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Christmas tips

Christmas can be a busy time, so we've put together some of our favourite Christmas hacks to get you on your way to a stress-free season. Stay tuned for more hacks here, leading up to the big day.

Ham storage tips

A delicious Christmas ham is the gift that keeps on giving long after the big day is over. Here are our top tips on how to store your ham and enjoy it for longer.

  • To prevent your cooked ham from drying out, keep it in the fridge wrapped in a tea towel or ham bag.
  • Before using the tea towel or ham bag, place it into a diluted vinegar solution (1 litre of water and ¼ cup white vinegar) and let it soak for a few minutes. Squeeze out the excess liquid and place the ham inside, while the towel or ham bag is still damp.
  • Every few days the tea towel or ham bag needs to be refreshed with the vinegar solution.
  • Best to wrap your ham loosely to allow for air circulation, and then place it in the coolest part of the fridge. If stored correctly, the ham should last for more than a week once cut.
  • To further extend the shelf life of cooked ham, freeze it in airtight containers or freezer bags. Properly stored, it will maintain best quality for about 3 to 4 months.
  • If you’ve already sliced your ham, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. Shaved or sliced ham should last 3 to 5 days in the fridge – or up to month in the freezer, in a freezer bag. 

Download our handy checklist to make sure you have all your essentials on hand for the festive period, and make your holidays stress-free!

Need an easy festive dessert?

Pick up a selection of fruit and nut mixes from the Alison's Pantry range and add to melted chocolate to create this yummy chocolate bark.

Reindeer sandwiches

Make your kids smile with Reindeer sandwiches. Bring fun and happiness to your lunch with cookie cutters, and add Alison's Pantry pretzel antlers!

Upgrade your summer salads

Add chopped nuts or seeds to your salad - pumpkin seeds, sunflower seed or chopped hazelnuts are all delicious! Pick some up from our bulk food and make your own mix.

Make a lasting impression

Add a special touch to your baking this Christmas. Use clean stamps or the bottom of a cut crystal glass on your cookies and shortbread

Lumpy brown sugar?

If your brown sugar has gone hard or lumpy, cover it with a damp paper towel and them pop in the microwave for 20 seconds to make it soft again.

Fun way to chill drinks

Add frozen berries or grapes to your drinks to help keep them cool without watering down your refreshments!

Keep everyone hydrated

Make sure you have plenty of drinks on hand for guests during the summer. Add berries, peaches, cucumbers, lemons or mint to jugs of water for a refreshing twist.

Chill your wine fast

Wrap your wine bottle with damp paper towels or tea towels and place it in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Festive and easy dessert in a hurry

Needing a quick dessert or snack? Grab some strawberries and cream and create these cute little festive strawberries. They'll be a hit at shared lunches too!

Don't have a piping bag handy?

Use a ziplock bag to pipe your Christmas goodies. Fill the piping bag with your icing, snip a small hole in one corner then get decorating!

Infuse your ice cubes

Make your drinks more festive and delicious this summer by infusing your ice cubes. Pop fresh herbs (mint leaves are our favourite), berries and fruit into the water before freezing and voila!

Christmas baking made easy

Skip the fiddly business of cutting raw cookie dough and bake a full tray of brownies or your favourite sweet treat. Once it's cooked, use your Christmas cookie cutters. Easy peasy!

Keep your ice cream soft

Put your ice cream container in a plastic bag before you put it in the freezer. Your ice cream will stay soft and easy to scoop for those hot summer days.

Protect your baubles

Once the Christmas season is over, pack away your decorations in old egg cartons. They'll stay safe until the next year.

Slice cleanly

Use unflavoured dental floss to slice up your Christmas baking without squishing it.

Easy peasy icing tip

Use empty squeezable condiment bottles for icing Christmas baking. These bottles have really precise nozzles and can be cleaner than a piping bag.

Soften butter quickly

Put boiling hot water into a glass or glass bowl to heat it. Empty the glass or bowl and then flip it over on top of your butter. The heat will soften the butter within minutes.