Cleaning Up After A Big Meal
I really enjoy the holidays - spending time with family, making the meal together. If
you're like me, cleaning up after dinner is the part you dread the most. I've found that
by following these simple rules, the chore can be done in no time. Read on to learn more.
Line Roasting & Broiling Pans With Foil. This will quickly
allow you to clean up any baked-on bits, grease, and drippings by wrapping up the foil and
tossing it away.
Think Disposable. If you can't bring yourself to do
disposable for the meal, consider the nicer disposable items for desserts. This way once
the dinner dishes are done, you'll only have trash to clear after dessert.
Start Right After Dinner. It's tempting to let the dishes
sit, but scraping, rinsing, and stacking, as quickly as possible will ease the workload
considerably. Leftovers only have so long before they need to be refrigerated or covered.
Start as soon as the meal has finished to get a jump start on stuck on food.
Grab Some Help.
Don't refuse when your best friend or family members offer to chip in to
clean up. It just means that they want to spend time with you instead of having you tied
up for the duration of the after-meal fun. If people seem reluctant to help after a
family dinner, start making assignments pleasantly, or offer a choice between two jobs.
People will feel obligated to choose an option and follow through.
One Plate. Decide on one plate that will be used to scrap
all the food remnants. Scrape all the food into that plate. Stack all the plates together,
with the food-remnant plate on top.
Deal With Leftovers. Food that you would normally
refrigerate shouldn't sit out at room temperature for more than a couple of hours. So,
toss anything that's been out longer, like appetizer dips, salads, veggie platters, or
cheese. Cover any leftovers you plan to keep with foil or plastic wrap before
Triple Line The Trash Can. This will quickly allow you to
have a clean empty trash bag when you take out a full one is removed. There's nothing
more frustrating than pulling the bag out only to have it explode all over your clean
Last, tackle what's left in and around the sink. As a
reward to yourself, let the worst 2-3 items soak for awhile before you return to them.
The bulk of the dishes will be done and it will be easier to clean them when you go back
after you're done entertaining.
In the end, there will be some things that won't get done. Pick your battles and focus on
getting most of it done. Then enjoy your family and friends and worry about the rest later.