The biggest kitchen-use holiday of the year is rapidly approaching. Thanksgiving is a time to visit with family and feast, but it can be very taxing on the family if the kitchen isn’t properly prepped.
Don’t add any extra stress to the holiday by not being prepared. Prepare your kitchen for the holidays by taking these helpful steps. Even small tasks can help improve the experience in the kitchen and make it safe and enjoyable for the holiday fun.
Start by checking batteries in your smoke detectors.
It’s no fun to have the smoke detectors start their annoying beeps to alert you to change the battery, just when you’ve sat down for your nice holiday meal.
A good way to remember when you last changed the batteries is to place a sticker inside the cover with the date and to change the batteries each year around the same time. A lot of people change the batteries when they set their clocks back in the fall.
Clean your refrigerator.
Holiday parties equal a lot more food in the house. Undoubtedly, your refrigerator will be packed with delicious dishes. But if the refrigerator carries any odors, those tasty foods might take on an unsavory flavor.
To prepare, pull out the shelves and refrigerator drawers and wash them in warm soapy water. Wipe down the rest of the refrigerator and then place an open box or two of baking soda inside to keep the refrigerator odor-fresh and clean.
Clean the oven, microwave, and coffeemaker.
The same goes for the oven, microwave, and, yes, even the coffeemaker.
Neglecting to clean the microwave and oven can have the whole house smelling bad. And, forgetting to clean the coffeemaker can cause you to pour a bad-tasting cup of brew.
Your coffeemaker could be a brewing ground for yeast and mold deep inside the reservoir. Running it with white vinegar and water for two full coffee cycles will also help remove any calcifications that have built up from tap water. The same goes for pod-based machines like the Keurigs. Clean the entire coffee machine because mold spores love the wet can begin to grow even over just a weekend.
Do a maintenance check on your appliances.
Make sure your stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher are working properly. You don’t want to end up eating out on Thanksgiving or stacking all those dirty dishes over a long holiday weekend because your dishwasher malfunctioned.
Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, or broiling.
Consumer Reports says that many more accidents happen during holidays and often involving children. The company cautions, “More than 37,000 people were injured from using cookware. Hot handles can burn and sometimes glass cookware can shatter.”
Have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
Hopefully you won’t need it but if have a grease fire, you’ll be glad that you checked to make sure the fire extinguisher is functioning properly. If you don’t have one, have baking soda and salt nearby they can help. Also, have emergency numbers like the number for poison control posted and easily accessible.
Sharpen your knives.
Carving the turkey is much easier with sharp knives. Take them to be professionally sharpened before you carve into your turkey. Once your knives are razor sharp, remember these few simple safety tips:
- Always cut away from your body when using a knife so it doesn’t slip and cut you.
- Always use a cutting board to protect your countertops.
- Keep knives and their handles clean and dry; slippery handles can cause injuries.
- Don’t put knives in a sink of soapy water where they aren’t easily seen.
- Always wash and dry knives carefully, keeping the sharp edge away from your hands and then lay them flat, never on the back or edge.
- Never try to catch a knife as it falls.
And, once the meal is ready, remember to seat the relatives who like each other, next to each other! All kidding aside, it’s time to be thankful for another meal shared together.