Check spices that may need restocking
You may think your spice rack is well-stocked, but before you hunker down for the holiday, double-check expiration dates and give them a sniff test. Spices can go rancid or lose their flavor and scent entirely.
Audit your Pantry
A well-stocked pantry of coffee, tea, soda, and snacks is a great start. Then add wine (red, white, and sparkling), unscented candles, and an extra bag of ice for the freezer to your shopping list.
Get your service ware ready
Have your knives sharpened so you don’t end up hacking away at your honey-baked ham. If you are planning on any formal dinner parties over the holidays; polish silver, wash and iron fabric napkins, and clean china well in advance so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute.
Clean your cutting board(s)
If you haven’t done a deep clean on them lately, now is a good time to do so. If you want to avoid using bleach or chemicals, sprinkle the board with a coarse salt and massage it in using a lemon wedge. The lemon juice disinfects and neutralizes any odors, while the salt sloughs off any scraps and stains.
Clean the microwave
There are fewer things less appetizing than a filthy microwave and it is so easy to clean one. Put one cup vinegar and one cup hot water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5-10 minutes (depending on the level of mess and the strength of your microwave), remove the bowl and wipe the inside clean with a damp towel.
Getting new glassware ready
Put your hair dryer on its highest heat setting and hover it directly over the sticky label for about 30 seconds. Next, test a corner to see if the label lifts up easily. (If not, zap it for another 30 seconds.) Then peel the label off. If there is residue left behind, rub a few drops of olive oil on any sticky parts and let it sit for a minute or two. Then gently peel or scrub the remaining bits off.
If you don’t have a good bottle opener – invest in one that does all the work for you, never causing a fuss.
Pull everything out. Discard bottles with remnants of ketchup and old leftovers hiding in the back. Remove shelves and drawers and wash them in warm soapy water. Make as much room for pre-prepared dishes and the ultimate onslaught of new leftovers.
Your kitchen looks great and will function for you like a champ all holiday season long.