The Jewish holidays are upon us and many people will be doing a lot of cooking in the coming days. How can you keep your kitchen clean and organized when you are cooking for a big family meal?
Start with a clean slate (or kitchen)
You know there will soon be a mess, but start out with the kitchen organized. Run the dishwasher and empty it so everything is ready to go. Disinfect the countertops and wipe down the table.
Put equipment away when you finish using it, especially if you know you won’t need it again until the next big meal. If you are at least a little organized, you already checked to make sure you have everything you need for your recipes. However, if you don’t, Instacart can normally deliver within two hours if you need to get a few things. (They do have a minimum for purchases).
Keep it clean
Wear an apron. It sounds simple and obvious, but keeping yourself clean can help you stay organized throughout the cooking process. Place a little trash can or bowl nearby where you can toss the end of the carrot, potato skin or other scraps. If you have a compost you can throw vegetable matter in there when you are finished the with prep work.
Remember to take extra precautions when dealing with raw chicken or turkey. Separate meat and veggie cutting boards are recommended. If you have disposable latex gloves or food prep gloves you can use them when handling raw chicken.
Salmonella can make people very sick, especially the young, very old and immunocompromised. Make sure everyone in the family stays safe.
If you spill something, clean it up right away. It’s always easier to clean up spills before they dry and stain or stick to surfaces.
Clean as you cook
As you work on your dinner, continue cleaning. You might need to reuse measuring cups for the next recipe so wash them after each use. You don’t have to stop cooking to clean, but when you finish one recipe, tidy up before you move on to the next thing.
You can put your cooking utensils in a container or sink with hot water and some dishwashing liquid in order to let them soak before cleaning them. As you use the utensils, simply dump them into the water. Cleaning them will be easier if stuff isn’t caked and dried on them.
If you have a chance, do a little cleaning before you sit down to dinner. Even if you don’t wash everything, it will make the after dinner cleanup easier. Maybe after dinner, if you are lucky, you’ll get a little help.
Make it a habit
Do this whenever you cook and not just before a holiday. You will start to build good habits for maintaining an organized kitchen. If you need help getting your kitchen or other parts of your home in order, get in touch with me. I’m happy to work on a plan for organizing your home with you.
And, if you celebrate, have a happy and healthy New Year!