After the hours spent preparing a sumptuous festive feast for all the family, it can be tempting to steer clear of the kitchen in the immediate aftermath of Christmas.
However, don’t be too hasty. There’s a reason your kitchen is one of the most important areas of your home. Here are five kitchen ideas to try once the Christmas euphoria has died down.
Leftover turkey recipes
Traditionally, leftover turkey usually finds its way into sandwiches on Boxing Day. However, there are lots of different ways you can give your festive leftovers a new lease of life and delight your family with your culinary skills all over again.
After the pressure of cooking Christmas dinner, you probably don’t want to spend hours slaving over the stove. Fortunately, there are plenty of one-pot recipes that will allow you to put all your ingredients in a pan, sit down and relax with your feet up.
For example, a lovely pot of turkey casserole could be just what the family needs. Everyone can help themselves to as much as they like of this fantastic winter warmer and it’s also a great opportunity to use some of your leftover vegetables.
If you’re feeling spicy, you could take the turkey curry route. You can be sure that the delicious smells wafting around the house will soon bring the family running back to the dinner table.
Use your new kitchen appliances
If you enjoy spending time in your kitchen, there’s every chance this will have been reflected in the gifts your friends and family have given you.
When it comes to putting these new appliances to good use, there’s no time like the present. If you specifically requested a certain item, you’ll already know where it’s going to sit in your kitchen. Take a little time to yourself and get everything in its place.
If you’ve been given a surprise gift, you’ll need to work out where it will figure in your kitchen. Is it something you’ll use every day (e.g. a coffee machine), or an appliance that you’ll only be bringing out occasionally (e.g. a bread maker)?
This will naturally influence how prominently you display the gift in your kitchen, but bear in mind that whoever bought you the gift may appreciate you giving it pride of place, at least in the short term.
Creative wrapping paper ideas
Most people probably don’t think much of throwing away that bag full of discarded wrapping paper, but before you do, consider how else you could use it.
Wrapping paper is designed to look nice, and there’s no reason why it can’t continue to do so just because all the presents have been opened. If you’re looking for ways to liven up your kitchen, wrapping paper can be a wonderful way to decorate.
If you have bookcases, cabinets or cupboards that look a little bland, lining the inside with wrapping paper can really make them stand out, while you can use smaller scraps to create attractive decorations to hang around your windows.
Store Christmas decorations in used containers
Taking the Christmas decorations down is one of those functional things that just needs to be done once the festivities are over.
As tempting as it can be to throw everything into a bag and put them back in the attic, taking a bit of care over the storage of your Christmas decorations will make them easier to put up again next year, as well as reducing the chance that one of them will break.
The kitchen can be a good source of storage containers that will keep everything organised and in good condition. Egg containers are a handy place to store baubles so that they don’t knock against each other and crack. Alternatively, if you’ve had a party and there are lots of plastic cups left over, you could also store smaller decorations in these.
By far the biggest problem with putting up your decorations is the Christmas lights getting tangled. There has been many a frustrating, wasted hour across the country where people have had to pick apart the mess of wires that many families are often greeted with.
The cardboard tube left over when your wrapping paper is finished can come in handy here. Instead of taking it through to the recycling bin, save it and use it to wrap your lights around. You’ll thank yourself next year.
Have a clear-out
If you’re the kind of person who makes New Year’s Resolutions, perhaps giving your kitchen a clear out could be one of them?
The kitchen is one of those rooms where it’s easy to gradually build up items and create clutter over time. If you’re being honest with yourself, there’s probably quite a lot in here that you don’t use. Whether it’s duplicates of items you already have, or impulse purchases that you’ve later regretted, anything you don’t want or don’t plan to use is just getting in the way.
You could ask friends and family members if they need any of the things you no longer have a use for, or donate them to a charity.
We’d love to know how you reacquaint yourself with your kitchen once Christmas is over. Drop into our Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest pages to share your tips and ideas with us and keep following our blog for more exciting news in 2016.