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A mum from Hertfordshire shared how she’s organised her Christmas meal over a month ahead, allowing her to have only one dish to cook on the actual day.
Claire Gillies, a 45-year-old from Harpenden, has completed all preparations except for the turkey, aiming to maximise time spent with her loved ones.
She believes that certain components taste even better when prepared in advance and her Christmas prep has bleary become a tradition in her household.
Claire explained that she’s prepared and frozen her gravy, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, homemade cranberry sauce, as well as pigs in blankets and mince pies.
Claire disclosed: “It started when my husband and I got our first house, we had a very small kitchen, and I didn’t have enough space to cook everything on Christmas Day – then I just realised how much easier it made my life.”
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Claire’s highly efficient preparation comes with an additional advantage – it significantly reduces the amount of washing up she needs to attend to on December 25th.
While some questioned the quality of her frozen potatoes, Claire has found that, in her experience, freezing them has no negative impact on their taste.
Claire emphasised the benefits of staying ahead during the Christmas season, allowing her more quality time with her children when they were younger.
As a mother and a meal planning expert through her business Delicious and Real, she explained: “When the children were little, it meant that I wasn’t tied to the kitchen – I could be there opening presents with them, and we could go for a dog walk on Christmas morning.”
She further outlined her organised approach, telling the Daily Mail: “I write down all the timings too. I make a list, which saves me time when it comes to defrosting everything I need.
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“So the turkey just goes in the oven and it cooks. Then I’ll take the turkey out and let it rest. While it’s resting, I will cook everything else. So there is actually no prep to do on Christmas Day. It is just a case of heating up and cooking things.”
Claire expressed her belief that certain items, like mince pies and cranberry sauce, actually taste better when prepared well in advance.
Regarding frozen potatoes, she drew a parallel with the concept of triple-cooked chips, explaining: “You stop the cooking process when you freeze them.
“I can’t tell the difference between roast potatoes that I have done this way and those I’ve made on the day.”
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