November is here, and that means the holidays are just around the corner. With a little bit of preparation, this season can be one to relax with family and friends instead of worrying about how you are going to handle holiday entertaining.
Take these steps now to sail into a smooth holiday season:
Clean Out the Refrigerator and Freezer
Cooking for a crowd means a lot of grocery shopping and food coming into your home. Make room for all of it by cleaning out your refrigerator at the start of the holiday season.
This includes getting rid of any spoiled or unwanted food, and also checking expiration dates on condiments and other items that you might not realize have gone bad. Same thing goes for the freezer — look for items that show signs of freezer burn or that you know you are not going to use.
Once you’ve removed everything you don’t want, take the time to wipe down the (hopefully) emptier shelves and drawers. You might be surprised to find out how much dirt can build up there. It’s something you might not notice, but your holiday guests certainly will.
Take an Inventory
Once your holiday menu is set and your fridge and freezer are clear, it’s time to make sure you have all of the essentials needed to make your holiday meal. This includes pots, pans, and other cookware, but also things like paper towels, spices, and other pantry staples.
If you are making a recipe for the first time, make sure that you thoroughly read it before you start prepping or cooking. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through prep and realizing that something needed to be soaked, marinated, or started ahead of time.
If you are planning to cook several things at the same time, make sure you have enough cookware to make everything happen. You lose valuable time by stopping to do dishes in the middle of making a holiday meal. Add a post-it note to each pot or pan to keep track of which vessel will be used for each item.
Childproof if Needed
If you do not have children at home but are expecting little guests this holiday season, take the time to ensure that your kitchen safe for little ones to be in.
Move cleaning products out from beneath the sink or put a childproof lock on the cabinets. Same thing for drawers where knives and other dangerous equipment are stored. Cover electrical outlets and make sure that all appliance cords are secured to prevent the risk of tripping or choking.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you are not sure what exactly needs to be done here. Anyone in your life who has children should be able to assess what you need to do.