Big family feasts are a regular event in so many of our Latina households. Whether it’s a holiday celebration, a birthday or a party in honor of a visiting relative, feasting, fun and laughter is a given. And so is the cleanup afterwards. We believe moms shouldn’t have to spend tons of time cleaning up if they organize their kitchens and think ahead as they cook. Tania Luviano, lifestyle expert and Dawn brand ambassador, offers Casa Latina some useful tips you can use to keep cleanup time to a minimum:
First, start with your fridge by grouping together the ingredients you’ll be using, but leave plenty of room for the groceries you’ll be buying for your meal as well as any dishes family may bring. And, of course, don’t forget to anticipate leftovers, for el recalentado!
Before you start cooking, clean and organize your workspace, making sure your kitchen surfaces are wiped down and are clutter-free and also making sure at least one area is strictly designated for food prep at all times.
Once you finally get to prepping-and-cooking mode, consider what you’ll need to wash later. To keep kitchen cleaning efficient, don’t pull out every utensil and piece of cookware you own. Wipe clean and reuse the same knife to chop different veggies and wash everything you’re using as you go. Serve food in the pots you cooked them in rather than using separate serving bowls or dishes. These simple shortcuts will help reduce the number of dishes and utensils you need to wash later.
Additional Clean Up Shortcuts From Tania Luviano:
Little tricks like covering oven-safe pans, dishes or baking sheets with aluminum foil over the surface before placing the food on top saves you a ton of time and effort. After the meal is served simply remove the foil sheet from the dish and toss it in the recycling bin…your cooking vessel is ready to go again for the next time you prepare a meal.
Before starting to wash the dishes, decide which leftovers you’ll be serving at el recalentado. For example if there are plenty of tamales left, leave them in the pot so you can warm them up the next day. You can either put the pot in the fridge or if it’s a cold night, you can live them on the stove. This way you save time and energy by not washing the same pots or dishes twice.
Another tip is to think “double duty” with your cleaning products and your time. For instance, I always use Dawn Hand Renewal with Olay Beauty because it softens my hands as I’m doing the dishes, so it’s a bonus beauty routine I work into my holiday housekeeping. Ensuring my hands stay soft and smooth is always a must, especially when they’re even more prone to chapping and chafing in winter weather and as I’m cleaning up more following fami