We are in the home straight now – the big day is only one week away. Hopefully if you have been following my plan, you are well organised and the last few days will run smoothly and allow you to relax and enjoy Christmas.
Presents: This item has been on the list from week one! But hopefully you are basically finished with this. There are always small little bits for the last minute, but the larger items should be well sorted. And if you have been wrapping them as you go, well done.
Christmas Cards: Again, this has been an ongoing topic, so at this stage you should be down to the local cards by now. But if there are any you have forgotten, just pop them in the post now, it is better that they arrive late than leave you feeling bad because you left someone out!
Cooking & Baking: We are well on our way through our Christmas baking list. Hopefully at this stage you have your Christmas Pudding, Christmas Cake and some delicious Mince pies made. Today’s video will show you how to do the Marzipan, Icing and Decorating of your cake. And this is an ideal week to finish all that off. Check out how to do it here: https://youtu.be/AprD7Rt8S3Y. Remember too there are many of our Christmas dishes we can make the day before such as the dessert or sides like Red Cabbage and Cranberry if that is one of your favourites.
Food Shopping: Get your last food shopping done in the days running up to Christmas. Check your local supermarket opening hours, many may be open 24 hours in the run up to Christmas. Pick a quieter time so you are in and out quickly. If you have cleared out your fridge, you should have room for all your fresh food. And remember to chill some drinks for Christmas Day too.
Christmas Eve: This is a good day to prepare a lot of items for the big day. I would suggest peeling and chopping all your vegetables and potatoes. Keep them in a cold place covered in water. I often leave them in a safe container just outside my back door or even in the Car. That is usually as cold as any fridge at this time of the year. Make your stuffing in advance too and keep it in the fridge. Remember if you are adding stuffing to your Turkey, take the extra weight into account in your cooking calculation and check the temperature has reached the correct level right into the centre of the bird before removing from the oven.
Cooking your Turkey: A few hints on cooking your turkey
- Take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you put it in the oven, it will help reduce shrinkage when cooking.
- Only add the stuffing just before going into the oven, never the day before
- Preheat your oven for at least 20 minutes before putting in the turkey.
- Put a piece of foil over each turkey leg and then wrap the entire turkey too. This prevents the legs getting overdone. Uncover it all about 30/40 minutes before the end of cooking time.
- Approximate cooking times, include stuffing when weighing.
4-5kg – cook 3 to 3½ hours
5-6kg – cook 3½ to 4 hours
6-7kg – cook 4hours to 4½ hours
7-8kg – cook 4½ to 5 hours
8-9kg – cook 5 to 6 hours
9-10kg – cook 6 to 7 hours
It should be cooked to an internal temperature of 70⁰c
- Once cooked, carefully lift the turkey out of the roasting tray and rest it on a board/large platter, loosely covered in foil, for about 60 minutes before carving.
Christmas Eve Night: There a few important issues to remember here. Everyone must get to bed early. No wandering round in the middle of the night, no one wants to disturb Santa at his job or he may not leave any presents. And we must make sure that he is kept safe, so if you do see him, keep socially distant. And remember to leave out a snack for himself and the reindeer.
Myself and all the Staff here at Lakers would like to wish all our Members, Families, Volunteers and Supporters a very Happy and Safe Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.
Blog by Niamh Ni Ghrainne
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