Entertaining this festive season? Get your kitchen Christmas-ready!
For many of us Christmas is without doubt one of the most wonderful times of the year, but it also involves a lot of planning, effort and sometimes stress. If you are entertaining guests at any point over the festive season your kitchen is bound to play a starring role, whether you are cooking Christmas dinner or laying out a Boxing Day buffet. Even for those of us who love cooking and entertaining, this can be a daunting and pressurising, but there are plenty of things you can do in advance to make sure your kitchen is providing the right environment for as stress-free an experience as possible.
We understand that Christmas is a time that comes with a pretty sizable to-do list as it is and getting your kitchen in good shape definitely doesn’t take as high a priority as wrapping presents and decorating the tree. That said, if you are able to out in a bit of time ahead of the big day you will definitely be glad you made the effort. The kitchen is the hub of the home at the best of times, but none more so than Christmas, where families love to congregate, help with preparation and share meals.
Step one: Declutter
We’ve all been there: you return from doing the ‘big food shop’ just before Christmas to the nightmare of trying to shove giant tins of Celebrations into already full cupboards. Things end up precariously stacked on top of one another and you end up finding a long-forgotten stash of mince pies some time around Easter, tucked away at the back of the pan drawer. It’s all a bit of a nightmare. That’s all before we even get to cooking Christmas dinner, which would be so much easier if we only had a little bit more worktop space..!
If any of that sounds familiar to you, now is the time to help your future self out by having a good clear out and declutter of your kitchen now. If you can consolidate a couple of your cupboards, then we’d really recommend doing so. Freeing up an entire kitchen cabinet means when you load up on all those delicious festive goodies you can easily pop them straight into the ‘Christmas Cupboard’, altogether eliminating the need for box/tin Jenga.
Similarly why not try reducing the items on your worksurfaces to only the essentials? If mid-sized appliances such as slow cookers can be stored away in cupboards this will free up a lot of space on your work surfaces which you will be so grateful for come Christmas day.
Step two: Clean
There’s no doubt that the oven is one of the hardest working appliances in the kitchen over the Christmas period, so give it a little TLC now to make sure it’s a joy to use when the big day comes. There are many oven cleaning products on the market, and even a host of professional oven cleaning companies you can book in now, but you don’t need to go to any big expense to get your oven gleaming. To get the oven Christmas-ready simply give it a quick clean first with a damp cloth. Next, sprinkle baking soda and vinegar on the bottom of the oven. Let the mixture sit for a while and then simply wipe away the residue with a cloth. Even the toughest of grease stains and burnt food will come away easily with this treatment.
Microwaves are often heavily used at Christmas time too, so be sure to give yours a good clean to clear away any food and grease stains. Similarly if you have a dishwasher it’s likely to be doing its fair share of work over the festive season. Give it a good clean with a dishwasher cleaning solution sent round on a hot cycle. Make sure the salt and rinse aid are topped up to in order to keep it working effectively.
Step three: Decorate
Now that your kitchen is de-cluttered and sparkly clean, it’s time to add some Christmas magic. Add some festive cheer in the form of some Christmas decorations – just don’t over-do it and fill all those lovely clear sides up again! Things which work brilliantly in kitchens without over-loading the space include festive tea towels and coasters, Christmas themed bowls and plates, and perhaps even a hot chocolate station. These things all serve a useful purpose in the kitchen but help to spread some festive cheer too!
Step four: Lay your table
The final step to getting your kitchen Christmas ready ahead of the big day is to lay your table the night before. Many of us like to set the table beautifully for this special occasion, so it’s a good time to do this before the stress of food preparation and cooking sets in on the day you are hosting. This will also give you time to play around with different table configurations if you’re hosting more people than usual and need to rearrange things a little bit.
Adding ‘get the kitchen ready’ to the long Christmas to-do list might not seem instantly appealing, but by doing some of these simple tasks in the build up to the big day you will make preparing, cooking and hosting a much more stress-free experience, which is exactly how it should be.
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