Warm and Wonderful and Clean: Preparing Your Kitchen for Baking

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Baking is a fantastic way to spend a cold afternoon. The warmth from the oven spreads through the entire house, the smell of bread or cookies attracts everyone to the kitchen, and there’s nothing quite like sharing something you make from scratch.

Unfortunately, when the baking is done, there might be a serious mess left behind, and cleaning up wet flour and sticky dough is definitely not warm and wonderful. There are a few things you can do before you ever turn on the oven that will help you spend less time cleaning up afterwards, though.

House cleaning management. No one likes to think about maintenance, but the fact is, if your home is cleaner to start with, then the baking mess will be a small, localized problem and not nearly the chore it could be if you are also dealing with clutter and garbage in your kitchen. Take the time to clean, and if you don’t have the time, find maid services to help. It will be worth it in the long run!

Clear the sink. Before you start baking, empty out the sink. Get every pot, pan, dish, spoon, and cookie sheet washed, dried, and put away.

When the sink is empty, fill it with warm soapy water and have a clean rag and towel on standby. As you get done with each dish while you bake, you can quickly wash it before any of the food gets stuck-on, saving you a lot of scrubbing time later.

Cover your workspace. The best thing you can do to save yourself time is to cover up the workspace you’re using with something either easily washed or disposable. If you have baking mats or plastic cutting boards, those are great options. Otherwise, use wax paper or aluminum foil to cover the area you plan to work in. When you’re done, just wash off the mats and cutting boards or throw away the paper or foil. Voila! It’s like it never happened, except the house still smells wonderful and the food still tastes great.

Like in any messy project, preparation and cleaning as you go will save you work when you have mastered your recipe.

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