When your kitchen is anything but industrial sized the thought of cooking an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends might seem near impossible. But a pint-sized kitchen shouldn’t stand in your way this holiday season. Here are some tips to help get you ready.
Clear Off the Counter Space
One of the most common complaints about small kitchens is the lack of counter space. To make the most of what you have clear off anything that won’t be used for cooking. The toaster, banana hammock, yesterday’s mail – all those non-essentials need to be tucked away in a cabinet until after Thanksgiving.
Invest in Space Saving Equipment
Culinary tools are made for kitchens of all sizes. There are a few that can be real space savers like over-the-sink cutting boards and collapsible measuring cups. If you have the floor space but are short on counter space you can always purchase a freestanding island, which also usually offers some additional storage space.
The better organized you are the more you’ll get out of every square inch of your kitchen. Section the space off into different zones for dinner purposes like having a spot strictly for measuring and mixing. A set of Tupperware can also be used to hold and stack ingredients that you’ve prepped beforehand. It’s also a good idea to create a plan of action as a part of your organization efforts. Think through the order in which you’ll cook things, what equipment you’ll need, etc.
Preparation is Pivotal
Whenever possible prep food before the real cooking gets underway. This is a sanity saver for anyone, but if you have a small kitchen it also keeps things more manageable. Prep as many items as possible then put them in the refrigerator until they’re ready to be cooked.
Keep It Simple
The more ingredients a dish needs the bigger the mess there will be, you’ll have more things taking up counter space and there will be less room in the fridge/pantry for other items. Sticking to simple sides and appetizers that need only 3-5 ingredients will make things a lot easier, and they can taste just as good as their more complex counterparts.
Clean Up as You Cook
Professional chefs know that cleaning up as you cook isn’t just more sanitary, it’s also a space saver. Trash empty cans and cuttings as soon as you’re done with them. Rinse out dishes after you use them (see below). Put items back in the pantry or fridge rather than shoving them to the back of the counter.
Rinse and Reuse
Instead of having numerous bowls, pots, measurers and utensils out rinse them off and reuse them. Not only will this cut down on clutter, but you’ll also have less to wash after eating dinner.