As the holiday season creeps closer and closer, kitchens around the world are preparing to tackle some of the busiest cooking days of the year. Family and friends gather for decadent holiday feasts with dishes and plates filled with everything that embodies the holiday season, ranging from carved meats, to countless sides, and let’s not forget those delicious desserts. If your kitchen is going to be the headquarters for much of the cooking and baking this season, there are a few ways you can prepare the space to ensure that you’re not buried in dirty dishes and cluttered counter space after each and every meal you cook. Here’re a few tips from the Cabinets Direct USA team on prepping your kitchen for the big holiday rush.
How to Make Holiday Cooking Easier
1. Set a Menu and Stick to It
One of the best ways to go about a holiday meal is developing a menu well in advance. By doing this, you’ll be able to ration out time and space throughout the kitchen to prepare different items that are going to be served once family and friends arrive. A menu will also allow you to know which cookware and tools you’ll need along the way, so you’re not left digging through deep cabinets for a turkey tray or your great grandmother’s deviled egg dish. Add a unique touch to your holiday gatherings by getting a chalkboard and writing the menu on it so when guests arrive, they’ll see what the kitchen is whipping up for mealtime!
2. Leave Space for Appliances
Most of the year, homeowners will stash away big appliances like mixers, slow cookers, and food processors unless they need them for a specific meal. Come holiday season, there is a good chance that you’ll need to use all three of those large appliances, along with many other smaller ones and lots of pots, pans, and plates. If countertop space is limited to begin with, setting up a space just outside of the kitchen to leave these larger appliances could be a great way to make sure that you still have enough room to work within the kitchen.
3. Empty the Fridge
Leading up to a large holiday gathering means multiple trips to the grocery store, and maybe even some specialty stores to pick up some special items for the meal. Take some time before you even take the first trip to the store to clean out your fridge and freezer so that all of the things you’ll need can fit into the fridge and not be stuffed in every available space. Not only will this fridge organization help make the preparation and cooking a breeze, but after the tables are cleared and leftovers start to build up, the extra space that you freed up will make cleanup a breeze and allowing you to get back to enjoying the celebration with your guests.
4. Take Care of Settings Early
The time spent before your guests arrive should be spent on getting food prepared and ready to serve once guests arrive. The night before your gathering, set up the eating areas, buffet space, and dessert table the way that you’ll want it to be for the gathering so that serving and putting foods out on the tables doesn’t leave guests searching for somewhere to put their plate.
5. Stock Up on Essentials
The rush of holiday shopping for a large gathering can often cause people to forget some of the basics that every kitchen should be stocked up on. Items like garbage bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, roasting pans, coffee filters, and leftover containers should all be well stocked up on in case you’ll need anything for the meal prep, cooking time, or cleaning up leftovers. Grabbing these essentials well in advance will prevent against having to send someone out to the store as the turkey is supposed to go in the oven because the roasting pan is too small, or can’t be found!
Take some extra time this holiday season to ensure that your kitchen is ready to handle anything that you can throw at it as you entertain and cook up some delicious holiday meals. If you follow these few easy steps, the holidays will be a bit easier for you to deal with as you schedule gatherings with family and friends.