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Now’s the time to get ready for holiday entertaining

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, at 3:09 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, at 8:15 a.m.

Cleaning the stove

The self-cleaning feature on ovens is notorious for creating more problems than it solves. Avoid running this, especially before a big dinner party.

“I don't recommend cleaning it around the holidays,” said James Smith, senior technician with 123 Appliance Repair in Pineville, N.C. “It can knock out a component and you might not have it for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Calls (for service) are really heavy during the holidays. If you do clean it, clean it by hand.”

— Angie’s List/McClatchy-Tribune

Wichita designer Teresa White likes kitchen decorations to do double duty, especially during the holidays.

“Simplify in the kitchen,” White said. If you have a soup tureen on top of the fridge because it looks good there, pull it down and use it to make the season more festive.

“A lot of people love to decorate with baskets. Pull it off the wall and put bread in it.” She has a big bowl with a rooster on it that she pulls off the shelf when she’s having a lot of company.

“Use your china and fun things. A lot of people are not using the good stuff.”

That includes silver. And that means now is the time to get out the silverware and be sure it’s polished in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas, White said. The same goes for getting table linens ready.

For unexpected company, White recommends having a beautiful tray or plate ready for serving, along with plenty of wine, clean wine glasses, cheese in the refrigerator and crackers in the cupboard – and paper doilies, for that special touch.

“I don’t put cheese on a plate without paper doilies,” White said. “This is stuff you can grab and you don’t have to worry.”

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