The holidays are right around the corner and that means your kitchen is getting ready for a serious workout. Whether you plan to cook for a big crowd or just your immediate family this year, planning ahead will help to ensure a relaxing and enjoyable occasion. We’ve put together a list of all the things you can do to make the holidays run smoothly.
- Assess your inventory – Shopping during the holiday season can be stressful. Take a moment to go through your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry now. This way, you will know that the can of pumpkin in the back of your pantry is still good, and you won’t have to buy another one just in case. Don’t forget the spice cupboard as well! Spices can expire, and you don’t want to have to make an emergency run to the store when cooking grandma’s traditional recipe.
- De-clutter – Assess the counter space in your kitchen. If you have appliances that you aren’t using, it’s time to let them go to a better home. Ample counter space will allow you to make it easier to keep your kitchen clean, as well as roll dough and stay organized while you cook. If you do plan to host a larger holiday gathering, extra counter space can allow for a fun and efficient buffet line.
- Organize – No matter the size of your crowd this holiday season, a well-organized kitchen will make for a stress-free cooking experience. Now is an excellent time to go through your supply of baking dishes, pans, and containers and match the bottoms with the lids. You can throw out anything that doesn’t have a match to free up valuable space and make preparing food and storing leftovers much easier.
- Plan of attack – Put together a list of the meals and the special recipes you are going to prepare. You may be able to get two meals out of that turkey or double the prep of a side item. Stock up now on the non-perishable items you know you will need. To avoid the crowded grocery stores, consider using a shopping service to gather your list so that all you have to do is pick it up. You may even want to have some items delivered right to your door.
- Appliance clean and check – To make sure all your appliances are ready for extra duty, take the time to thoroughly clean them. Don’t wait until the night before to do this because sometimes these cleanings and tune-ups can reveal problems that you won’t want to have to deal with last minute.
- Clean and prepare your tools – Take the time to sharpen your knives so they are ready to go the distance. You will also want to wash and iron the table linens you plan to use. Your entertaining dishes may also need some light rewashing or polishing to make sure they are clean and ready.
- Nightlights – Add a nightlight in the kitchen for when Santa sneaks down for a midnight snack. A row of Christmas lights can do double duty as they function as both as a decoration and as a nightlight.
- Child-proofing – If you have small children visiting, make sure that they don’t have access to cupboards and appliances that could be dangerous.
Following these steps will help you get your kitchen ready for your holiday festivities, whether they involve a large group or immediate family. This way, you can spend more time with loved ones this special season. A little preparation goes a long way. We wish you all the best!