This year’s Christmas will be different for a lot of people. While there may still be dinner parties or get-togethers, these will be smaller and more intimate because of the restrictions brought on by the CoViD-19 pandemic. However, this does not mean that you won’t be doing any Christmas cooking at all. So, below are a handful of tips that will help you prepare your kitchen for all the cooking you will need to do for the holidays:
Clean and clear your kitchen of all the clutter.
This means making sure that all types of clutter are cleared off your countertops. Throw everything you don’t need any more into the trash and put your important papers like mail and bills into a drawer for safe keeping. If you have magazines lying around, stack them up together and organize them, so you will have more room for cooking.
You also have to make sure that all the surfaces in your kitchen are sparkling clean. These include the counters, the backsplash, and of course, the floors. Doing all these will make sure you have a tidy and less stressful environment for all your holiday preparations.
Clean your microwave.
This is one of the areas in your kitchen you should not miss when preparing for Christmas dinner. Wipe down both the inside and the outside and ensure that the rotating plate is functioning well. You never know when your guests will have a need for it, and it will be a shame for them to see it messy.
Check your pantry and stock it up
Your refrigerator is also one of the things that will be used often before, during, and even after dinner parties. So, make sure that this is cleaned properly and checked for any damages. Its door handles and gaskets should be tight and secure, any burned-out lights replaced, and its air vents cleaned out properly. These vents shouldn’t be blocked by any condiments or food as well to make sure that the fridge stays cool all throughout your event.
It is also best if you organize your fridge beforehand. Make sure all old items are tossed out and large food stuff are placed in the freezer. This will help you clear it out to make room for anything you may want to place inside. To get rid of odors inside your fridge, you may place a bowl of charcoal or an opened box of baking soda inside.
Prepare your oven.
Create a menu for your dinner parties as well as a list of the ingredients for the dishes you intend to prepare. Look into your pantry to see what you have and what you don’t. This way, you will be able to buy the things you need before the day that you will actually have to use them.
While doing this, also make sure to check with your invited guests if they have any food restrictions or allergies. This will allow you to prepare and serve them accordingly. Also, ensure that you also have available non-alcoholic drink options as you are bound to have guests who’d prefer these.
Check on your cookware, severer, and utensils.
Make sure that you all have the necessary cookware, serveware, and utensils you need for all your Christmas cooking. This way, you will still be able to purchase or borrow anything that is missing. Sharpen your knives beforehand and make sure that all your serving plates and dinner plates are washed and ready to be used. Your silverware should be polished ahead of time, too, while your cloth napkins need to be washed and ironed as well.
Whether you are planning to have a buffet or a sit-down dinner, it is best if you set your table the night before. This way, you won’t need to hurry in positioning your centerpieces, candles, napkins, place cards, and other decorations.
Make sure your dishwasher is all good.
Your dishwasher should be running efficiently as you will need this to hold a huge number of dishes after your party. Look into the drain and be sure to clear any residue from it. Check also if there are lost utensils or broken glass at the bottom. If you wish to make it look sparkling clean, you can use a sponge and white vinegar to get rid of all the gunk on its surfaces.
Check all safety mechanisms twice.
If you have kids and have guests who will be bringing their kids with them, then it is best if you make sure that everything in your home is childproof. Make sure that all breakable items like lamps and vases are away from the edges of tables or counters and that all areas that could be dangerous for them are blocked off. It is best if you set a special area where kids can hang out, as this will make them easier to keep an eye on.
Other areas you need to check on include the smoke and CO2 detectors. See if your CO2 detector batteries do not need to be replaced, so you can do so beforehand if they do. It is also best if your fire extinguisher and first aid kid are on hand and at the ready. Make sure that your first aid kit is complete and is not lacking anything. You never know when emergencies can happen.
Disinfect your trash cans.
These receptacles are one of the most important things in your kitchen as they will hold all the food junk and gunk that needs to be thrown away. So, make sure that you take them outside and clean them off with dish soap and water. Then, disinfect them before taking them back inside. You also need to have more trash bags than you can use, to ensure that you have enough.
Create a schedule for all your cooking.
Whether it is for Christmas cooking or any kind of dinner party, it is always best to prepare ahead of time. The best way to do this is to make a schedule for everything you need to cook. If you are planning to make potato and casserole dishes, then these can be placed in baking pans ahead of time. You can also chop vegetables beforehand and store them in the fridge. Having this schedule will allow you to be more organized and will guide you on what needs to be placed in the oven and on what time. This will also make it easier for your guests to help.
When you are this organized for your coming Christmas dinner, then there is no reason for you to get all flustered before the big day. Whether you are having a huge one-time holiday dinner or a series of small ones to go with the times, preparing your kitchen and yourself for all that Christmas cooking is the only way to go if you wish to enjoy during the holidays.