It’s the time of year when your kitchen is likely to get more action than it has seen all year, so preparing in every way possible is integral to ensuring that Christmas Day runs as smoothly as possible. The kitchen is the hub for cooking, socialising and everything in between so a few tips to keep the area clean and organised might just save your sanity ahead of the big Boxing Day clean up.
Starts at 60 snagged some priceless pieces of advice from Jean-Marc Adele, who is a Mitsubishi Electric refrigeration expert, about the best ways to prepare your kitchen for the frenzy that is the festive season.
Kick off your kitchen prep with a refreshing clean-out of your fridge. This includes throwing out any expired foods and condiments as well as clearing enough space for the number of dishes and containers you’ll inevitably pile in there throughout the day.
Once it’s clear of any unnecessary items, get a wet cloth and wipe over the shelves to help reduce any smells and spills before starting your Christmas shop. If you find the smells are bit more stubborn than you first thought, try spreading some freshly ground coffee on a plate and allowing to sit in the fridge for 24 hours to help soak up unwanted odours.
Overpacking your fridge will only lead to an underperforming cooling system which could mean possible food spoilage. However, this is easy to avoid if you simply head to the grocery store with a strict plan in mind.
Figure out the exact recipes you plan to use and only buy what you need. And remember, the festive season is not the time to be overspending or oversupplying no matter how tempting it is to get ingredients ‘just in case’.
There’s nothing worse than being faced with the Christmas lunch grocery bill when you rush out to do your last minute shop. So to avoid any extra stress over the holidays, plan ahead and buy non-perishables as early as possible and leave the fresher ingredients to do in smaller, more manageable quantities closer to the date.
Figure out what you can freeze and buy in advance as it won’t only save you fighting over the last leg of ham in the supermarket, but it’ll also be a much cheaper option as prices skyrocket everyday in the countdown to Christmas.
When it comes to the dishes you plan to make – don’t get ahead of yourself. It’s all well and good to be ambitious as you plan your dishes a month early, but when it comes to Christmas Day, the last thing you want to be doing is worrying over a burnt baked ham while everyone else is enjoying themselves outside.
Find recipes with similar ingredients so you can buy in bulk and use everything in one go, and also try looking for dishes with easy ingredients like fresh produce as they will be some of the cheapest foods you’ll find in the supermarket around December.
Defrosting will be your best friend in the lead up to the big day. Buying ingredients early may mean you have to freeze them to keep them fresh so ensuring you are using the right areas in your fridge to keep it defrosting at a safe pace is vital.
It also helps to look into recipes that can be made overnight like marinades and stuffing to reduce your time in the kitchen during the day. When it comes to fresh produce however, it’s best to chop these up as they are being served to ensure they’re as fresh and crisp as possible.
With that much food, you can’t expect to leave a Christmas lunch without an onslaught of leftovers. And while these dishes mean you won’t have to cook dinner for the next few weeks, it also means you need to store them properly to ensure you’re not wasting anything or letting it spoil.
The Mitsubishi Electric Hot Freezer is a suggestion from Adele who says it allows you to freeze hot leftovers right off the bat without any waiting time. This is a great way to store away a whole bunch of food as early as possible to avoid it sitting around on the bench all afternoon.