Have you any words of wisdom for people cooking Christmas dinner for the first time?
B: Don’t panic, captain! I think it’s often the turkey that throws people – I’d recommend getting a meat thermometer. They’re cheap to buy but can help put your mind at rest with the cooking.
J: I’d say don’t forget to always give yourself more time.
B: Yes, absolutely. Give yourself more time than you think you’ll need.
J: And enjoy it! This is something people always forget to do.
How much do you prepare in advance for a big meal like Christmas?
B: I’ll probably do most of my prep on Christmas Eve. This’ll be things like parboiling the potatoes, making my gravy, preparing any stuffing and sauces, and making my dessert.
J: You can prepare most of your veg in advance – get as much as possible ready to go. Think about nice little extras, too – I like to make flavoured butters to toss through the vegetables or spread on bread. I’m a big fan of Marmite or anchovy butter.
What would your advice be for people catering to a larger group than normal this Christmas?
B: If you get caught up in the cooking you don’t spend the time seeing your guests. Why not get them involved?
J: Exactly: divvy up the tasks, get everyone involved and have fun! This also means you can let the kids have the rubbish jobs like peeling carrots and potatoes…
What are your go-to Boxing Day recipes for using up leftovers?
J: For me, leftovers are the best things about Christmas. I think the trick is not to be afraid to experiment – if you’d eat it all together in one meal first time round then whatever combination you go for with your leftovers is bound to be delicious. What about turkey, cranberry, blue cheese and potato croquettes?
B: I think I’d just make the biggest sandwich ever!