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'Super prepper' mum reveals she's already cooked her Christmas dinner, including the gravy

Claire Gillies has already prepped and cooked her Christmas dinner. (@delicousandreal/Caters)
Claire Gillies has already prepped and cooked her Christmas dinner. (@delicousandreal/Caters)

A super organised mum has revealed how she already has her Christmas dinner cooked, meaning she has nothing to prep on the big day itself.

Even though we're not yet in December, Claire Gillies, 45, from Harpenden, Hertfordshire, has prepared everything she needs for Christmas 2023, except the turkey, which means she can spend as much time as possible enjoying the festivities with her loved ones.

From the gravy, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, to homemade cranberry sauce, pigs in blankets and mince pies Gillies has done the hard work now, so she can take it easy come December 25th.

Gillies, who has been cooking ahead of time for years, said she's reaped the rewards of being ahead of the game at Christmas by getting to spend more time with her children when they were younger.

Everything except the turkey itself is already good to go, even the pigs in blankets.(@delicousandreal/Caters)
Everything except the turkey itself is already good to go, even the pigs in blankets.(@delicousandreal/Caters)

"It started when my husband and I got our first house, we had a very small kitchen, and I didn't have enough space to cook everything on Christmas Day - then I just realised how much easier it made my life," she explains of her early organisation.

"When the children were little, it meant that I wasn't tied to the kitchen - I could be there opening presents with them and we could go for a dog walk on Christmas morning."

Cooking in advance not only saves her from having to do any preparation on Christmas Day, it also means that there's minimal washing up.

"With the exception of the turkey, everything else I literally just heat up so there's no peeling, chopping, or boiling, so there's less washing up to do as well at the end of Christmas too," she adds.

The mum has shared her top tips for being a super prepper this Christmas. (@delicousandreal/Caters)
The mum has shared her top tips for being a super prepper this Christmas. (@delicousandreal/Caters)

While people have questioned how good her potatoes would be cooked from frozen, Gillies has found that in her experience it makes absolutely no difference to their quality.

"I think with some things like mince pies and cranberry sauce, they actually taste better when they are prepared so far in advance," she explains.

"As for potatoes, it's the same kind of concept as when you have triple-cooked chips. You stop the cooking process when you freeze them. I can't tell the difference between roast potatoes that I have done this way and those I've made on the day."

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As well as prepping the food in advance, Gillies also writes down all her timings too.

"I make a list, which saves me time when it comes to defrosting everything I need," she explains.

"So the turkey just goes in the oven and it cooks. Then I'll take the turkey out and let it rest. While it's resting, I will cook everything else. So there is actually no prep to do on Christmas Day. It is just a case of heating up and cooking things.

"I'm very lucky that my mother-in-law makes a starter and my mum makes a dessert. I'm just in charge of the main dinner."

Gillies has even prepared the gravy. (@delicousandreal/Caters)
Gillies has even prepared the gravy. (@delicousandreal/Caters)

Gillies top tips for being a super prepper this Christmas

  1. Free up space in your freezer, so you have room for your festive feast. Try to use up everything in the lead-up to the big day.

2. Label everything because some things might end up looking different once they've been frozen

3. Invest in good quality bags to store the prepped food in the freezer. "I'm a big fan of silicone bags," she adds. "With good quality bags, you can squish them into a space in your freezer in a way you can't with containers."

Gillies says she's been cooking Christmas dinner this way for years. (@delicousandreal/Caters)
Gillies says she's been cooking Christmas dinner this way for years. (@delicousandreal/Caters)

4. Cook your potatoes and carrots in a hot oil. "If you want them to be really crispy, make sure your oil is hot before you add your potatoes and carrots to it."

5. Make a list of timings. "Just spend a few minutes writing down timings for the day," she suggests. "That way you won't realise that you've left something in the microwave or you've forgotten to get something out of the fridge to cook.

"You want to serve the food you've spent all that time preparing!"

Additional reporting Caters.

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