Your kitchen counters can get pretty full when you start preparing a meal, especially during the holidays. Bowls for mixing, cutting boards with veggies and food needing to be chopped along with pots and pans on the stove and in the oven…whew, its either a lot of work for some or a labor of love for others. In the end you have meal that is enjoyed by all and then… who wants to clean up the kitchen!
After eating the last thing on the list is to clean house, so why leave a big mess to conquer. Clean as you go is easier then you think and how great to just have a few pots and pans to throw in the dish washer, turn it on and walk away.
Here are some tips to clean as you go and keep the kitchen organized.
Make stations on your counters for the food preparation. Lets say you are making a holiday dinner with all the fixings. First pull out your pots and pans that you are going to cook with. Timing is everything when cooking and if your planning a turkey or ham for your holiday meal, it will take the longest to cook in the oven. You will want to get this going while you prepare the rest of the dinner and time it so that everything can be finished at the same time.
If the main entree’, turkey, ham, etc needs to cook say four hours and your side dishes need 2 hours to prepare and cook, go by the longest cooking time for a side dish to the least amount of time needed to get started in your preparation.
If you have a meal with vegetables and other foods to be cut up, put them in one place with the cutting board and knife. Have bowls ready to toss the foods in for mixing. Example: Making a salad; Have the bowl ready that your going to serve it in and add everything but the dressing. Put in the refrigerator until ready to serve. A cold salad is the key to crisp veggies and lettuces. Add the dressing and toss just before serving. Move on to the other foods that need chopping and peeling and finish them. Once the cutting board and knives are no long useful, clean up and put away. As you add veggies and other foods to pots to cook, wash up the bowls or put into the dishwasher.
As you complete each task, clean up the counters and the bowls, pots and pans and utensils or put them in the dishwasher. Cleaning as you go will give you a cleaner kitchen, much more organization and much less to do when the meal is done except the dinner dishes.
Merry Christmas :}