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When should I make...?
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When should I make…?

For those of you who don’t have a lot of time to cook but would like to host a holiday party with homemade food, here are some helpful tips for you. You can definitely spread out the cooking.  You don’t have to do it all in one day.  All it takes is a little planning. Just write on the calendar what food you plan to make when and follow your plan.

Scones-I believe these taste best the day of the party, but if you don’t want to stress yourself out, you can always make them ahead of time (bake them until almost done) and freeze them. On the day of the party, thaw them out on a cookie sheet, cover with foil and heat them in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or so until hot.

Lemon Curd and Devonshire Creme– These can be made up to 1 1/2 weeks before the party.

Sandwich fillings with meat– If you are making sandwiches with meat, you can make the fillings no more than 4 days in advance.  Don’t keep them longer than 5 days.  Make the fillings and then on the day before the party, make them into sandwiches.  Cover with parchment paper, then a damp paper towel and then with plastic wrap.  Cut and garnish the sandwiches the day of the party.  Cover again but this time with only a damp paper towel. Remove towel just before serving.

Sandwich fillings with cream cheese– These fillings often taste better if they are allowed to sit for at least a day or two.  You can make them up ahead of time up to about 7 days at the most.  Make the sandwiches the night before the party and cut and garnish the day of the party.

Garnishing sandwiches–  Unfortunately it’s really best to garnish sandwiches the day of the party.  They just don’t look fresh unless they are garnished that day.

Desserts– Depending on what you make, most desserts will keep at least a few days.  For cookies you can make up the dough, scoop out the cookies and freeze.  Then the day of the party, or the day before, just bake the cookies.  Bar cookies will keep at least 4 days without tasting old.