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How to Prepare for a Stress-Free Holiday Meal

November 19, 2016

The holidays are a favorite time of year to spend with family and friends. But it can also be a stressful time, especially if you are currently looking at Phenix City AL real estate to buy. Here are a few tips on how to get your kitchen in top shape, so you can enjoy a stress-free holiday feast in your new home.

Stock up on the basics – It’s practically a given that your holiday meal will require the purchase of a turkey, cranberry sauce and assorted vegetables. But it’s the basics that sometimes get forgotten during that trip to the grocery store. Make sure you have the following items on hand before you start roasting the bird:

  • Garbage bags
  • Plastic bags
  • Kitchen string
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Disposable roasting pan
  • Containers for leftovers
  • Dish soap
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Toothpicks
  • Batteries
  • Coffee filters

Spice Inventory – Baking a pumpkin pie? Make sure your spices are still good to ensure a tasty treat. Check the “best by” date on the spices you plan to use, and replace any old ones. If there’s no date visible, throw away any containers you’re unsure about.

Stock an Emergency Stain-Fighting Kit – Spills are almost inevitable when large groups of people get together (especially if children are in the mix). Minimize the mess by keeping all of your stain-fighting gear close by. Handy helpers can include:

  • Non-bleach detergent, vinegar, and ammonia for carpet stains
  • Rubbing alcohol for glue and ink stains
  • Hydrogen peroxide for stone countertop stains
  • Club soda, baking soda, and lemon juice for fabric stains
  • Baking soda for grease splatter
  • Salt for red wine stains

Furniture Inventory – Figure out how many tables and chairs you’ll need to prepare, serve and eat dinner. If you come up short, borrowing furniture from family and friends is certainly an option. But you may be able to swap in some furniture from another room in your home instead. For instance, maybe an office table can be repurposed as a kids’ dining table, or small bookcases can double as appetizer tables.

Organize Cookware – Before you start cooking your meal, take stock of the pots and pans that will be needed, as well as dishes, serving platters and silverware. Then, place Post-it notes on each platter and dish with the item it will hold so your helpers can easily set food out on the table, while you finish cooking in the kitchen.

Set Up Temporary Sinks – Even if you clean cookware as you finish it, holiday meals often create a seemingly endless pile of dirty dishes. Scraping dried food off plates can be a huge hassle, so make cleanup easier by setting up a large tub of soapy water to hold the dishes that don’t fit in the sink or dishwasher.

Avoid Garbage Disposal Breakdowns – Too many leftover scraps can overwhelm a garbage disposal if you’re not careful. Avoid a breakdown by running water down the drain for 30 seconds before use. Then, grind up small bones and ice to scrape the inside of the disposer and pipes and remove any buildup. Finally, run water down the drain for another 30 seconds after use to flush food waste through the plumbing system and keep debris from building up in the pipes.

Interested in Phenix City AL real estate? Contact the team at Rose Anne Erickson Realty for help in finding a home that fits your family’s needs.

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This post was written by Rose Anne Erickson

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