Does it take you as long to clean up after Thanksgiving dinner as it does to prepare your feast? Being up to my elbows in greasy dishes and dirty pots and pans isn’t exactly my idea of the end to a perfect day.
However, a big meal does produce a lot of dishes. What are some of the ways we can reduce this tedious chore at the end of the day?
1) Use an oven bag to roast your turkey. This works well for me for several reasons. Soaking a roasting pan is a chore I’d rather eliminate and because the nice brown bits don’t stick to the roasting pan, they’re inside the bag, clean up is much easier. Plus, the other upside to roasting my turkey in an oven bag is it captures the juices and browns itself right in the bag. No basting. Saves some of the fussing which wastes time, and saves a lot of the clean up, which also wastes time.
2) Make as many one dish items as you can. If you’re mixing together mushroom soup, milk, and sour cream for a dish, do it all in the casserole you’re using. If when you’re preparing your dishes you see two or three mixing bowls lined up, re-examine your method and consolidate if you can.
3) Consider some disposable utensils. Your best dishes may be sacrosanct for your Thanksgiving dinner, but consider one tiny step to getting rid of a small portion of your clean up detail. How about using small festive paper plates just for dessert? And, don’t forget to remind everybody to hang onto their forks after dinner! Your dinner guests love to accommodate this request, especially when they know dessert’s on its way!
4) Line every casserole dish with tin foil. This is a no brainer for me. I’ve learned long ago to line those stuffing casseroles with tin foil because that stuff really stick to the sides of a dish. You can eliminate a lot of soaking and scrubbing with this little trick.
5) Wash as you go. I must give credit to my Hubby for this one. Before you even begin your chopping and mixing, fill the sink with hot soapy water. Every thing you use goes in and as you move to the next dish, the first thing you do is wash up what you used and it’s done. This is also a nice method especially when you have limited measuring cups, spoons, and mixing bowls. Everything is ready for the next step and nothing piles up.
6) Prepare what you can ahead of time. Of course, anything you can make a day or two ahead of time will help the clean up process. But, don’t forget that something as simple as chopping onions and celery and storing them in a zip lock bag will help, too. Having your cutting boards and knives clean and ready on Thanksgiving morning for other tasks is a real time saver.
These are just a few simple ideas that I wanted to share with you. I know you’ve probably developed some of your own easy clean up ideas and I would love it if you would share them with us here. Have a restful and wonderful Thanksgiving Day!
p.s. If long tedious house cleaning projects are not your idea of a good way to spend your time, check out some of the Spring Cleaning Tips For Mom to get your house sparkling clean, without all the hard work.