You know the old adage that big things come in small packages? Well that applies to big meals emerging from small kitchens, too!
Don’t let the size of your kitchen deter you from presenting a great holiday spread . Following these tried and true tips, surprise your guests with how much holiday cooking can be done in your small, but productive little kitchen.
1) Start with Smart Planning
Holidays centered around large meals require planning and time to prepare, especially if you’re cooking in a small space. The information in our minds often gets scrambled with day-to-day activities, so it’s hard to ask for help when everything is in your mind and not out in the open.
We recommend making a list with paper and pen. Try to stay reasonable for what needs to be done on the day of so you don’t overwhelm yourself.
2) Make Space
Empty out the garbage and recycling bins. Put away larger appliances taking up space on your counter tops. Keep your kitchen as simple and minimal as possible in preparation for the big meal.
3) What Can Be Prepared in the Days Before?
Consider what you can do in the weeks and days leading up to the holidays. Dough for pie crusts can be made weeks in advance and carefully wrapped to keep in the freezer until ready.
Desserts like pecan and pumpkin pie can be baked a day or two before. Move them out of the kitchen and onto the dining room table to clear more space for cooking.
4) Chop and Slice Foods Early on the Big Day
Survey your list to determine which vegetables, meats, and other items can be chopped earlier in the day – before the major cooking gets underway. Put them in bowls until needed. Imagine you are on one of those cooking shows – it’s so much easier to cook in a small space when things are already pre-sliced!
5) Employ a Slow Cooker
Which items on your list can be prepared in a slow cooker? A starter soup? A gravy, perhaps? We recommend starting your slow cooker dish in the kitchen, then moving it into another room where it can bubble throughout the day.
6) Time the Cooking
Stagger your cooking by figuring out what needs to be in the oven when. Make a list of what needs to go in at what times to avoid becoming flustered and stressed when the cooking gets underway.
7) Wash as You Go
A small kitchen likely means small counter space. As you use your utensils, bowls, and other items, wash, dry, and put them away, before you move onto the next step in your meal preparation. There’s nothing more chaotic than trying to create a meal in a kitchen piled with dirty dishes.
8) Use Silicon Baking Mats for Easy Clean Up
Are you familiar with the amazing technology of silicon and the nifty mats that manufacturers have come up with? Silicon mats make clean up a cinch.
Rather than rolling out a sticky pie crust onto your counter top, roll it out on one of these mats. Dough often leaves a gooey residue behind which makes clean up a little arduous. By preparing dough on a silicon mat, you simply toss the doughy mat into the sink, and wash it clean. No more scraping dough off your counter top and ruining your kitchen sponge.
They are also excellent for lining pans with when grilling meats, and they provide a non-stick surface for baking buns and cookies.
Are you doing all of our holiday cooking in a tiny space this year? What are your top tips for our readers? Share with us below!