The best part about the holiday season is the coming together of family and friends to celebrate being a part of each other’s life. The second-best part is the food. Sometimes, it’s just interchangeable. Holiday food is more than just a tradition. It is what symbolizes that time of the year for most people. So for that perfect Christmas feast, there are a few things one must stock up ahead of time. If only to not run out on the holiday and to also be prepared to whip up that extra treat (should fancy strike), which feels like nothing short of a Christmas miracle.
The Christmas Meal Essentials
Some other essentials you would require when cooking up the feast are the pots and pans. Let’s not forget, the appropriate tableware to present the food with the pizzaz that it deserves. Make sure you have the roasting pans, cake pans, mixing bowls, a thermometer, side dish pans, and the whole gamut of things. Because nothing will tick you off more than when you have the food mixture ready to cook but nothing to cook it in. You wouldn’t want to be in that situation now, would you? So, keep these handy.
Now let’s look at a list of all the pantry items you could possibly need ahead of the holiday.
This is a complete no brainer. Baking cakes and treats is not an option for Christmas. So be it the plum cake, the cookies or a traditional hand me down recipe, flour is going to be the base of most traditional Christmas dishes. As per preference or requirements, you can stock up on all purpose flour or go for more gluten free options.
Of course, you need sugar if you are going to bake. But if you are looking to indulge more consciously instead of going all out, you could stock up on sugar substitutes like honey, agave syrup, molasses, stevia etc, as per recipe and preference.
Did we even have to say this? Dear dairy is vital for everything good on the Christmas table. You could also stock up on non-dairy milks like almond, soy or coconut milk as per any requirements.
4. Baking Powder And Baking Soda
Come on, just come on. How can one do without these for a Christmas feast? Just make sure that the baking powder and baking soda you have is within six months of its manufacture. Purely because if it is older than that, it probably doesn’t carry much power and won’t work well.
Also Read: Bake Perfect Cakes With These Handy Tips
5. Dry Yeast
If you are baking anything, you need this in your pantry. Make sure you know how to measure it right, for that perfect texture.
6. Dry Fruits (Walnuts, Almonds, Cashews)
Love a little crunch in your desserts? You know what you need to stock up on. It is mostly items like these that don’t occupy much space. One that tends to be forgotten often, but their presence sure does make all the difference.
Related: 8 Nuts to Eat for Good Health
Nobody is too cool for chocolate. It’s one food that keeps on giving. You will need it in some form or the other if you are cooking up a Christmas feast. Be it the store bought kind, the dark variety or just the cocoa powder, you need it. Add it to your cakes and coffee, and paint your house with it. Doesn’t it make everything delicious?
8. Spices (Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Salt, Pepper)
If you are a person who cooks on the regular, you probably have these already. If on the other hand, cooking is a Christmas project for you, it would do you good to make sure you have enough of this in your pantry. Like we mentioned before, it is these tiny items that make all the difference that are so often forgotten. And you wouldn’t want to miss out on a splendid Christmas feast because of a tiny oversight now, would you?
9. Vegetables (Potatoes, Onions, Garlic)
The silent heroes of a Christmas feast are undoubtedly the vegetables. These are part of the main meal and are responsible for the bulk of the flavor in most dishes. Not to mention, how vegetables are that dash of colour in the food landscape that makes food so aesthetic looking.
This is a matter of preference of food. The number of ways in which a festival can be adapted across households is truly astonishing. If rice is a part of your family tradition, don’t forget to stock up on it. Any other tradition tweak that exists, embrace it and stock up on it to celebrate it that day. That’s the true joy of the festival.
11. Oil, Vinegar
Details that matter. You would need these when you spend an entire day in the kitchen, and of course, you don’t want to run out of them in the middle of the preparation of an important recipe. Check what you have and how much of it you have and keep the items accordingly.
12. Butter, Sour cream, Broth
More details. Keep lots of these in your fridge. They are items that fill you up just when you look at them. And broth carries a lot of versatility for everyday cooking as well.
13. Frozen Fruit or Fruit Juices
If you are making a recipe which calls for one of these, or if you are someone who likes the presence of these items on the dining table, make sure they are there when you reach your hand out for it. You can consider these as those deliciously loyal foot soldiers to your Christmas meal. The ones that could very well be up to the task of letting you end your lip smacking meal on a sweet note.
Remember, the point of Christmas and a Christmas feast is for everyone to come together and celebrate each other’s presence in their lives. You may or may not be able to account for the tastes of every single family member or person attending. But these items are the absolute basics of everything you cook. Also, preparation helps prevent a lot of chaos.
Decide on your recipes first, check what you already have and then shop for the rest. Taking up the responsibility of making Christmas dinner is huge and frankly, admirable. People love you a little more already if you are doing this. So just have fun with this, and trust us when we say – that is what makes it truly special for everyone.