Get the Most Out of Your Kitchen at Christmas
In any family household, the kitchen is your most hard-wearing, and hard-worn, room. No time is this more true than at Christmas, when the wrangling of the turkey into the oven becomes everyone’s business (that is, until it’s time to tackle the dishes). So how do you fend off the onslaught of muddy footprints, the blizzard of scattered pastry flakes and the endless food preparation that comes with having the family round? Read on for some top household hacks.
When the family arrives
Coffee tables are great for utilising at Christmas, leave out some snacks and starters on them to keep guests in the living room and out of the kitchen (and your hair). Save your surfaces by deploying pretty Christmas trays and table runners – they’re in stores in abundance this year, and will protect your furniture from sticky marks and permanent rings. If you do get a damp mark on the wood, a quick blast from the hairdryer will restore order. You might need to source extra seating around the table for dinner, so if you don’t have matching chairs, buy some Christmas hat chair backs for an instant, uniform look which will delight any little ones in tow.
In the kitchen
Make sure all the gadgets and appliances you have languishing around the pantry are put to work. Use your slow cooker to steam the Christmas pudding, and then on Boxing Day, load it up with bread and eggs for a family-sized batch of French toast which will stay warm regardless of how late everyone sleeps in. Dig out your griddle, and save your oven space by using it to grill the chipolatas and bacon. Keep it out on Boxing Day, and and if anyone gets peckish use to make quick turkey, stuffing and cranberry paninis with minimum fuss.
When everyone leaves
Scoop your pretty tablecloths into a laundry bag and fling into the washing machine on delicate. Pick up any shards of broken glass with a piece of white bread. Clean pots and pans with stains by pouring in some water, white vinegar and heating on the stove until boiling. Remove from the heat, add baking soda, empty it all out and scour for a gleaming result. Run out of scourers? Scrunch up some aluminium foil, washing up liquid and scrub. You’ll be curled up on the couch with a mulled wine in no time.
Image by Rasmus Lerdof, used under the Creative Commons license.