preparing cookingAfter everyone has happily stuffed themselves on turkey with all trimmings, there is the dreaded cleanup. Make the process easier on yourself with these tips:

  1. Don’t scrub yourself silly. To remove stubborn crusts from roasting pans, wipe out as much of the residue with a paper towel first. Then fill the pan to a manageable level with soapy water, and place in a 300-degree oven for about 10 minutes. Remove pan carefully, allow it to cool, then scrape up loosened food with a rubber spatula. Dump out the pan and wash it with a sponge. You’ll get a squeaky clean pan without risking damage to the surface with harmful abrasives, and give yourself more time to nap on the couch.
  2. Don’t overlook disposables. With many communities now embracing recycling, aluminum pans are an easy choice for big dinners, especially if you’re traveling by car, and they don’t have to end up in landfills. Bonus for the family pet: You can let the pup lick the pan, then simply rinse and recycle. Make sure you choose a pan heavy enough for its contents, though, or you could end up with the biggest mess of all, and risk burning yourself if it collapses. Look for aluminum turkey roasters that include a sturdy wire support frame, and use a new roasting pan every year as a precaution against leaks. Nothing will dampen appetites more than the smell of charred drippings smoking on oven coils.

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