So how did your Christmas dinner preparations go? Was it a resounding success or do you come under the category of ‘must try harder’ with better Christmas dinner organisation now being one of your New Year’s resolutions? Volunteering to cook and host the biggest meal of the year sounds great in theory yet a survey by the Office of National Statistics have shown that over three quarters of us suffer stress as a result of planning Christmas dinner. It all seems so easy doesn’t it? The volunteering that is, not the actual deed itself! Yet there are steps you can take to prevent a recurring disaster and reduce stress levels next time around. Number one on the list has to be a new or revamped kitchen. Unless you’re the miracle chef, Rachel Kho who can cook a three course meal on a two-ringed camping stove in her tiny Parisian flat you’ll need a touch more space to lay out your resting turkey and roasted spuds. Then there’s the appliances to think of, so before you go rushing off all excited and ordering yourself a new kitchen here are some things you should consider
Ways to reduce stress in the kitchen
- Is your new kitchen for effect only or will it be well used for developing your culinary skills. There’s the story about the man who hid his wife’s birthday and Christmas presents in the oven because although she had had a new kitchen fitted neither she nor her husband actually cooked in it so she would never have thought of looking in there! If your kitchen is for effect only you can put what you like in it otherwise only buy what you need and have it designed around the person who uses it most
- If you happen to be the Head Chef as well as KP in your home then stand in your existing kitchen with your eyes closed and imagine one or two typical meals you enjoy cooking. Where do you keep your key ingredients? Where is your hob in relation to your oven? What workspace do you have for food prep and for serving up? It’s important that you relay these thoughts to your kitchen designer and planner as a good one will really help you to make the most of the footprint you have to play with
- What was the last small appliance you bought? Was it a cupcake maker which is now gathering dust on top of your wall cupboards? Every appliance you buy should have a regular purpose based on the type of food you love to cook. As a starter for 10, a good quality food processor is a must for every budding chef – especially if you intend to make your own stuffing next Christmas!
- Do you have adequate refrigeration and freezing space? How good is your oven and will you be able to give it a few trial runs before any big event to make sure it can cope? Reducing stress levels when making Christmas dinner or indeed any other large scale meal depends on pre-planning, plenty of space to store your chilled foods (and part-cooked foods such as potatoes before roasting), good quality appliances from trusted brands, and enough workspace to adequately prepare and serve.
Is it time to redesign your kitchen design to be more efficient?
If you’re thinking of a new kitchen then there’s no time to start planning it than straight after the most stressful annual culinary event of the year. Once you have everything else in place making the actual meal itself is pretty straightforward. For advice on planning a new kitchen why not contact EKCO, Edinburgh’s premier kitchen company?