With Christmas approaching at lightning speed, I know how hard it can be to pull off a cracking celebration – especially if you have lots of mouths to feed! So to give you a helping hand, I’ve put together my top tips for making the most of the Christmas break.
1. Make food ahead of time
No-one wants to spend Christmas day stuck in the kitchen, slaving over a hot stove (I know I don’t!). Over the years I’ve reaped the rewards of making food ahead of time, whether I’m freezing delicious soups a couple of weeks in advance, or making homemade crostini a few days before I need them. Rapeseed oil also keeps well in salad dressings, and unlike olive oil is delicious enjoyed straight from the fridge.
2. Use rapeseed oil for crispy spuds and turkey
For extra-crispy, hassle-free roasties, I always use rapeseed oil instead of olive oil or unhealthy goose fat. Start by heating the oil on a baking tray, then add peeled, chopped potatoes and coat well before returning to the oven. You won’t even need to parboil! For your turkey, rub it with a good amount of rapeseed oil before seasoning and placing in the oven. The skin will come out brilliantly crisp, and the meat perfectly moist.
3. Give your favourite recipes a healthy update
Not only is rapeseed oil a fabulous cooking ingredient, but it’s healthier than alternatives such as butter and olive oil too. Use rapeseed oil to make your mince pie pastry (it’s much quicker as you don’t need to ‘rub in’), and to grease your tins so they’ll turn out easier. Our recipes section of the website is packed full of more inspiration!
4. Fight Christmas colds with traditional remedies
A sniffle during the winter months is inevitable, but you can help your body fight back against those pesky viruses with a health-boosting drink. Add a spoonful of hillfarm honey and a dash of lemon juice to hot water to make a delicious tonic, perfect for soothing sore throats and kick-starting the immune system.
5. Keep a good moisturiser by the kitchen sink
When it comes to skincare – especially on your hands – the cold weather is not your friend. I keep my hillfarm hand lotion by the sink, applying to my hands before putting on rubber gloves to wash up. The warmth of the water will help your skin absorb the moisturiser.
6. Be travel-savvy
If you’re travelling this Christmas – whether you’re staying with family, renting a cottage or even going abroad – remember to use travel-sized bottles to maximise space. Our 250ml rapeseed oil bottles will easily fit in your cool box, and can be reused for decanting from our great-value 5 litre bottle.
7. Get scent-happy
Stick some cloves into an unpeeled orange, leave it somewhere warm, and voila! Your home will be smelling of Christmas in no time at all.
8. Boost your hygge
Hygge – the Scandinavian art of creating a cosy, comforting environment – is hugely popular right now. Use candles to make your home feel extra-inviting at Christmas time (remembering to keep them out of reach of young children). We love to recycle our old hillfarm jars as tea light holders!
9. Keep the kids entertained with cooking
My kids love to cook, and I find it’s a great way to distract them from the excitement of Christmas! From peeling sprouts to making mince pies, they love being involved in making our festive meals, even if they do make a mess! Use our recipes section for inspiration, or head on over to the BBC Good Food website for some great Christmas recipes for kids.
Do you have any tips of your own to share? Let us know!
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