The biggest disruptor of Christmas dinner in my house is when the schedules are awkward, like when the potatoes are mashed and ready 20 minutes before the turkey is out of the oven – no matter how much time is spent letting it sit. before cutting it. The easiest way to avoid this is to make a schedule in advance. The days before Christmas, once you have the foods you want to prepare, sit down and calculate how long each will take to cook: if the turkey takes two hours to cook, be sure to note what time you need to start. on potatoes, vegetables and other toppings to make sure they are all ready at the same time.
Still a little late? If this happens and your cooking times are miscalculated, there are ways to get your meal back without anyone noticing. If you own a slow cooker, it’s a lifesaver when your mash is ready too early. Simply insert it into the pot and keep the setting on low or hot to keep the potatoes from cooling. It also works for other dishes that might be ready early or might need to be cooked first if you’re running out of oven space. If someone makes the sauce too early, don’t worry: just pour it into an insulated travel mug or flask to keep it warm and cool until you need it.
Left your turkey in the oven too long or forgot to baste it? If you take a dry turkey out of the oven, there is an easy way to get it back. Soak the bird in the broth for 15 minutes to moisten the meat, and your guests won’t notice that something went wrong. To be even safer, make sure you have a meat thermometer so you can properly monitor the turkey as it roasts.
Save yourself the hassle on Christmas Day by doing as much as possible in advance. Things like stuffing and gravy can be made the days leading up to Christmas and kept in the freezer before needed. Simply set up a reminder in your phone to defrost everything the night before and you can reheat them in minutes, avoiding a hectic time in the kitchen.
Speaking of Christmas Eve, when all is calm, take the opportunity to set your table before the hassle. It’ll save you a few minutes on Christmas Day, and you’ll have time to make everything more fancy by Google searching for awesome napkin folds and placeholder ideas.