma,
    It’s Christmas Pudding Ice Cream time again!
    This year I’m thinking of adding a little squeezed lemon juice and perhaps some lemon zest to the pudding mixture, but unsure how much. I might just add the lemon to a small portion of the mix and freeze it separately as an experiment.
    What do you think?
    Compliments of the Season,

  3. Uma says:

    Amazing!!! Thanks Neil, I’m so glad the Xmas Icecream is such a hit and thank you for taking the time and trouble to post me a message. I hope you had an enjoyable and relaxing Christmas and wish you all the best for the New Year. Uma

  4. Neil says:

    I asked 10 people to sample these Christmas Pudding Ice Creams –
    Heston From Waitrose and Uma at The Kitchen Tetbury.

    Those who preferred Heston – NONE!
    Those who preferred Uma – 10!

    PRIORITY MEMO to WAITROSE: Enrol Heston Blumenthal on a Uma Wylde cookery course!

    Compliments of the Season,

  5. Uma says:

    Thank you very much!

  6. Uma says:

    Thanks Frances! Funnily enough getting Cookeen here has become very difficult. I can’t find it anywhere or the oo fine flour which makes all the difference.Must be the recession. Anyway you can use normal lard I guess it’s pretty much the same – sounds dreadful though! Whether you can get that in Italy I couldn’t say, failing that all butter will have to suffice though personally I prefer the combination I give as the pastry is crisper/lighter. The mincemeat is terrific. I have jars 3 years old which I’m using this year. Had no idea they’d last that long. I guess its because they’re stored in kilner jars which have an excellent seal. Do let me know how you get on.

  7. Frances Oliver Catania says:

    Dear Uma, I have just discovered your site when researcing mincemeat recipes, wonderful and many thanks for clear instructions. There are always a few problems for those of us who live abroad (I live in Italy) and getting ingredients is a major one. We don’t have Cookeen or beef suet – what would you suggest in alternative? Best wishes, Frances P.S. I did director’s lunches too when I was much younger and doing a ‘cordon bleu’!

  8. Definitely, what a fantastic website and informative posts, I definitely will bookmark your blog.All the Best!

  9. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this outstanding blog! I suppose for now i’ll
    settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to new updates and will share this blog with my Facebook group.
    Chat soon!

  10. Excellent post, I will be checking back regularly to look for updates.

  11. J. Martin says:

    This is what I need to know and I have been searching for few days. Thank You.

  12. This is great information that is being shared here, giving you a round of applause

  13. I find myself enjoying the writing with every visit to your site. There’s always something new to pique my interest. Thanks for such an insightful and fresh perspective!

  14. E. J says:

    Have a relaxing Christmas Uma. i look forward to getting all your recipes again in January.
    Meanwhile a million thanks for all the great content you’ve put up here for Christmas recipes.

  15. Karen says:

    I’ve cleared some freezer space. I’ve made the cake and christmas pudding, so far so good and the smell coming out my kitchen was wonderful. Now I’m looking forward to doing your canapes!

  16. A. Frankle says:

    I heard you on the radio the other day and thought I’d take a look at your website. It’s very well done and I can see your recipes will keep me busy! This weekly countdown is a terrific idea. Thanks!

  17. Jason Leigh says:

    Uma you’re the best! My wife’s just had a baby which means I shall be doing christmas lunch this year. I don’t mind as I do a lot of cooking at home anyway. But now I’m armed with your precise recipes, I can’t go wrong (hopefully!)

  18. Alison says:

    Uma you are AMAZING!!!Where would we be without you. Thank you so much for this. Now I stand a chance of being able to cope.

    We’re loving your mince pies by the way!

  19. Tina says:

    This is really useful and just what I need. I heard you on the radio yesterday. Those tips you gave about the cake were good. I haven’t had much success with Christmas cake in the past, but now I know what I’ve been doing wrong all this time.

  20. Robin says:

    You’re an angel! I’m doing Christmas for the 1st time this year so the countdown will come in very handy.
    PS A friend recommended your site and I use it all the time now. The recipes are really tasty and you explain what to do so well. Perfect for an amateur cook like me. Many Thanks!

  21. Diana says:

    Hi Uma, I can’t believe all the Christmas recipes you’ve put up. thank you so much, I will definitely try some as yours are always well explained and free!! Amazing.Watch out Delia!

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