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Love cooking, but not cleaning up after? We make your life easier with these tips.

Home Hacks

Easy Tips to Keep Your Kitchen Clean

Many of us like cooking but not the cleaning. Having helped my mum prepare numerous meals, I have picked up some tips to share with you. It starts by making less of a mess to begin with. 🙂

Clear the working space

1. Start cooking with an empty sink. Clear out the sink of any dishes in there.
2. Stir marinades, spice mixtures in bowls set in the sink. This keeps your counter free from spillages.
3. Place a generous piece of aluminium foil next to the stove or cooking area. Rest your spoons, knives, measuring tools on it rather than the counter. When you have finished cooking, scrunch up the foil and throw it away. This helps keep cleaning to a minimum.

Recycle

4. Place a garbage bowl (lined with plastic bag) next to where you are cutting up ingredients. The peelings or scraps will not drop all over your clean floor and it saves you time by bagging your refuse earlier. Better still, if you have a compost bowl, place compostable items such as egg shells, carrot tops, and peels in the bowl.

Reuse

5. Use the same tools again by giving them a quick wash and dry. No need to take out the full array of utensils when cooking.

Prepare extra

6. I learnt from my mum to always chop extra ingredients (garlic, onion) that I frequently use, and store them in the refrigerator for the next meal prep. This way, you have less cleaning to do during your next cooking session.

The bigger the better

7. Work in a bigger bowl than you think you need, to avoid having to transfer contents to bigger bowls and creating a mess on the counter. Fewer bowls to clean too.

Soak before cleaning

8. Place a large bowl filled with soapy water next to the sink to soak dirty utensils and plates right after use so that cleaning them is a lot easier and faster. If you have a large pot that needs to be soaked, fill the pot with hot soapy water, then place it on the kitchen counter and let it soak there. This saves you some sink space.

Clean as soon as you can

9. Wipe up spills as quickly as possible. Do not let them sit unless you want a longer cleaning time. Have a pail of cleaning water ready to clean the floor once you are done with the cooking.
10. Clean as you go. While the food is cooking, wash the chopping board and utensils that you used.

You can whip up as many dishes as you want and still have a clean kitchen with these tips!

What else do you do to keep your kitchen clean while cooking? Share your tips with us at mynicehome@mailbox.hdb.gov.sg.

By Serene Fong
October 19, 2017


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See Deepavali through the eyes of a Chinese Singaporean.

Festive/ Special Occasions

Celebrating Deepavali is a SSBD Experience!

(Photo credit: Little India Shopkeepers & Heritage Association )

Deepavali, known as the Festival of Lights, is celebrated by Hindus around the world. It symbolises the triumph of good over evil, so the tradition is to light up homes with colourful candles and clay oil lamps.

That was as much as I knew about Deepavali until I joined in the celebrations at the home of a good friend. I found it very similar to how Singaporean Chinese celebrate Chinese New Year (CNY), with only a few differences.

The same-same feelings

• The big overhaul – spring cleaning

Preparations for the festival can begin as early as months in advance with most of the time spent on cleaning, re-painting and decorating the entire house.

• A good excuse to shop for new clothing

Bright colours are popular choices. Black and white are not viewed as ‘celebratory’.

• Giving festive packets aka ang pow

Festive packets for Deepavali have the same concept, just that they do not come only in 1 colour. Parents usually give their children, and the children of relatives and friends, these festive packets. The amount of money is up to the generosity of the giver.

• Feasting on yummy snacks

If CNY has pineapple tarts and bak kwa, Deepavali has murukku, traditional sweets as well as cookies and cakes that are enjoyed by all.

The somewhat differences

• It is not a celebration of a new year
Surprise! This is one of the most common myths about Deepavali.

• Decorations goes beyond the home

Beautiful coloured rice powder is used to create intricate designs called Rangoli on the floor inside or outside of homes. These days they come in sticker and acrylic pieces as well. Festive fairy lights are put up on the windows too.

• Everything has to be ‘right’
Right is preferred over left. Hindus eat and receive things using the right hand. I have to confess, I did not know about the ‘right’ rule until my host mentioned it over dinner. 🙂

Useful tips to complete your Deepavali experience
For those who are invited to experience Deepavali this year, here are my tips!

• Wear traditional outfits
Wear a sari or a kurta to impress your host! Be adventurous!

• Bring along some snacks
If you feel uncomfortable going empty handed, consider bringing Indian sweets, or chocolates. If you are up for a challenge, you can even make your own Indian sweets.

• Learn a greeting
Say this: Deepavali Valzthukal (Valz-thu-kal) when you see your host. It means ‘Happy Deepavali’ and is sure to put a smile on their faces!

By LF Shen
October 18, 2017


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