Countdown to Christmas Food and Cooking

Christmas can so often be a stressful time, but it need not be.  By following this simple plan and gathering all the Christmas recipes you may need for a traditional British Christmas you can be well ahead of the game and maybe even relaxed about it. 

A traditional British Christmas does take some planning but can be a success by thinking ahead, plenty of cooking in advance (this is where the freezer can come in handy).  When the holiday arrives you will be prepared and ready to enjoy the festive...MORE season a much happier and less stressed person. every job done now makes the whole event so much easier. If you can't achieve the whole of this timetable, any bit you do, do will be a big help.

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    With Two Months to Go

    Iced traditional fruit christmas cake
    Iced British Christmas Cake. Diana Miller / Getty Images

    Two months ahead is the time to make Christmas Cakes. A good British Christmas Cake needs at least two months to mature. You shouldn't worry if you have missed this deadline, the delicious recipes will still taste good with only a few weeks left. Icing the cake can wait, as once the cake is iced it is not possible to 'feed' the cake with brandy.

    Pickles like Pickled Onions to serve with the cold cuts, Gammon and Cheeses will benefit enormously from a couple of months in the jar.

    Start...MORE to freeze foods for Christmas. Freezing stock to make gravies, soups for Boxing day and the rest of the holiday is a good idea and one job you will be pleased you have done.

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    British Christmas Pudding
    British Christmas Pudding. Elaine Lemm

    No British Christmas is complete without a Christmas Pudding. Even though there are some pessimistic reports that the traditional Christmas pudding is falling out of favour for lighter (some say healthier) desserts, it is as popular as ever.

    Make the pudding well in advance to allow it to mature. Traditionally the Christmas Pudding is made on 'Stir it up Sunday' the Sunday before Advent in November.

    This is a good time to make the pastry for Mince Pies. Make it in batches and freeze then...MORE it's ready whenever you fancy making a tray. If you are in a baking mood then Mince Pies also freeze very well.

    Bread Sauce is an important sauce for the Christmas turkey or goose. It can be made in 10 minutes and as it freezes well, make it now and pop it in the freezer ready for the big day.

It is so easy to get lost in the frenetic run up to Christmas and thereby forget to enjoy ourselves. Try to enjoy yourself at this magical time of year.