The kitchen is the heart of the home. For parents, this means that the heat…
The holidays are right around the corner. If you’re the hosting type, that means that tons of people are going to pass through your kitchen in the next couple months. Take advantage of your downtime to prep your kitchen before the chaos. Here are some tips to get your kitchen ready for holiday gatherings.
Relocate Countertop Appliances to Make More Room for Food and Prep
You want as much countertop space as possible for holiday gatherings. Move your toaster, air fryer, coffee maker and other countertop appliances to another space while you’re hosting for the holidays. You may want to clear a shelf in your pantry to make room for everything, or you might dedicate an empty table in your office for temporary storage.
If you use these appliances on a daily basis, just make sure you have somewhere to put them on the morning of the event.
Create Designated Zones That Naturally Flow Well Together
Have you ever dealt with a bottleneck situation during the holidays? Everyone gets stuck in one area of the kitchen, limiting the traffic flow for food.
You can prevent this by creating systematic zones in the kitchen. Example: appetizers, plates, proteins, side dishes, serving ware, drinks, desserts. The apps, drinks and desserts can be in their own areas, but the rest of the zones should connect together in some way. Think about how people will logically put food on their plates, and adjust your zoning to fit that flow.
Also be mindful of slow cookers or appliances that may need to stay plugged in. The zones for those items will need to be near a plug.
Dig out the Holiday Plates from the Back of Your Cabinets
You probably have certain dishes that you only use during the holidays. Those are crammed in the cabinet above your fridge or somewhere else you rarely access. Use the weeks before the holidays to get those items out from storage so you don’t have to worry about them last minute.
Make Take-Home Containers Accessible for after the Meal
Having take-home containers readily available can be a game changer for holiday leftovers. You can buy a huge stack of Styrofoam to-go containers for a few dollars, or you can use up old plastic containers that don’t fit your daily needs. Store these items in a way that they’ll be easy to access after the meal, and your guests will be shocked at your preparedness!
Put a Marker by Your Drink Station to Label Cups
If you’re using plastic cups for drinks, keep a few markers in the area. This way, guests can label their drinks and not have to wonder which cup is theirs. You could also provide color-coded straws or drink holders, but a permanent marker is a quick solution.
Keep Countertop Décor to a Minimum
You may want to add some snowmen or gourds to your counters, but keep the décor to a minimum. It looks great when there’s no food on the counters, but it can become a cluttered mess with food out. A few small pieces of décor won’t get in the way. Just avoid big displays if you plan on hosting large meals.
Prep the Kitchen before the Holiday for a Stress-Free Serving Experience
The day of a big holiday meal can be incredibly stressful for the host. Try to do as much work ahead of time as you can. Make the dips for the appetizers the day before. Set out some of the serving supplies so they’re ready to go. Distribute the work across a couple days, and you can enjoy more time with your loved ones on the big day.
From all of us here at O’Hanlon Kitchens, happy holidays!