'Tis the season for Preparation - All Wrapped Up!!
Despite the current lockdown, Christmas is fast coming our way and here at Beekind, this year more than ever, we want to be prepared to have a well-deserved Festive Season. We know that this year Christmas may have be different, but we don't want this unpredictability to spoil all the Christmas fun.
We beleive the best way to have a Happy (and frugal) Christmas, is to be organised, prepared and ensure we can inject as much joy as possible into our holiday days.
For us, this organisation begins with our food. We've already noticed supermarkets are starting to do "deals" on certain foods, and as these deals come along, we want to take advantage - well why wouldn't you?!!
And you absolutely can - with the help of your freezer, and your Beeswaxed Food Wraps! With the space we save using Wraps, we can prep and freeze so many foods in advance that will allow us to enjoy the festive season fully and save money along the way. So here they are - our Top Ten Tips to preparing for the festive season, the Beekind way - consider it an early gift :)
#10 - Quick Gingerbread
Gingerbread dough (infact any cookie dough) can be frozen! Make your Christmas Eve Day easier by making Santa's (or your family's!) Gingerbread cookies quickly with pre-made dough. Simply make the dough in advance and freeze it as a flatish piece in a Beekind Wrap. When you need it, defrost in the fridge overnight and then roll out, cut and bake! It's so easy it's almost cheating!
#9 - Mouthwatering Mince Pies
Another amazing thing to make yourself, but if not, bought mince pies freeze beautifully too. Take them out of their box, (boxes go soggy when defrosted) wrap gently in your Beekind Wrap and put them flat in the freezer until frozen. Take them out overnight (or at least half a day) before you need them, and simply unfold the Wrap putting the whole thing on a plate or platter - your Wrap then becomes a beautiful backdrop to your festive treat - table ready already!
#8 - Fabulous Flavoured Butters
From Jacket Potatoes, to baked fish, seared meat, cooked veggies, and lots besides, butters flavoured with herbs, spices, garlic, chilli, honey and so much more, can be very useful for creating amazing quick meals over the festive season. There are a multitude of recipes out there but they will all have one thing in common - the end product, your wonderful flavoured butter, is freezable. Once finished, wrap your butters in small Wraps - cracker style. Take out and leave at room temperature for 12 hours in the fridge, then just simply place your butter cracker on the table with a knife to serve - so festive and so yummy!
#7 - Preserves are a Festive Treat
We've all done it - you buy a bag of pears, apples, lemons, limes, etc and come the end of the week no-one's eaten what they said they would and you have more than you need left over. You could turn them into dessert, or keep them another few days - OR, you could turn them into a delicious, luxurious preserved festive treat. Simply grab a jar (recycled of course!), and a pickling recipe and make yourself some gorgeous spiced picked pears, apple chutney, pickled preserved lemon and/or lime wedges. With simple store cupboard ingredients like salt, vinegar, spices and herbs, you can create spectacular and very under-rated additions to your food feasts. They make the most of cheese boards, Christmas Eve buffets, or those in-between days meals. Once made and jar sealed, use a Beekind Jam Jar Lid Cover and natural jute or string to personalise it as your own - match your table wraps, or give away as a gift - it will look so homemade, and so special.
#6 - Make the most of Pumpkins
This is prime time for harvesting pumpkins and squashes - we grow them well in the UK at this time of year, and there are always lots being sold cheaply straight after Halloween. Pumpkins are very nutritious and make wonderful soups, sweet pies and an extra roasted veg on winter dinners. Simply get them home, chop up (skin on) removing all seeds. Put the chunks into a baking tray with a small drizzle of oil, and roast in the oven (200°C /180°C fan/Gas mark 4) for about 30 mins until soft and maybe slightly singed round the edges. Cool and wrap in your Beekind Wrap for the freezer. Use when needed - voila! Autumn perfection all through the Winter.
#5 - Emergency Pancakes and Blinis
Did you know that pancakes and blinis can be frozen?! Making them fresh is not all that difficult, but in the midst of all the festive excitement, movie-watching, shopping and maybe the odd glass of wine, pre-made mini-pancakes and blinis make great snacks, breakfasts, canape bases and so much more. Just make, cool and Wrap for the freezer ready for use for that emergency guest, or lazy day. Simples!
#4 - Freeze your Cheese
Again, this is so simple - instead of buying an over-priced cheese board in December, why not create your own. Before the supermarkets replace their normal selection of cheeses with festive types, buy a selection of the cheeses you love. Remove any plastic packaging from the hard cheeses (leave the foil-type packaging on), and cut rectangular blocks of cheese diagonally into wedges (whatever size you like), or be creative with other shapes as you like. Then wrap each cheese type in it's own Beekind Wrap and freeze. Remove and defrost 24 hours before needed in the fridge. Simply place the cheeses onto a board or plate, and unfold the Wraps. Voila, an instantly stunning cheese board - all the cheeses you actually like, at a normal price and looking festive ready with no hassle - genius!
#3 - Perfect Pastry
Whether you want to buy it, or make your own, pastry is a great freezer staple for the festive season. If bought, take off any nasty plastic packaging which causes pastry to sweat. Leave any greaseproof paper inserts intact. Wrap in rolls, or blocks, in Beekind Wraps and freeze. Defrost overnight in the fridge and use for quick tarts, pies, and tasty bases. As a quick meal, for fresh mince pies, jam tarts, canapes or savoury treats, pastry is a really versatile go-to in the festive period.
#2 - Glorious Pre-prepped Veg
Ok. so not the most glamorous tip, but actually this can not only save you time, but money too. When you see your favourite seasonal veg on offer - buy enough to make your usual Christmas meal as well. We're talking cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, sweet potato, sprouts, parsnips, carrots, swede and the rest. Get them home, wash, chop and par-boil (meaning partly cook them by boiling or steaming). Then drain, cool and wrap them in their Beekind Food Wrap Pockets. Then freeze. When it comes to the Christmas Eve/Day prep, you'll already have partly cooked veg ready to go. All for less money than if you'd bought the veg Christmas week (and you won't have to fight for it too!).
#1 - Homemade Christmas Cake.
Making your own Christmas cake is actually not that difficult but it does take time, so do it in advance and store it in an Extra Large Wrap. There are loads of recipes out there and there will be one to suit everyone. I like the good old fashioned one of Delia Smith's, but I alter mine slightly to take out the nuts and citrus peel and replace it with more fruit. Anyway, the point is, with some pre-planning and a chilly rainy afternoon in November, you can create your own lovely cake to be proud of on Christmas Day. Once baked, cool and wrap in one layer of greaseproof paper, and then your Beekind Wrap. This will keep it fresh and ready for you to "feed" in the following weeks, right up to the point you want to decorate it. Once decorated, loosly cover it again with your Wrap to keep it completely safe until the big reveal. Once cut (and enjoyed!), use your Wrap again to keep it covered between servings. And, if by ANY chance you have some left after Christmas, cut into portions, Wrap, and freeze - fruit cake freezes beautifully and can be enjoyed all year round!!
So Beekinders, that's it - a few ideas to make your festive period delicious, hassle-free and cost-effective. There's no reason to pay hiked prices, jostle for items in the aisles or feel exhausted by Christmas Day. Simply get organised, and let your Beekind Beeswaxed Food Wraps help you - that's what they do best after all!