What you need in your Christmas toolkit

Avoid a last-minute dash to the neighbours - our Christmas toolkit will ensure your day runs smoothly.

Kitchen utensils

Christmas is fast approaching and with all the present-buying, food-ordering, card-writing, gift-wrapping and party-going, it's nigh-on impossible to remember every last detail.

So to help you out (and us too) we've drawn up a list of items that are easy-to-forget but will make your life just a little bit simpler come Christmas Day...

Cupboard love

Stack of TupperwareThese take-it-for-granted products are worth having on hand:

1. Extra wide foil - for keeping the big bird covered when you need to
2. Butcher's string - every trusser's essential
3. Baking parchment - perfect for lining trays for sausage rolls, mince pies and all those other irresistible nibbles
4. Cling film - lots of it!
5. Plastic containers - you can never have too many, great for storing and stacking pre-prepped foods and leftovers
6. Freezer bags of all sizes - waste not, want not
7. Sticky food labels - date it, name it because it's hard to work out what that frozen mass is
8. Toothpicks - to spear your party nibbles
9. Disposable foil trays - the ideal stand-in if you don't have enough metal roasting trays
10. Kitchen roll - make it festive!

Forget-me-not food

Box of eggsGlamourous ingredients? Maybe not, but we'll be grateful we added them to the list when the feeding frenzy begins... 

1. Eggs - breakfasts and Boxing Day bubble and squeak taken care of
2. Icing sugar - a sprinkle gives a festive frosting to any pud
3. Cheese and biscuits - the perfect snack when you're too full for a full-blown meal
4. Chutney - for all the leftover cold meats
5. Vanilla ice cream - allow to melt slightly and mix with leftover Christmas pud for an easy dessert
6. Frozen peas - rustle up a pea and ham soup with leftover ham stock and gammon
7. Mayonnaise - a potato salad or coleslaw make easy Boxing Day sides
8. Puff pastry - impromptu guests? Scatter ready-rolled with leftover cheese, slice and cook for simple cheese straws
9. Sauces - not just cranberry and bread, top up your tomato and brown for festive brunches
10. Butter and self-raising flour - you've got the eggs, have these two to hand and you can always whip up a quick cake for guests

Gadget fantastic

Electric carving knifeYes, we can manage without them but life is simpler with a... 

1. Meat thermometer - the best way to ensure you don't overcook and dry out your meat
2. Gravy separator jug - a simple concept, this jug separates the delicious meat juices from the fat
3. An electric carving knife - great for those who hate to carve, otherwise a super sharp carving knife is spot on. Get a big fork too to steady the bird
4. Food warmer - sadly hostess trolleys are no longer a high-fashion kitchen favourite but you can get a small heated tray for keeping all the side dishes up to temperature
5. Plate warmer - perhaps a luxury too far but ideal for keeping you and your guests' meals warm while you wait for Granny to pass the carrots

So you've taken a look in our shopping basket, we'd like to know what's in yours. Turkey aside, which must-haves will you be stocking up on for the festive period?



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