Preparing Your Kitchen for the Holidays
Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 October 2014 05:57
Written by bkshowplace
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 05:57
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, it’s not Christmas…yet. But Halloween is in a few days, which means that Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. Are you planning to host friends and family at your home during the holidays? If so, now is the time to assess your kitchen – the hub of your home – to see if it is up for the challenge of seating, entertaining, cleaning, and feeding your family and guests.
While you do not necessarily need to remodel your entire kitchen, there are some things you can do to make it more comfortable and functional for a crowd. Follow our seven tips below for an amazing holiday-ready kitchen!
1. Replace aging appliances
In the weeks leading up to the big day, consider which appliances can make it one more year and which need to go. After all, if something is on the fritz, having it go out when you have a house full of people is not optimal timing.
Life expectancy of major kitchen appliances:
- Gas ranges: 15 years
- Range hoods: 14 years
- Refrigerators and electric ranges: 13 years
- Garbage disposers: 12 years
- Freezers: 11 years
2. Stock your spice cabinet and pantry
Nothing’s worse than reaching for the nutmeg when you’re making pumpkin pie and the jar is empty. Make sure your spices are well stocked and that your pantry is full of the staples like sugar, flour, olive oil, salt and pepper. Don’t forget these ordinary household items, too!
- Garbage bags
- Plastic bags
- Kitchen string
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic wrap
- A disposable roasting pan
- Containers for leftovers
- Dish soap
- Dishwashing detergent
- Coffee filters
3. Consider installing a new sink and/or faucet
While it’s too late in the game to redesign your whole kitchen, a new sink and/or faucet can go a long way in creating a more functional kitchen. A newer, deeper sink and a faucet incorporating some of the latest touchless technology may be exactly what you need to conquer holiday feast prep and cleanup. For advice and help selecting the right one, schedule an appointment with one of our professional consultants.
4. Create a coffee/tea station
Designating a portion of your countertop, kitchen island, or a separate cart as a coffee & tea station is a great idea. Guests will feel like they can help themselves and it alleviates some of the mess of having mugs and spoons strewn about. Keep coffee and filters in plain view.
5. Make sure your oven is ready
It may seem counterintuitive, but don’t run your oven’s self-clean cycle in the days before cooking, because the cycle is so stressful on the appliance, it could cause it to break down. Instead, use a damp cloth to wipe around the burner elements and and save the big cleanup until you’re lunching on cold leftover stuffing.
Also make sure your oven’s temperature gauge is functioning properly by picking up an oven thermometer at the grocery store. Place the thermometer in a middle rack, set the oven to 350, and wait for it to warm up. If the thermometer read out matches the temperature you chose, all is well. You’ll also want to check door seals and gaskets. If they don’t provide a proper seal, the oven can lose heat and waste energy.
6. Buy bar stools
Even if you don’t have a bar or kitchen island, having a few bar stools available in your kitchen will increase your seating and encourage guests to keep you company while you cook and clean. Some might even pitch in! The kitchen is always a conversation and activity hub, so make it that much easier for your friends and family to congregate there.
7. Sharpen knives and do a cookware inventory
Now’s the time to check all your knives, sharpen the dull ones, and check your pots and pans. If some of your cookware is missing handles or lids, or your inventory is running low, consider asking some of your family members to bring some of theirs (labelled, of course), or replenish your own collection.
We hope that you find these tips helpful, and would love to hear some of your own. Happy Holidays!