Cooking in general while living in an apartment can present quite a challenge because space is limited. When there are additional people visiting as well as added foods that must be cooked, it can be overwhelming. One of the most exciting moments in life is first time holiday dinner hosting. Of course, everything has to be perfect and that may seem impossible. A little prep and time scheduling will go a long way in helping make it the perfect dinner party.
Space is Limited
Most apartments have tiny kitchens which makes preparing large meals difficult. One way to combat this is to rearrange the kitchen a few days ahead of time. Remove items and appliances which will not be needed to cook the holiday dinner. It is best not to simply toss these things into another room, but to put them up in an orderly fashion. It will only add stress, if all of the sudden something is needed, but cannot be found because it is buried in another room.
- Store extra dish towels and clothes in a bedroom drawer.
- Use an empty tote to pack away unneeded items that clutter counter space.
- Temporarily rearrange cabinets with the holiday dinnerware and food in the front and everything else in the back.
Plan and Prep Dinner
One of the biggest problems with a tiny kitchen is the lack of appliances. They are usually equipped with small stoves and ovens, if any. Crock pots are an excellent answer. Crock pots can do the work, spare time for cooking other dishes, and they do not have to be plugged up in the kitchen. If need be, a crock pot can be set up to cook the ham on the bedroom dresser. This may not be traditional; however, the ham will be cooked and just as tasty. It might be a good idea to borrow another crock pot from mom. She will most likely be happy to lend it and understand perfectly.
Another thought is to cook and bake items a day or two before the actual dinner. Ask most any grandmother and she will likely admit to making all of the desserts ahead of time. Items that require long cooking times may also be prepared ahead and reheated the day of the dinner. Some things can even be cook ahead, frozen, and the popped into the oven or microwave just before the meal.
Pot luck meals are fun and eliminate a great deal of work and stress. This does not mean that others cook everything, only a few choice items. Perhaps Aunt Sara makes great apple pie that everybody loves. She will probably be honored to make it. It may be a good idea to ask everyone to bring a little something. Some could bring their specialty deserts or sides while others who may not have time to cook either can bring items such as drinks and napkins or even prepared side dishes from the local deli. Planning and preparation are the two best methods for taking the stress out of cooking holiday dinners in a tiny apartment kitchen.