Organise the Kitchen in time for Christmas

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    The heart of any home is the kitchen, and this is never truer than at Christmas time. The whole day is centred on Christmas dinner, eating and drinking, so make sure your special day goes smoothly by getting Christmas in the kitchen sorted as early as possible.

    One of the best ways to start is to replenish your kitchen basics. We tend to take for granted the everyday things such as salt & pepper, tea towels, and standard utensils, but these are the crux of a well run kitchen. Make sure you have all the basics covered, and invest in new pieces that you have needed for a while – now is the time.

    The next part is vital, before Christmas in the kitchen starts you must de-cutter. Over the year we accumulate lots of stuff in the kitchen from never to be used spices to too many Tupperware containers, be ruthless and clear out anything you haven’t used in 6 months and know you won’t use in the festive period.

    If you can, invest in new appliances, or look at getting a good multi-use kitchen appliance that will take some time and elbow grease away from you. A good mixer or food processor can really help in a busy kitchen, make sure you get an appliance that you will make use of year round too.  Check your dinnerware and glasses, do you have enough settings for your expected guests? It may also be time to invest in a new dinner service, look for sets that you can mix and match – it makes it much easier should a piece get broken to replace it.

    Wouldn’t it be great to have a professional chef on hand at Christmas to help in the kitchen? Well unfortunately we can’t quite make that happen – but what we have done is spoken to one of our favourites to get you some expert advice. We caught up with the award winning chef Mark Baumann owner of Baumann’s Brasserie, recently named in the Top Ten Brasseries by the Times newspaper, to ask him a few questions about preparing for Christmas in the kitchen…

    How do you prepare your kitchen for Christmas?      

    Prepare early – don’t leave anything to chance.

    What is the best way to do your Christmas food shopping?

    Once! Buy everything precisely on a day by day basis – review recipes and create – don’t shop hungry.

    Is there any cooking utensils you only use at Christmas?

    No, mine are in constant use.

    What is your favourite part of a Christmas dinner?

    Eating the leftovers on Boxing Day

    What are your top five Christmas dinner cooking tips?

    Prepare, don’t stress, allocate jobs, take control, and throw everyone out of the kitchen.

    What wines are best for Christmas dinner?

    The most expensive ones – allocate this assignment to a guest.

    Have you got a signature dish that makes up a Christmas dinner, if you so what is it?

    Chocolate jelly trifle.

    Do you put your own twist on a traditional Christmas desert?

    I offer an alternative to the heavy Christmas pud – a fluffy chocolate and jelly trifle with loads of cream.

    Take heed of Mark Baumann’s top tips for a smooth Christmas in the kitchen, and if all else fails remember that Christmas comes but once a year, so try and enjoy it and your guest will surely follow.

    Home Design, How To

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