Thanks to Howard Products for sponsoring this post.
The cool weather has some sort of hold on me. The first snap and I want to start cooking. Maybe it’s because it’s not 100 degrees outside , my doors are open, and using my oven doesn’t sound miserable. When we found our house and did our kitchen remodel, it was the plan for holidays to be filled with family, friends, and food. We’ve hosted holidays in our home and it’s been great. There is a small list of things I like to do before having people over and when I know there’s multiple occasions that people might be here, I turn that list into a major list, get it all done, and then maintain it.
The cool weather has come (and gone apparently), but we all know the holidays are here! So here’s my kitchen prep list.
Pantry // This is the perfect time to go through what you have stored but not used throughout the year. Check expiration dates and be honest with yourself. This is a nice opportunity to donate goods you won’t use but please remember not to donate goods that are expired or just trash. If you don’t want it, someone else might not either. If you’re low on pantry space and preparing for cooking, donate the stuff you have to give you some extra room for your holiday menu items.
Fridge & Freezer // Do you know how many people will open and close your fridge door within the next 2 months? Probably more than usual. I usually clean my fridge often but I use this time to go through all those extras (usually collected in the door) and make sure things are good and usable. If not, trash them now to save space in the fridge and your trash later. My husband also likes to remind me that your freezer works better if it’s full as everything helps to keep everything else frozen. Because we are cheap like that and you never know when you’ll need ice, we will use our ice maker to bag some ice and store it in the freezer. This means we have ice for gatherings and the freezer isn’t working so hard.
Cabinets // I did think last month and it was amazing. Each cabinet got organized and vacuumed. Now I know where all my prep bowls and storage containers live.
Disposables // Sam’s is my go to for this. Stock up on paper plates, utensils, cups, paper towels, and disposable cookware and to go stuff! If you’re family comes over and there’s a ton of food, you want to be able to easily send everyone off with leftovers for dinner, but you don’t want to give out all your great storage containers. Just make it easier on everyone. *I know this isn’t the best way, but recycle and it makes it little easier*
Place settings // Your grandmother’s china or paper plates, you just want to make sure you have all the items that you need. One year there was more than others coming so we stuck with paper napkins, while another year there was less so I set chargers and everything up nicely.
Lagniappe // Cleaning the oven. Sharpening knives. Stocking the baking items (flour, sugar, etc).
Counters // When we installed the butcher block counter tops, we decided to oil them instead of seal them which means that they would have to be oiled every 6-12 months. It just worked out that the schedule lands before Thanksgiving and before Mother’s Day. So the time has come.
A lot of people suggest that the maintenance of butch block is too much, but we’ve had no issues. I have found that, for our counters, conditioner is better than just oil.
The process is simple. Wipe counters, sand any blemishes, wipe counters, oil, let dry.