Everyone loves holiday treats, from Thanksgiving turkeys to Christmas cookies to New Year’s nibbles. But preparing all that food? Even if you love to cook, it’s a challenge. However, properly preparing your kitchen can make it all a little more manageable—and give the head chef a little more precious time to spend with family and friends.
Out With the Old
Start off with a good clearing of your fridge, freezer and pantry. Throw out anything that’s expired or unwanted. Get rid of anything that has freezer burn or is damaged. This is a good opportunity to clean your shelves and drawers, too.
Spice Things Up
Spices lose their flavor over time. If it’s been awhile since you stocked up, visit the spice aisle of your local supermarket. Think about what you’ll be making so you have an accurate list of what you need and avoid a last-minute run, and the big crowds.
Do the Dirty Work
Cleaning the oven and dishwasher is a dirty job, but doing it before you do all that heavy duty holiday cooking will not only improve your results, it will make post-holiday cleaning easier. You’ll also want to wash your linens, dishes and cookware.
Check all your gear to make sure you have everything you need and that it’s in apple pie order. You don’t want to find out the mixer has a burned out motor at 10:00 a.m. Thanksgiving morning, or that you didn’t inherit Aunt Millicent’s pie server after all.
Cover Your Basics
Make sure you have everything you need to survive the holidays—load up on cooking staples like flour and sugar, but also important things like garbage bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, leftover containers, dish soap or dishwashing detergent, paper towels and napkins.
Start planning a few weeks ahead, and enjoy a happier holiday season.