With cooler weather, it’s a great time to invite friends over for a relaxing evening. Whether you roast, braise or stew dinner, you can do most of the work ahead and have plenty of time to visit with and enjoy your guests.
However, cool-weather cooking can generate a fair amount of dirty pots and pans, prep bowls, kitchen tools and utensils. And counter space? Before you know it your spacious counters are covered with half empty jars, canisters and bottles and the sink is filled to overflowing with dirty dishes.
While I don’t always succeed, when I’m cooking up a big feast I try to practice Clean as You Go:
- Start with clean and clear counters and an empty dishwasher.
- If you have two sinks, fill one with warm, soapy water to wipe up spills as they happen and rinse or soak dishes immediately. Don’t let prep dishes pile up in the sink. Get them washed and put away or into the dishwasher as quickly as possible.
- Whether it’s the stand mixer, a canister of sugar or an open jar of olives, put ingredients and tools away as soon as you’ve finished with them.
- Even if it’s not completely full, run and empty the dishwasher before your guests arrive. Make sure the counters are still/again empty and wiped down.
Your guests will think you’re an incredibly well-organized neat-nick (even if you are not). You’ll have plenty of space to carve the chicken and fill up your serving bowls and platters (or individual plates). And when dinner is done, you’ll have room for the dirty dishes which inevitably find their way back into the kitchen.
Have a great party!
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What’s your favorite kitchen trick or tip? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below. I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2011