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How to prepare your kitchen for hosting Christmas dinner

Whether you’re hosting Christmas for the first or the thirtieth time, it’s probably the biggest culinary undertaking of the year- for you and your kitchen. While we can’t offer any tips on how to cook the ultimate turkey or make sure your roast potatoes come out perfectly, we can tell you the best ways to get your kitchen in top shape in time for cooking Christmas dinner.

 

Clear kitchen clutter

Of all the Christmas preparations and activities, we’re not going to try and pretend that this one’s the most exciting. However, it is key when you think about the amount of extras- food, drink and guests- in the kitchen at this time of year. Try and keep your surfaces as clear as possible to make way for all the Christmas dinner ingredients. If you want to keep guests out of the preparation zone, having a trolley or small table with snacks and drinks will stop them from straying into your space. More people than space in your kitchen? Move any non-essential furniture items elsewhere, or do drinks and snacks in the living room to make room for you to cook.

Anything extra in your cupboard or larder can be stored in the garage if you have one, while any tins or packaged foods you don’t need any more will be appreciated by local food banks at this time of year. If you can bear to, we’d recommend defrosting the freezer to make sure it’s totally efficient and has plenty of space on the big day.

Get cleaning

A dirty oven isn’t going to cook properly, so give it a wipe down and remove any tough spots with a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and water- the last thing you want is badly cooked pigs in blankets! As with an oven, a dirty dishwasher’s not going to do the job on your crockery and cutlery. You’ll want to remove and rinse the filter and check for any lurking food scraps. Speaking of food waste, if you’re recently moved house make sure that your recycling and rubbish bins can cope with the excess amounts that come with Christmas.

Go shopping

Next up you’ll want to check your kitchen accessories and gadgets. Do they all work? Are there any that need replacing? If it’s your first time having this many guests over to eat, do you have enough plates and glasses? Putting together a list now will avoid any sheepish visits to your neighbours asking for spares.

Now we’re onto the good bit- the food! Buy anything that’s not fresh or can be frozen now and consider an online food shop to avoid the crowds in the supermarket a few days before. This may be a horribly obvious point to make, but double check that the turkey does fit in the oven; this nasty surprise has been known to happen on Christmas day, and there’s no way to rescue your Christmas dinner if it happens.

Time to decorate

Your kitchen probably isn’t the best place for flammable decorations, so focus on your table instead. Buy crackers and napkins in colours that complement your placemats. Candles and themed candlestick holders are a pretty, affordable way to add cheer, or add some greenery and pinecones for a fresh and festive centrepiece. We’d recommend laying the table the night before if you can so as much of the actual day is free as possible.

 

Following these tips should help your Christmas to run as smoothly as possible. For more property maintenance tips, head over to the Marsh & Parsons blog.  

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