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Making holiday clean-up a breeze

One side effect of a low carb diet has nothing to do with your body, your weight or your health. It has to do with your kitchen. When you can no longer grab the latest and greatest pre-packaged food off the shelf, you end up cooking. Unfortunately cooking means dirty dishes and the worst part of dirty dishes is cleaning pots and pans. When cooking not only to take care of the needs of your carbohydrate restricted diet, but to entertain family and friends during the holidays, the mess can be substantial.

The key to easy clean up came from an unexpected source. When digging through the cupboards for casserole pans, I stumbled on several silicon baking sheets I had stuffed in the back of the cabinet. I originally bought them for baking cookies. Since cookies weren't on the menu anymore, they had been neglected for the past 2 years. And while they will no longer be used to keep baked goods from molding themselves to the surface of my cookie sheets, I got the inspired thought that they may be just the thing to keep the Thanksgiving turkey from sticking to the bottom of my roasting pan.

I gave it a try with a 16lb Butterball in an enamel-coated roaster and it worked great. There was only one small part in the corner that ended up with some caked on turkey drippings. Other than that, the rest of the pan only required a little dish soap and a wipe-off with a sponge and a spray of hot water. Both my husband and I could kick ourselves for not thinking of this sooner. Since I paid $9 for a set of 3, it is well worth the purchase price even if you never use them for anything else but lining your baking dishes.

Whether you are cooking a Thanksgiving turkey, a Christmas ham, or a pork roast for a family picnic, a simple silicone baking sheet can make clean-up a breeze.