It’s Christmas! Everyone is understandably excited about the festive season except perhaps the person who’s in charge of cooking. Not only is Christmas a wonderful family time, it can be one fraught with stress for the hard-pressed cook. What can add to the stress is the temperature in the kitchen. With cold winds blowing in and snow looking increasingly likely, what you need to think about is how to make your kitchen a cosy, warm and inviting place to be during the festive period. If your kitchen is the warmest room in the house, it’s more likely that both children and adults will gravitate towards it, meaning you’ll get some company as you cook and a few willing hands to help with food preparation.
One of the biggest sources of heat loss in any house is that lost through ill-fitting windows and doors. If you do nothing else this festive season, make sure you check carefully for gaps and draughts and get to work plugging them up. Draughts cost householders a great deal of money in lost energy – the cost would stagger most people if they knew. Have a look at your back and front door in particular as these are prime candidates for draughts. Fit inexpensive stick on DIY foam or rubber draught proofing round door and window frames. If your windows bleed heat, consider the ‘cling film’ draught proofing kit. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
Of course, the main source of heat in your kitchen is your cooker and you can make good use of the heat it generates. Extra baking rather than stove top, steamy dishes will mean that you have the option of leaving your oven open when you remove dishes for serving. The heat will tumble out and leave your kitchen toasty warm. Bake everything you can think of for the festive season – your Christmas cake, gingerbread decorations for the tree, or a gingerbread house for children to decorate. Bake mince pies and don’t forget a nice steaming saucepan of mulled wine, which will fill your kitchen with a delicious, spicy smell on Christmas Day.
Have a rug where you stand to do preparation in the kitchen. Floors can be really chilly, especially if they are floorboards will gaps in them. Block up the gaps and keep your feet warm by putting down a washable, hard-wearing rug in the kitchen.
Under floor Heating
If you can afford it, under floor heating is worth considering for use in winter months. Once installed it is relatively cheap to run and certainly will make a huge difference to the overall temperature in the kitchen and keep your feet warm at the same time.
Strange as it may seem, candles can really add to the overall warmth of the room. They don’t give out a great deal of heat, but the amount that they do give out is worth using. They’re cheap too! It is actually possible to buy candle ‘heaters’ which trap and distribute the heat of candles, but a few burning around the room look pretty and homely and add to the overall heat of the kitchen.
Consider trying a low energy radiator that you can plug in close to the floor. They cost pennies to run, but may help raise the temperature significantly during the course of the day. A blow heater is less economical to use, but a quick blast helps take the chill off the air and keeps you on the move when you first get into the kitchen.