National Association of Productivity         & Organizing Professionals


 
 

Prepping the Holiday Kitchen

26 Nov 2017 8:32 PM | Birdie Brennan, CPO®

The Set-Up for Success

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For even the most novice cooks, between now and the end of the year, many kitchens are about to get a workout. We may be hosting parties, holiday meals, trying a new recipe or two, participating in pot lucks, or baking with friends and family. Wouldn't it be great if everything we need is at our fingertips--clean and functional for when we need it?


So often the tools and items we rely on at this time of year are somewhere in the back of cupboards, sideboards, or stored on basement shelving. I recommend gathering, cleaning, and staging the items you know will be needed in the coming weeks. In last week's post ( https://www.getorganizedcolumbus.com/the-ready-made-pantry ) we talked about a well-stocked pantry for the holiday season; for now, let's focus on the items we will likely need in the kitchen and dining areas.

Let's Talk Tools
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It is not just about having the tools, it is about cleaning them and testing them to make sure they are functional with no surprises. It is worth noting that many of these items are occasional-use items and can be removed from your immediate cooking area once the holidays are over to save space.

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  1. Meat thermometer
  2. Turkey Baster
  3. Full set of measuring cups and spoons
  4. Food Processor and all needed extension parts
  5. Emersion Blender and/or mixer
  6. Counter top roaster or sous vide
  7. Mixing Bowls
  8. Sharpened Knives
  9. Electric carving knife
  10. Peelers and Garlic Press
  11. Zester and juicer
  12. Baking pans
  13. Dough roller
  14. Those pesky holiday cookie cutters
  15. Baking racks
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And don't forget the specialty cookware like Belgian waffle makers and panini presses, which may finally get the chance to earn their shelf space when hosting guests.

Kitchen Staples

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  1. Aluminum Foil
  2. Wax Paper
  3. For extra convenience--oven liners can come in handy this time of year
  4. Twine
  5. Roasting Bags and plastic wrap
  6. Sil Pats/Baking Liners
  7. Toothpicks
  8. Food saver containers--especially those which guests can take with them
  9. Cherished recipes--I suggest locating and scanning them to have available digitally. I really like that you can have on record which recipes were used by year; it's fun to look back on and review.

Let's Set the Holiday Table

So many times we store away pretty dishes and service items, and holiday plates and mugs, only to forget them when guests appear. We can avoid forgetting our cherished holiday keepsakes by reviewing and cleaning inventory to have ready for guests. This is also a good time to remove any items that you are no longer interested in using.

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  1. Dishes, chargers, and paper plates--We can finally use the holiday pattern! 
  2. Silverware and extra cutlery--Hate to say it, but if you use real silver, now is the time to polish
  3. Stemware
  4. Service Ware
  5. Platters and gravy boats
  6. Hors D'oeuvre plates or extra small plates
  7. Napkins--cloth ones may need washed and pressed
  8. Tablecloths and Placemats--may also need laundered
  9. Centerpieces--you may not have these stored, but it is still a good time to plan for them
  10. Candles and candle holders
  11. Punch Bowls
  12. Cheese cutters and condiment knives
  13. Pitchers
  14. Extra salt and pepper shakers
  15. Trivets

  For Good Measure:
  1. This may be the time to clean the oven and microwave
  2. Make sure your large cutting boards are sanitized

 

And don't forget, the most important thing to have in your kitchen might be an extra ounce of patience and presence of mind to enjoy being in the moment with family and friends. Now that you have a list, don't be afraid to get everyone involved and delegate tasks. The more we are engaged in the process, the more invested we are in the joy.

Cheers to you and yours!

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