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Four Festive Tips

by Antony Worrall Thompson

1) Get ahead: make brandy butter, mince pies, stuffing and cranberry sauce a week or two before Christmas: freeze them and thaw overnight on Christmas Eve. You can also cook mince pies from frozen if guests drop by

2) Cut turkey time: cook your stuffing in a baking tray to save time as an un-stuffed turkey cooks more quickly than one with stuffing in its cavity.

3) Juggle roast potatoes: pre-roast your potatoes for 40 minutes before the turkey goes in the oven. The turkey will need 20 minutes’ standing time tightly wrapped in foil to allow the juices to go back into
the flesh having risen to the surface during cooking. So during this time, turn up the oven to hot and pop your potatoes back in to finish roasting and crisp up.

4) One dish wonder: two weeks before Christmas make up and freeze two large lasagnes – one meat and one vegetarian. They will make a wonderfully warming supper and can be whipped out of the freezer and baked from frozen. Perfect if you suddenly need to rustle up supper –or for the day when you feel too tired to start from scratch. Simply serve with big bowls of mixed leaf salad lightly tossed in olive oil and sea salt.

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