A ready made Christmas?

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A ready made Christmas?

Postby Amber » October 16th, 2017, 9:50 pm

Apart from subscription places, does anyone have any suggestions for a ready made, easy cook, Christmas dinner for one? And just to make it harder, preferably frozen.

Wiltshire, and Cook seem to be out. The only other option so far, but for various reason not ideal, is for a homemade meal, plated up, and frozen. OK, but...

It’s a bit early for the supermarket Christmas catalogues, (they’re just starting to appear here), but I would love to know if anyone has bought anything similar in the past.
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby cyprusmoira » October 17th, 2017, 5:13 am

Does it have to be turkey etc?
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby TeresaFoodie » October 17th, 2017, 6:39 am

I think a ready made Christmas would be to find a local takeaway open on the day. I prefer to do it myself with a bit of advance planning. Since being single I have prepped a nut roast in a loaf tin on Christmas Eve. Being single didn't really have anything to do with it. I would have done that anyway for me. Sprouts topped and tailed, spuds peeled, a packet of bread sauce mix, jug and whisk lined up on the work top. Roasting tray for spuds. Paxo the rooster booster at the ready. You so have to have Christmas tunes playing while this is all happening!
If I was cooking for a meat eater (unlikely this Christmas in this bedsit with no table or chairs) I would probably do beef, Yorkies, mash, peas, carrots, broccoli, Swede, cabbage, homemade gravy and have The Royale Family playing on TV in the background.
I think another essential ingredient is snow but unlikely in England these days.
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Pepper Pig » October 17th, 2017, 7:07 am

I think I’d be looking in the freezer sections of the budget shops - Iceland, Aldi, Lidl etc.
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Herbidacious » October 17th, 2017, 7:15 am

I will be having a M&S Christmas dinner at my mothers :( but that's 2.5 (effectively) not 1. However she is the only one who eats meat. I am assuming she can eat left overs. It will be matter of taking the required number of roast potatoes out of the over and sticking some veg on, making the required amount of gravy etc.

I am not really sure what your are after, Amber. Is it a traditional roast meat thing? Otherwise it's not much different from cooking for one on a regular basis? (I am on my own most of the time now too.)
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Suelle » October 17th, 2017, 7:20 am

Are you thinking of providing a meal for someone living on their own and unable (or unwilling) to cook for themselves, Amber, rather than thinking about your own circumstances?

I agree with PP that places like Iceland and Aldi are likely to stock suitable ready meals, but perhaps not until nearer Christmas, which might leave you panicking that you won't find something. I'm not a connoisseur of ready meals, so don't know what these would be like, but I suspect they would be of lower quality than a home cooked meal.

Have you thought of approaching a local restaurant and buying a meal from them? Most restaurants are serving Christmas meals from early December, so might be willing to sell you a meal that you could freeze yourself - especially if you are a regular customer there.
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Seatallan » October 17th, 2017, 5:43 pm

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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby earthmaiden » October 17th, 2017, 6:51 pm

Oh yes Seatallen! Their stuff is very good!

I did have a Wiltshire Farm Foods one with MIL once and for what it was it wasn't at all bad - but you've said they are not suitable.

Toby Carvery do take-away meals on any other day of the year - I wonder if they do at Christmas? You would probably have to have it sent in a taxi or something though if there was no other transport :(
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Amber » October 17th, 2017, 9:08 pm

Thank you. Cook looks good but not for one. It’s for an elderly person living on their own who doesn’t want to join a community type meal. I didn’t know about Toby so will look into that, thank you...but that’s made me also think about Deliveroo.

For me, I will be cooking for a houseful, currently ten, with the usual allergies, dislikes, time constraints etc. Hard work, but lovely! :D
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby StokeySue » October 17th, 2017, 10:00 pm

I think well worth looking at Iceland again, especially their Luxury range when they release the range, most of what I've had from that range has been pretty good
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Bubbles » October 18th, 2017, 2:43 pm

Tezza, don't mean to hijack the thread but I notice you mention packet bread sauce and wondered if you've ever tried making your own? It freezes well and tastes so much nicer, I add lots of nutmeg and clove to mine. I started many years ago using Delia's recipe and have just adapted it over the years.
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Pepper Pig » October 19th, 2017, 12:44 pm

I wonder if these are available this year. :o :o :o

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/v ... amers.html

:lol:
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby TeresaFoodie » October 19th, 2017, 2:08 pm

Bubbles, I have never made my own bread sauce but think this is something I should try before Christmas kicks in nicely! :tu:
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby northleedsbhoy » October 19th, 2017, 6:14 pm

Bread sauce!! :sprout: :sprout: :sprout:

Cheers
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Ratatouille » October 19th, 2017, 6:20 pm

Here here :sprout: :sprout:
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Catherine » October 19th, 2017, 7:17 pm

Bread sauce is lovely when served with the right thing. BUT homemade and only homemade will do. Packet mix is an abomination and no reflection or the real thing
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Bubbles » October 19th, 2017, 9:20 pm

Catherine wrote:Bread sauce is lovely when served with the right thing. BUT homemade and only homemade will do. Packet mix is an abomination and no reflection or the real thing
Agreed!
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Amber » October 19th, 2017, 9:49 pm

Pepper Pig wrote:I wonder if these are available this year. :o :o :o

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/v ... amers.html

:lol:

I waited ages for this to load... :o :D
I think my relative may be too old for this.

But I’ll look into Iceland, thats a possibility. Sounds awful to me, but, when you’re on your own, can’t cook etc etc...

And just in case anyone thinks we’re totally heartless, there are other family things going on together, just not on 25th.
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Bubbles » October 20th, 2017, 3:55 pm

M&S have a Christmas ready meal of turkey, roast potatoes Yorkshire pudding!!, sprouts carrots and all the trimmings for one. It's £4.50 I think but part of their 3 for £10 deal at the moment. Plenty of food for one and it looked nice.
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby StokeySue » October 20th, 2017, 4:13 pm

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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Bubbles » October 20th, 2017, 4:21 pm


Probably better than some I've had - works dos etc!
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby scullion » October 20th, 2017, 4:29 pm

i've only ever had homemade bread sauce - and that once was enough. its maker raved over the recipe so i tried a teaspoonful - i wish i hadn't - the taste wasn't worth the calories, had a slimy texture and looked like cat sick. an experience that, i would imagine, i will never repeat.
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Amber » October 20th, 2017, 9:09 pm

I have the M&S catalogues in the morning room...waiting to be read...next to the Lakeland ones. I will investigate further. :D
(All these ideas are much appreciated, thank you)
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby cyprusmoira » October 21st, 2017, 5:50 am

The M&S catalogues and Lakeland, I am very envious

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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Seatallan » October 21st, 2017, 9:03 am

scullion wrote:the taste wasn't worth the calories, had a slimy texture and looked like cat sick.


:lol: :lol: :lol:

Enjoyed it then Scully?
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby earthmaiden » October 21st, 2017, 11:56 pm

I have been known to decline Christmas invitations from people that I know don't serve bread sauce 8-)
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Seatallan » October 22nd, 2017, 11:31 am

:D :lol: :tu:
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Catherine » October 23rd, 2017, 5:32 pm

I guess like most things there are good and bad recipes. The way my Mum makes bread sauce is fab. I have to say it isn't really a sauce as that would suggest pouring consistency and this certainly isn't pourable, you spoon it. The milk is infused with clove studded onions, lots of nutmeg, plus other stuff oh and cream I think. An indulgent treat that would be missed if not there on the table at christmas
Last edited by Catherine on October 25th, 2017, 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Seatallan » October 23rd, 2017, 5:47 pm

Worls with half fat creme frache too if you're after shaving off a few calories. Mr S isn't keen on bread sauce but I always make it as I can easily scoff the lot. :chops:
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby KC2 » October 24th, 2017, 12:23 pm

In as much as you need a recipe, I've usually used Sophie Grigson's as a basis. I remember the clove-studded onions from my childhood - and definitely more than the four Sophie Grigson recommends!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/roast ... read_87596
I think I usually add a couple of bay leaves as well.
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby suffolk » October 24th, 2017, 12:55 pm

I think that the sliminess Scully recalls can be caused by using cheap sliced bread which has preservatives in it ... I find that buying a normal white loaf from a good baker, then allowing half of it to go stale for a few days before turning it into breadcrumbs produces a much better texture with bread sauce.
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Bubbles » October 24th, 2017, 10:27 pm

Yes to bay leaves, cloves in onions and nutmeg, and good bread!
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Luca » October 25th, 2017, 6:12 pm

Bubbles wrote:Yes to bay leaves, cloves in onions and nutmeg, and good bread!

Absolutely. My mother made wonderful bread sauce. It was also full of chopped onions so a thicker texture. Christmas without bread sauce? :aww: :? I'd choose it over turkey when made well and with top notch ingredients.

p.s. I wouldn't eat it in place of goose... 8-)
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Catherine » October 25th, 2017, 10:43 pm

Luca wrote:Absolutely. My mother made wonderful bread sauce. It was also full of chopped onions so a thicker texture


Exactly as our family makes it, and as you say, Christmas without the bread sauce just isn't Christmas
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Monnikka » October 26th, 2017, 6:46 am

OH and I had a prepared meal from M&S last year and were most impressed. We are frugal eaters and chose mushroom wellington with all the trimmings plus a small Christmas pudding. The only inconvenient part of it was having to collect a couple of days ahead as the freezer was practically bursting at the seams by then! I'd certainly recommend it.
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Suelle » October 26th, 2017, 7:09 am

Monnikka wrote:OH and I had a prepared meal from M&S last year and were most impressed. We are frugal eaters and chose mushroom wellington with all the trimmings plus a small Christmas pudding. The only inconvenient part of it was having to collect a couple of days ahead as the freezer was practically bursting at the seams by then! I'd certainly recommend it.


It's nice to hear from someone who's actually tried one! :)
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby suffolk » October 26th, 2017, 8:08 am

Catherine wrote:
Luca wrote:Absolutely. My mother made wonderful bread sauce. It was also full of chopped onions so a thicker texture


Exactly as our family makes it, ... /quote]

Same here :tu: ... DD loves it so much she serves it with almost everything ......... well, perhaps not with curry goat, but .... ;)
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Ratatouille » October 26th, 2017, 9:07 am

Bread sauce, no matter how well made is one of the few things neither of us can stand. I think it is the cloves that do it for me. Mr R said it reminds him of wallpaper paste.
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby earthmaiden » October 26th, 2017, 2:38 pm

Monnikka wrote:OH and I had a prepared meal from M&S last year and were most impressed. We are frugal eaters and chose mushroom wellington with all the trimmings plus a small Christmas pudding. The only inconvenient part of it was having to collect a couple of days ahead as the freezer was practically bursting at the seams by then! I'd certainly recommend it.


I didn't know they did them! That does sound nice.
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Catherine » November 23rd, 2017, 12:39 am

Amber, I saw this and thought of you

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/ ... r-box.html

I hope you manage to come up with a good solution, but this looks like it might be a good option
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Re: A ready made Christmas?

Postby Amber » December 2nd, 2017, 10:53 pm

Thank you, I nearly missed this. It looks good. I think the availability timings may not work, but I’ve passed the details on to my relative. I need to work out if there’s a Co-op nearby too.

(The current plan is a frozen home made plated meal.)
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