The kitchen is the heart of the household. This can’t be more evident than at Christmas time when this space comes alive with cooking, lively conversation and mouth-watering food. However, during the festive season, the kitchen can also be the site for much stress as it bursts with ingredients and too many cooks compete for space and equipment. This year, follow these tips, and you will have a calm Christmas in the kitchen.
Keep it clean
While preparing the Christmas meal, the kitchen can turn into a bomb site amazingly fast. So, in advance of Christmas day, set aside some time to clean the kitchen. Make sure that the surfaces are clear in order to maximise preparation space. Pay particular attention to the fridge as it is an integral part of your Christmas meal preparation. If it requires a clean, take all the items out and give the inside a good scrub. You may wish to use a product that deals with freezer odor and bacteria in order to give your Christmas ingredients the best chance of remaining fresh during the holidays. Throw out any items that are out of date in order to make room for the new produce. Do the same with your kitchen cupboards.
Create a shopping list
In advance of Christmas day decide what you and your family are going to eat and drink and make a list of the ingredients that you need. Also think about what food supplies you will need to keep you going for a few days while the shops are closed. When you have created your shopping list, highlight the items that you can buy now, and the items that can be ordered and delivered closer to Christmas day. Dry foods, canned goods, etc. can be purchased well in advance and stored in your cupboards.
As your Christmas ingredients start to arrive, you should carefully consider where to store them. Vegetables will do fine in a cool, dark place rather than the fridge, which will make more room for the turkey and other items that must be kept cold. Ingredients that you intend to use a lot should be in stored in accessible location.
Prepare some components in advance
Think about elements of the meal that can be made in advance in order to reduce the things you have to do on Christmas day. Gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce can be made well in advance and stored in the freezer. The day before Christmas, the vegetables can be boiled and then dropped in cold water to stop the cooking process. The following day, just reheat the veggies in a pan or the microwave.
Make a Christmas Day schedule
Create a plan for the day. Include the time when you should take the turkey out the fridge, when the bird should go in the oven, when you should start preparing starters, etc. Put the schedule up in a visible location so that you can refer to it during the day.
Here’s to a calm Christmas in the kitchen!