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  • Writer's pictureSheila Alston

Summer Kitchen Hacks!

Organization by Jolene Nanette

Summer is great for spending time with family, relishing the break from routine, and spontaneous entertaining. Maintaining an organized kitchen and being intentional about how you go about your cooking process will make entertaining more relaxing and enjoyable. Small, efficient changes to your process can make a big difference in how much time it takes to prepare your meals.

Start Your Day With a Clean Kitchen

Unload the dishwasher, do the hand-wash dishes, wipe down countertops and put away not needed appliances. Take a few moments to put away items that have accumulated in the kitchen that do not belong there.

Organize The Prep

Whether using a new recipe or making a “tried and true” favorite, gather all items needed on the kitchen counter. As you are pulling items out, group them by how they will need to be processed. All produce together next to the cutting board, items that need not be prepped but cooked (such as pasta) and spices that will be added during cooking next to the stove, raw meat/seafood next to the kitchen sink for processing. Once the ingredients are out in the open, gather the required kitchen utensils. This is the time to get out the items such as the garlic mincer, measuring cups/spoons, knives, pots/pans, etc.

Utilize a Trash Bowl on the Counter

Use a small mixing bowl to catch all the produce scraps to save time on trips to the trash can and to keep the process neater. Once you are done prepping the produce, dump the bowl in your green garbage can, compost container, or, if possible, feed them to the chickens.

Clean as You Go

When you finish one preparatory task, take a moment to clean up that phase. Put away unused produce, place spices back in the cupboard, and put dirty dishes in the sink. Utilize the slow moments in cooking (for example, while waiting for the veggies to saute or the meat to brown) to load the dishwasher and put away items you no longer need.

Make it Fun

Pull up a good summer playlist on your favorite listening service, turn on the bluetooth speaker, and turn the volume up! Enlist help in your kitchen by giving the kids or your partner a task. Being productive together can be a great bonding experience, especially when the demands of the school year are on hiatus.

Make the most of summer mealtimes by forming efficient habits in your kitchen. Being intentional about how you spend your prep time will help you make the most of the time you spend cooking. Take time to enjoy the togetherness that often comes with the break from routine.

By, Jolene Nanette

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