It’s never too soon to start planning ahead. Your freezer makes it possible to reduce the last-minute food preparation for Christmas. For most families Christmas means a turkey. If this is the case buy a frozen oven-ready bird, the size you want, well before Christmas.
When planning your work timetable remember that large birds take some time to thaw completely and turkeys must be completely thawed before cooking. Leave the bird in its polythene bag in a cold larder and allow to thaw slowly. Remove the giblets as soon as the bird becomes pliable. Up to 5.5 kg (12 lb) a turkey requires 30 hours to thaw, for a 5.5- to 8-kg (12- to 18-lb) bird allow 48 hours. Prepare and freeze stuffings with sausagemeat or bacon not more than 2 weeks in advance; those using breadcrumbs or chestnuts can be made up to 4 weeks in advance. Trim and roll up bacon rashers, impale on skewers and freeze with the sausages – about a week beforehand.