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You might not be able to roast your Christmas turkey a week in advance, but there are lots of make-ahead Christmas recipes that will help you relax and enjoy the big day.
Make and freeze
The first key to getting ahead is making and freezing - you can do this as early as November, and everything you freeze will taste freshly made.
Many luxurious Christmas starter soups can be made well in advance, then frozen until needed. For best results, take out of the freezer a day or two in advance, and allow to defrost in the fridge. Then simply heat up on the hob, garnish and enjoy!
• Spiced butternut squash soup
• Curried prawn bisque
• Chestnut soup
• Leek and cauliflower soup
• Cream of winter squash soup
A week ahead
There are some Christmas favourites that are easily made a week in advance and will wait patiently in the fridge until you need them:
You can get a head start on many Christmas dinner essentials one to three days in advance.
Bacon and Brussels bake
Slow cooker glazed carrots
Make ahead mashed potatoes
Besides the usual make-ahead Christmas cakes and puddings, there are many other sweet endings that can be made days in advance:
Pots de crème au chocolat
Orange brandy butter
Christmas ice cream bombe
Egg nog custard tart
For dishes made on the day
Even if you have some dishes that can't be made in advance, it's worth taking a closer look at your recipes to see what can be done ahead of time. For example, you can chop onions, celery and carrots and keep them wrapped well in the fridge for a couple of days. For last minute desserts, you can measure and combine the dry ingredients, then set them aside until you're ready to go!