Summer-proof your kitchen

Teja Lele Desai on how to equip yourself for the blazing months ahead

The dreaded summer months are here. The sun is shining brighter and harder, the days are getting longer and, let’s face it, it’s getting tougher to spend long hours cooking.

Try these easy tips on prepping your kitchen to make it a hospitable environment through the harsh summer months.

1. Begin with a thorough clean-up

Dusty cobwebs have no place in a sunny kitchen. Plan a thorough cleaning up of your kitchen — from the outside to the inside — and make everything sparkle!

2. Go through the pantry

Winter makes you hoard and you end up buying a lot of pulses, spices and snacks that often never get used. Clean up in the pantry to make space for fresher foods.

3. Clear out the freezer

All that fish and meat that’s been lying in the freezer since the start of winter — are you ever going to get to it? If not, let it go!

4. Make space on the counters

Counters don’t need to be piled with bottles, jars and other things. Get things off them and style counters — the kitchen also looks more inviting.

5. Style your shelves

We suggest you pack away half the things on your shelves. Most likely than not you use only a few of the many dishes and cups you have. Why not give them breathing room?

6. Put nature on display

Be it fresh produce — such as fruits or veggies — or a smart space-saving herb garden, these touches add new life to your kitchen.

7. Add some fresh touches

Napkins with cheery floral prints, colourful linen or pretty tableware are ideal to ring in the summer. Don’t forget tall glasses for juice and lemonade.

8. Hook up café curtains

Nothing looks better in the kitchen than some adorable café curtains. Be it floral prints, polka dots or never-go-wrong gingham, work this style tip like a pro.

9. Bring out summer specials

It’s time to bring out things that scream summer — the ice cream moulds/maker, ice trays and stylish glass pitcher to prepare infused water in.

10. Work on no-cooking recipes

Who wants to slave in front of the gas on a hot day? Instead, resort to cold soups and other no-cook recipes such as overnight oats, crisp salads and chilled desserts.

11. Wash reusable grocery bags

Many of us are trying to cut down on consumption of plastic, which is laudable. But those reusable bags can harbour bacteria if unclean, so give them a toss in the machine.

12. Turn up the volume

Make cooking more fun by installing a small Bluetooth speaker/ radio in the kitchen. Listening to pulsating music is sure to get you in the groove.

13. Prep your picnic basket

Picnics are a given when the weather gets sunny. Make sure you have linen and disposable plates, spoons and glasses for those impromptu park gatherings.

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