Prep Your Kitchen for the Holiday Meal

It’s Already Here???

I go through this a lot lately.  Holidays and birthdays just kind of sneak up on you.  Of course, when you are juggling children, husband, dog, and your own illness and pains; sometimes life seems to meld together in some places.  Other times, (especially in my current situation) it feels as if I may have lost days entirely.  Weather it is forgotten what was happening, or actually down and out for a day or so depending on the situation.  It happens to more of us than we think.

Tips and Tricks

So, now we have to slip Easter Sunday breakfast, dinner, or lunch.  It all depends on how you do it.  The big thing is you have a time to prepare, and you don’t want your family and friends walking into the giant mess your kitchen normally is.  But, at the same time, you want to be able to enjoy your holiday once the festivities have started, and by spending the day before or the day of cleaning doesn’t really put you in the spirit.

For me, I have a few systems in place to help me keep things clean.  I’ve adapted these into my routines, so that if I have a day or two that I am down, then when I go back to recover my kitchen, it is not as involved.  I break it down into categories.  I have a bar area, a table, and an island counter, which are all eating areas.  My island counter is where I do the majority of everything.  When I’m done with preparation and the food is ready to be served, it normally is placed on the island or the bar.

How To Keep it Clean with Minimal Action

My buggies are like three little tornados, and the kitchen is no exception.  I like table cloths, however, so far I have not found a reusable one that fits with the tornado aspect of my life.  So, I use disposable plastic ones.  It is wonderful for clean up, and when pared with disposable placemats (that I am eventually going to change to reusable ones), clean up is easy.  I actually use these on the island, bar, and table.  After eating, I can toss the placemats in the garbage if they are not salvageable, then just wipe the table cloth down with a Clorox wipe, and we’re off to all the other fun cleaning I need to do regularly.

The next mess spot is always the stove.  I have a special plastic spoon looking thing, that I use to hold all the utensils I need to set down after stirring or flipping, or whatever it is you are doing.  So, that helps.  However, boilover and grease splatter happens.  Also, of course, I spill a decent amount of things, and it is normally in the stove area.  In this area there are many things that you can do.  A friend of mine introduced me to disposable burner protectors.  Now, that may not be the correct word, but that is what we call them.  They lay on top of the stove around the burner areas, so that when you make too much of a mess you can throw it away.

Personally, I will eventually switch over to the reuseable ones.  I may dislike dishes, however, dispite the number of disposables I use, I try to find things that I can reuse as much as possible.  It helps in the pocket book area, as well as being more eco friendly.

You can also get the disposable ones that go in your over for the spills that happen while baking.  Or, just use a cookie sheet.  Other replacement things that you can do to help in this area is tin foil.  It seems odd to cover your stove in tinfoil, however, when we were in Mexico, that is what his mother did with her stove.  She had many spills and splatters, but it actually wipes clean much easier than the stove top.  Especially if you are using a non stick tinfoil.

That leaves dishes and the floors

One stable cleaning thing in my kitchen is Clorox wipes.  It makes cleaning on the way through much easier.  But how can you do that with dishes?  An old, friend of mine actually taught me how she did it, and this was years ago.  She always fed her family…at least a quarter to half of her WHOLE family, every day.  Which means a lot of dishes.  She would use a glass flower pot that does not have a hole in the bottom.  Put in about a half inch of soap, and cover the soap with a bit of bleach water.  (That is another staple in my kitchen as well as her’s.  A squirt bottle of very diluted bleach.)  Fill it to the top, now, with hot water.  As you flit through your kitchen, wash the dishes as you go.  Dip your sponge in the pot, so that it soaks in the dishsoap solution, and wash and rinse.

I make less of a mess with this, and use less dishsoap.  The dishes are clean and sanitry, and I’m not walking away and coming back to cold and greasy dish water.  Most adults do not take a bath and feel clean.  They look at it like they are now sitting in their filth.  Many of us will even shower after a bath.  So, why would you do the same with your dishes?

Now the Floors

There really isn’t a way around sweeping.  Unless you get someone else to do it.  My kids like to do it, and since I accidently broke a broom, they find it fun and easy because it is their size.  Mopping is the largest pain.  Who wants to fill a bucket and move it around the room while you try to clean it up.  I use a mop and bucket duo.  It is where your mop holds a jug of cleaning solution and you spray it and mop as you go.  This is very helpful for spot clean ups and full mops as well.  For the really grimy stuff, I will still get down on my hands and knees and scrub it myself.

How do you prepare for the holidays?  Leave a comment below to share some advice.

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