Boris Johnson’s announcement that London and the South East is in Tier 4 means those living there won’t be able to spend Christmas with loved ones as planned.
Up until this weekend, lots of families were planning a big meal, with three households coming together.
But with the relaxation cancelled for many and Christmas food already bought or ordered, some people are going to have a lot more than they need.
Luckily, Christmas food freezes quite well and if you have enough space, you could save it to eat together at some point in 2021 when it’s safe to do so.
With vaccines on the horizon, maybe having a big family meal in a few months will be possible – and we all deserve two celebrations in 2021.
If you’ve bought some pre-made items to save time, there is usually instructions about freezing on the packet and it’s best to look out for those first.
You can freeze a whole turkey if you have space to do so. Freeze it in it’s packaging and when you’re ready to eat it make sure it is completely defrosted before you cook it.
You can find guides online on how long to defrost a turkey according to its weight and size. A rough guide is to thaw it in a fridge at 4C (39F) for 10 to 12 hours per kilogram.
It’s important to ensure it’s defrosted all the way through so it cooks evenly.
A whole turkey keeps for up to 12 months in the freezer, giving you plenty of time to have a Christmas do-over.
You can also cut up and freeze your turkey if you don’t have space for the whole thing. Wrap the pieces tightly in freezer bags or plastic wrap and keep for up to six months in the freezer.
You can also store cooked turkey in the freezer, in bags. Defrost in the fridge overnight before cooking within 24 hours.
Pigs in blankets and stuffing balls
These trimmings can easily be frozen and it’s best to check the packaging for instructions. Some will be able to be cooked from frozen at a later time and others will need defrosting first.
Potatoes, in their cooked form usually freeze well. You can make them up as planned and keep in the freezer, then cook them from frozen for a quick side for a mid-week dinner.
Spread them out on a tray, making sure they aren’t touching and leave overnight to freeze. The next day, lift them off the tray and pop them into a freezer bag or airtight container for up to three months.
Carrots and parsnips and Brussels sprouts are the traditional veg on the Christmas dinner plate.
Carrots and parsnips can be frozen if they are cooked first. Blanching them in hot water for a few minutes is best to stop them losing nutrients and flavour but you can also freeze roasted carrots and parsnips.
With both blanched and pre-roasted carrots and parsnips, you can store them for up to three months and cook them straight from the freezer.
Brussels also freeze well and it might be useful to do so if you want to have a Christmas dinner later as they are hard to find at other times of the year.
The best thing to do is to blanch them – simply plunge your Brussels into a pan of boiling water for four minutes and then take them out and plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop them cooking further.
Lay them out on a baking tray and pop in the freezer, before gathering them up into a bag or airtight container once frozen.
Wrap your pudding in two layers of plastic wrap or foil and freeze for up to a year.
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