selfridges-oxford-streetDo you get in a tizz preparing for Christmas Day?
I don’t!
It’s simple if you just prepare ahead of the day.
Here are some tips that might come in handy for you.

1. Write a list of Things To Do.
2. Don’t buy expensive sausage meat. Buy the cheapest sausages and take their skins off. Place them in a bowl, mash them with a fork, and add half a chopped onion, some stuffing mix, and a tblsp. of cranberry sauce. Mix it all together, then add some hot water until the mix is moist but not runny. Stir it in well, coating all the stuffing mix to soften it. Leave to stand for 15 minutes or longer.
3. Stuff the turkey at both ends, pushing some of the stuffing under the skin, then flattening it with the palm of your hand. Don’t over-stuff it as there must be room for the heat to circulate and cook the turkey properly.
4. Roast the turkey breast side down in olive oil, dripping, or goose fat (Now sold in several supermarkets.) It makes it juicier.
5. This has been passed down in my family, but to my surprise, nobody’s heard of it! When the turkey’s cooked, lift it out and drain all the liquid from the baking-tray into a bowl, scraping it all out. The next day, when it’s solidified, it will have separated into two, with the fat on the top, and dark jelly on the bottom. Serve some of this jelly spread on toast, with salt and pepper on it. Delicious! Save the top layer for roasting potatoes, etc.
6. Here are some different ways to cook Brussels sprouts. Chop them up, place in a saucepan and half-cover them with white wine. Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, stirring them several times to completely coat them with the wine. They’ll stay slightly crunchy. Everyone will love them, even the children! Or you can slice them and stir-fry them, preferably in olive oil & some of the turkey juices. If you like, you can add chopped carrots and/or onions.
7. Cook parsnips two ways; boil some, then add butter and mash them. Slice the rest lengthways and roast them with the turkey, turning them over after about 20 minutes. Or you can deep-fry them like chips. Or thinly slice them and fry them like crisps. The aroma is gorgeous!
8. Heston Blumenthal told me how to roast potatoes; par-boil them, drain them and rough them up with a fork. Then you roast them in the oven in quite a lot of fat or oil, half-covering them. Turn them over when they’re brown on one side.
9. Prepare everything on Christmas Eve, relaxing in front of the telly with a glass of something. Peel all the vegetables and place them in saucepans, covering them with cold water. Leave them standing on the cooker. They’ll be perfectly OK overnight.
10. Stuff the turkey and cover it with tinfoil. If you’re going to bed late, it will be safe if it’s left in a cool place. Then stick it in the oven in the morning and roast it for the required length of time. When it’s cooked, stand it somewhere to rest, and the oven’s free for potatoes, etc.
11. Cover the table with the tablecloth. Lay out the place-mats. Get everything ready for the next day. Count out your glasses and cutlery. Polish them. Check the plates are nice & clean. Don’t forget the serviettes! Have you got a couple of jugs and glasses for water? Get crackers, poppers, etc ready for when the table’s been laid. In the kitchen, get out the turkey dish and forks to lift the turkey onto the dish. Stack the serving-dishes or bowls, ready to tip the veg in them. Don’t forget serving-spoons. Get the gravy powder or cubes out. Are you having Christmas Pudding or a trifle? If you’re making custard, stand it beside the cooker to remind you to make it. Make sure the drinks are in the fridge. Have you got enough ice?
12. Here’s a recipe for Boxing Day, or as an extra for Christmas Day. I’ve won two competitions with it;

GOBBLE ‘N SQUEAK

All measurements are just a guide. You can add as much or as little as you like!
170g turkey, chopped
1 onion, chopped
Olive oil
500g cooked vegetables, eg potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, sweetcorn, peas,chopped. Try to include something mushy like mashed swede, parsnips, or potato.
i egg, beaten
Salt & pepper
I tablesp cranberry sauce
Fry onion in olive oil.
Place in a bowl with the other vegetables. Add the egg & mix well.
Season to taste.
Stir in the cranberry sauce.
Heat some oil in a frying-pan.
Spoon in some of the mixture. Pat into a circular burger shape.
When browned underneath, turn it over & cook the other side.
Keep warm while you cook the rest.
It can be served as a main meal with a salad, a jacket potato or chips.
Each patty has approx. 61 calories.

TRIFLE

Everyone has their own version of an English trifle. Well, here’s mine.

Ingredients are approximate. When the trifle was ‘invented,’ people didn’t have kitchen scales.

Choose your flavours to make it colourful.

Roughly crumble some cake (stale cake will do) on the bottom of a pretty glass bowl, about an inch high.

Pour about a wineglassful of sherry over the crumbs. Leave it for a few minutes to allow it to soak in.

Tip a tin of fruit of your choice over the cake crumbs. Leave again to allow the juice to soak in.

Meanwhile, dissolve a jelly (any flavour will do) in boiling water.

Pour it over the fruit.

Leave to cool, then place it in the fridge to set.

The next day, whisk a packet of Angel Delight or a similar supermarket packet, with cold milk. Or you can use blancmange.

When it has set, top with double cream and just before serving, decorate with sprinkles of your choice. If you do it too early, they’ll

melt into the cream.

So there you are. If you get ready on Christmas Eve, you’ll have a stress-free Christmas, and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy yourself. Your guests will think you’re the perfect host and they won’t ‘always find you in the kitchen at parties’!

Merry Christmas, and thank you for helping B-C-ing-U! to be so successful right from the start!