When the seasons change, we must start thinking about the possibility that anything could potentially happen at a moment’s notice. Winter has a way of becoming nasty at the drop of a hat, so when we prepare, we will survive and make the most out of it. While we are getting ready, here are six essential tips for prepping your kitchen for winter so you can rest assured that you will be nourished no matter what.
Jam as Much Fruit as Possible
Autumn is among us, which means that everything is being harvested from the summer months. This means that all the best fruit should be available in abundance, but it won’t be if you don’t act on it now. The best way to go about doing this is if you preserve your produce by making preserves, jams, and jellies. This way, you can enjoy that fruit all through the winter and into the spring, where you will start the process all over again. When you think about it, if you process your fruit this way, then you get to enjoy it year-round.
Inspect All Your Water Pipes
The single most important thing you can possibly do other than prepare your kitchen with food is by checking out your water source. Before temperatures dip down below freezing, you will need to wrap them so that they don’t burst because under the wrong conditions, they will be susceptible to freezing, which weakens the metal. This not only means that you will have to replace and repair the damage, but also that you will no longer have running water in your home. This means no toilet, sink, bathtub, or shower of any kind once your pipes burst. Make sure that you have this prepared before the change of the season so that you don’t run into problems because it could get serious very quickly.
Fill Your Pantry To the Brim
All your dried goods should be your main focus when you’re winterizing the cupboards in your pantry. You will also want canned vegetables, fruits, soups, and stews, but more than anything, the dried goods are the most valued. The reason behind this is because they keep the longest and you can buy them cheap. You can also bulk these items a lot easier than you can with canned foods. It’s honestly good to have a mixture of both, and that way you can get creative with your meals if it comes down to the wire. This is because you might be stuck at home in a blizzard or freezing temperatures where everything is closed, and all the roadways are iced and snowed over.
Clear Out Your Fridge
It’s always a good idea to be in the habit of keeping your fridge free and clear of leftovers. The easiest thing to do is to make a huge meal and eat that meal for days on end while keeping the leftovers that eventually become forgotten. Once this happens, it becomes a trend in your cooking, and you start piling up old dishes from past meals that you most likely will not eat again. The way around this is to measure out what you’re cooking as much as possible and consider how many people you are cooking for. If you make the right number of sides and portions, then everyone should have exactly what they need and no more than that. I suppose that is what dessert is for, but that never becomes leftover or lasts, so that is a positive thing. When you do this, make sure you’re also keeping the basics on hand. You will need your meats stored away; it’s just the unwanted foods that you will need to chunk. These take up valuable space that something else could occupy. If you find anything expired, this is also the time to let those things go, no matter how fresh they may look. Condiments are the easiest place to start because they usually get left the longest of anything. Then just start from the top down until you get to the crisper, and you won’t miss anything that way.
Organize Your Cooking Utensils
As your kitchen grows, the items inside your kitchen will multiply. You will become comfortable with things inside your kitchen as time goes on, which means that things will get thrown around and misplaced. If you try to organize your utensils and items that you cook with at least weekly, you can cut down on this so that you know exactly what is always in your kitchen. This is especially true of food items that are used for cooking, such as sugar and flour, starch, and yeast. These things can multiply and get tossed around, and they are some of the most common cooking items, which is yet another reason why they have moved around so frequently. For your larger items such as professional restaurant equipment, like that stand mixer that you bought, you might need to think about where to arrange that in the kitchen during the winter and what to cover it with so that it doesn’t get damaged. You might also find yourself baking more than usual during the winter months due to the cold weather.
Start Meal Planning
Meal planning is the single greatest thing you can do for your cooking. Sure, it’s easy to cook a large meal that your family will enjoy for days, but you could just as easily live more economically and still have everything that you need to survive and live happily throughout the winter. Meal planning is awesome because you know the right portions, you are eating healthy because it’s preplanned, and because there are never leftovers to stress over later as there is a variety every day.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you are proactive about your preparation for winter because it does not play nice whenever it comes to basic needs and survives. You will want to start early in autumn and collect as much as you can over a long span of time also. This way, you don’t break the bank trying to prepare for winter, but slowly stock up, and you will start to see the fruits of your labor come into fruition. You will need to remember these six tips for prepping your kitchen for winter so that you can get through the winter season with no major hiccups.