As of today, there are only 19 days till Christmas. I’m not quite sure how this makes me feel… is it too early to start feeling festive? Maybe so, but it’s never too early plan ahead!
Follow our checklist to make sure you’re ready to go when the big day arrives!
- Upgrade your oven
The kitchen is the heart of the home, and the oven is the heart of the kitchen. It’s used nearly every single day and provides us and our families with meals that bring us together. This Christmas, why not upgrade to something different? Upgrade to an oven that gives you more than just your meals but gives you time back. You heard right! Ovens with a pyrolytic feature will literally clean itself. Imagine on Christmas day, after the whole interior has been splashed with turkey fat, oil from the roast potatoes and heaven knows what else, having to bend down and scrub the thing. With a pyrolytic oven, its as simple as turning the dial to self-cleaning mode, and every single particle of grime is reduced to a fine ash that you can sweep away in seconds.
2. Get some new oven gloves.
How old are your oven gloves? I swear, mine have started to get thinner with age, as I’ve started feeling the heat through them! I’ve always opted for fabric ones in the past, but actually, I always get frustrated when they get splattered with food, because that means they need a wash. Go fancy and get yourself some made from silicone. They are designed to resist really high temperatures and can be wiped over once their used. Magic.
3. Increase your capacity.
And what I mean by this, is your dishwasher. Dishwashers are amazing things. They can hold incredible amounts of cutlery, crockery and pans. And, with new technology comes even bigger capacities. Fancy inviting your great aunt round this year? No problem, with a higher capacity dishwasher, you won’t have to worry for a second about washing up for more people. These days you can get up to 16 place settings inside – so if uncle frank wants to bring his sisters, he can. Maybe…
4. Buy lots of tea towels.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, here’s a sneaky trick. Buy enough tea towels so that each member of the family has one. That way, nobody has an excuse for not helping with the washing up once the turkey is eaten. It’s also a great idea for keeping the family together in the same room. We’ve all experienced falling asleep in front of the TV while our mums or sisters or granddads have been slaving away in the kitchen. Well, now we bring family time back into the kitchen. Tea towels also come in really handy for spills, splatters and general messes that occur during the cooking process.
5. Say chop chop!
When there are spuds to be peeled, onions to slice, carrots to dice and parsnips to chop, things can become just a little overwhelming. Why not take the pressure off this year and invest in a good food processor? You’ll find them incredibly handy for everything from sliding and dicing to grating and blending. They’re perfect for things you might not even have thought of, like processing breadcrumbs for stuffing or even making dough for Christmas cookies.
6. Be smart!
Something you might not have expected on this list, is a Google Home mini. But trust me, when it comes to spending time in the kitchen, this little gadget is a complete lifesaver. When you’ve got several things cooking at once you need to keep your eye on the time, right? You’ve got to check and check and then check again, right? Not anymore. With Google Home, you can set a bunch of timers. One for the turkey in an hour, one for the roast potatoes in twenty minutes, one for the veg in forty five… Google Home has it all under control, so you can sit back and wait for your assistant to let you know when it’s time to baste. Not to mention, you can play your favourite Christmas playlists on Spotify as you cook!
7. Find your favourite recipe.
It’s always a good idea to have a recipe ready. Whether that’s by picking up a cook by by your favourite chef or finding a widely approved method online. Some of your recipes might need lots of prep time, or might even require steps that need to be made way in advance (I’m thinking of soaking the fruit for the Christmas cake). Make sure your recipe book or tablet can be easily seen by picking up a stand.
8. Invest in quality mixer.
Another time saving gadget! A good mixer will help bind those ingredients together for perfect desserts, breads and meringues. Save your arms from the aches involved in hand whisking and kneading and get a model with a dough hook and whisk attachment. That way you can be getting on with basting the turkey while the mixer does all the hard work for you.
9. Get new utensils.
How long have you had that ladle? Is it time to refresh your slotted spoon? Having new utensils means you won’t be faced with a meltdown if your masher breaks apart on the big day. Invest in some good quality stainless steel ones that can handle heat and weight. And while you’re at it, pick up some new wooden spoons too. These things come in really handy, are nice and cheap, and you can hand them out to the family so they can keep stirring the gravy, bread sauce, cranberry sauce and the rest!
I hope this checklist will come in handy for you this festive season, giving you a bit of a head start before the man in red pops down the chimney. For me, one can never be too organised, but really, this is all just an excuse to start the festive shopping, and to get a little bit of Christmas spirit in early!
Image Credit: Mixer