As I write this, the snow is swirling through the sky making it impossible to believe we’re actually three weeks into spring already. The snow boots are still lining the front hallway and the slow cooker remains on the counter because soup season is definitely not over, despite what the calendar says.
In order to trick my mind into thinking winter is indeed over, I’ve been spring-cleaning the house despite the snow out my doorstep. My favourite area of the home to freshen up is the kitchen. It’s one of the most used areas in the house, quickly becoming cluttered and messy, and I find myself in there multiple times a day wiping down cupboards and washing dishes. I also take this time to do a few things that most people forget to do when they decide to give their kitchen a good scrubbing. They include:
1. Conditioning Wooden Spoons and Cutting Boards: Wooden cutting boards, spoons and salad bowls need to be conditioned regularly, otherwise they become dull and loose a little of their glossy lustre. Every year during spring and fall cleaning, I wash my wooden items with hot soapy water, dry each piece thoroughly and then swipe on some mineral oil with a lint-free cloth.
2. Washing Reusable Grocery Bags: I don’t know about you, but I frequently forget to wash my cloth grocery bags even though I know they’re prone to harbouring harsh bacteria. Toss them in the washing machine before you begin cleaning your kitchen, and they’ll be ready for folding by the time you’re done your chores.
3. Decluttering the Toddler Plates, Cups and Cutlery Drawer: Those of us with toddlers likely have a collection of colourful plates, cups and cutlery in need of decluttering. Recycle old sippy cups, and dispose of anything that’s frayed, cracked or broken.
4. Sharpening Knives: This is a great time to give all of your knives a good sharpen. To begin, wash each of your knives in hot soapy water to remove any debris, and dry thoroughly with a clean towel. Using either an electric sharpener, honing steel or sharpening stone, sharpen each of your knives, wipe on a tea towel, and return them to their place of storage. If you use a magnetic rack, give it a thorough cleaning before your replace the knives, and if you have a wooden knife block you may want to condition it with mineral oil first.
5. Descaling the Kettle: If you use your electric kettle regularly, there is sure to be some hard water scaling inside, which slows down the heating process. To clean, fill the kettle three quarters full with equal parts water and white vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil and then allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes. Dump the water and rinse the kettle a few times to remove all traces of the vinegar. Dry the inside of the kettle with a clean towel, or leave the lid open and allow it to air dry.
6. Freshening Up the Blender: I find after long periods of use my blender, food processor and Nutri-Bullet canisters all begin to look a little grimy, likely the result of hard water build-up on the plastic container. To clean them, I put a cup or so of water in each vessel, add a drop of dishwashing soap and a quarter of a coarsely chopped lemon. I let each machine run for a minute or more, then rinse thoroughly with warm water. Voila. Sparkling clean containers for your spring smoothies and soups.