The holidays are right around the corner, and that means your kitchen is getting ready for a serious workout. From having the kids at home to out-of-town guests to hosting holiday parties, we have a list of all the things you can do to make the holidays run smoothly and help your kitchen—and you—survive.
Assess your inventory
Now is a great time to go through your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Throw out expired food in order to make room for fresh supplies. Then you know that 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 make an emergency run to the store when cooking grandma’s traditional recipe.
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. You might also want to free up some counter space for rolling out dough or creating a buffet line.
Go through your supply of baking dishes, pans, and containers and match the bottoms with the lids. Throw out anything that doesn’t have a match. This will free up space and make preparing food and sending leftovers home much easier.
Plan of attack
Think about 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, considering 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 up 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. Click here to see our appliances checklist.
Prepare your tools
Take the time to sharpen your knives so they are ready to go the distance. You 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 ready.
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 decoration and as a nightlight.
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 your kitchen be ready for whatever walks through your front door. It means that you can have more time with guests and with your kids during this special season. A little preparation goes a long way. We wish you all the best!