For many, the holidays mean larger get-togethers as family and friends gather. As much as we may enjoy the Holiday Season, let’s face it- it comes with added stresses, especially if you’re doing the hosting. Now the task of keeping everyone happy and safe falls to you. To help you avoid some common pitfalls, we’ve prepared a list of water –related tips to ensure you have a happy holiday as well.
- Safe drinking water. We may take for granted the safety of our water – especially if relying on a private well – but the holidays mean others who may be more susceptible to infection will be consuming that water. This may include grandparents, grandchildren, any expectant mothers, and anyone who may have a compromised immune system. Now is the time to ensure the safe operation of your disinfection system. For instance, if you are relying on a VIQUA UV system, then consider whether it’s time for the annual lamp change, inspect the quartz sleeve and clean it if necessary, and inspect and change any sediment or carbon filters. Then you can rest assured that none of your guests- young or old- will be down with diarrhea (or worse) and wondering if it was your meal that did it.
- Thawing the turkey. Perhaps with all the extra food to prepare, there isn’t room in the refrigerator to thaw the turkey. An alternative is to thaw the bird by submerging it in cold water in a water- tight container. Allow about 30 minutes per pound but remember to change the water every 30 minutes. This ensures the bird is kept cool throughout the process. For more information, visit USDA
- Food preparation. As always, before you begin, you will need to clean your kitchen, your hands, and any cooking utensils with hot, soapy water.
- Cooking safety. Not that this is going to happen, but with the added distractions of guests and “help” in the kitchen, be prepared in the event of a grease fire. If you are cooking on the stove with grease, keep a matching cover to the pan nearby so the lid can be used to smother any flames. Never put water on a grease fire, as this will cause the fire to expand. Instead, use baking soda to douse it.
- Caring for a fresh tree. A fresh, lush evergreen tree adds much ambience to holiday gatherings. However, a tree can quickly become a fire hazard if it dries out. Keep the tree stand full of water at all times. But remember, your pet or a visiting pet may be tempted to use the stand as a water dish, and the stagnant water may harbor harmful bacteria. In addition, any harmful chemicals like fertilizers, insecticides, or flame retardants that were used on the tree may also get into the water. Keep your furry friends safe by denying access with a barrier like a tree skirt.
- Managing stress. One of the best ways to ensure you also enjoy the big day (or days) is to manage your own stress. Good rest and nutrition and drinking plenty of water will go a long way. And, most importantly, try to slow down, take in the moment and be grateful for all you have to celebrate.