Thanksgiving is a perfect holiday to showcase your home. Every room in the house is part of the entertainment, from the warmth of the kitchen to the elegance of the dining room. There’s nothing quite like hosting your first Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing quite like cleaning up the mess which accompanies a Thanksgiving meal. From crusty roasting pans to a dozen side dishes, the feat of restoring your kitchen to its gleaming glory can take longer than preparing the food! (And let’s not forget… those guests will be much less eager to help once the turkey and pie put them out on the couch dozing.) Don’t dread the aftermath… prepare yourself with these clutch ideas for a quicker clean up!
- Clear your refrigerator. There will be leftovers… will you have room to store them? Before you begin to cook, eat, freeze, or compost what can be dispensed with in your fridge to make room for the onslaught of turkey and sides. This will save you the frustrating mid-cleaning task of finding cold storage space. What’s more, having the leftovers organized will prevent you from discovering moldy mashed potatoes in the new year!
- Line everything in advance. You don’t have to scrub tin foil. Roasting pans should be lined with foil, as should your garbage cans. Slip bags on top of bags so you can quickly rip out the full ones and leave an empty one underneath.
- Don’t soak in the sink. Soaking is a good idea, but you don’t need to occupy your kitchen’s central cleaning station with a tower of filthy dishes. Fill a surplus garbage can with hot, soapy water and use this “temporary sink” to soften up the gunk.
- Assign sides. Nothing says you have to cook everything. If you’re comfortable with the idea, ask your guests to bring a side, or assign specific sides to willing family members. (Make sure they go home with their own dirty serving dish!)
- Bake, serve, and store in the same dish. Many modern casserole dishes come with silicone storage covers and are classy enough to bring to the table. Don’t double or triple your work. Before the big day, consider replacing some filthy old pyrex with these updated bake-serve-and-store options.
Follow these tips to maximize your relaxation and time with friends and family. It’ll make every bite taste that much better.