There’s nothing more frustrating when in the flurry of cooking special treats for the holidays, you discover you don’t have all the ingredients you need. You can:

  • Cancel the recipe
  • Check online for a substitute ingredient
  • Make a trip to the store
  • Order in

None of these are desirable when you’re in the mood to whip up Halloween Mummy Brie, Thanksgiving honey/cinnamon sweet potatoes or Hanukkah Soy and Ginger Glazed Salmon, especially with family and friends waiting to be fed. To avoid aggravation and frustration, an organized, custom pantry from Tailored Living® might be your most important holiday asset.

You’re always prepared with an organized pantry

Holiday entertaining takes two forms:  planned events and unplanned visits. You’ll want to have special food and drink holiday treats for your guests, whether it’s a big party or a one-on-one with an old friend, and a well-stocked pantry will go a long way to reducing holiday stress. This includes food and drink as well as essential tools for baking, cooking and even grilling in the wintertime. (Yes, people in Minnesota grill in the snow!) To be ready for every entertaining eventuality, here are some preemptive steps to make you the “hostess with the mostess.”

  • Sort recipes by holiday so you can quickly find your favorite signature dishes. Review the recipes ahead of time, buy all necessary ingredients and have a “holiday” section in the pantry.
  • Inventory your cookware and baking pans, replace any that have seen better days or splurge on a specialty item like a spring form Bundt pan, a fondue set for chocolate or cheesy dipping, or that turkey fryer you’ve been craving.
  • Take stock of cooking utensils to make sure you have the spatulas, tongs, wooden spoons for non-stick pans, meat thermometers, graters, mixers, cooling racks and measuring cups and spoons you’ll need.

TIP:  You should have at least two sets of measuring cups and spoons, one for liquids and one for dry.

The overall, efficient pantry

Popular cooking shows have crystalized the difference between bakers and chefs in the minds of millions of viewers and, generally, people consider themselves more one than the other. Baker or chef … which are you?

  • Bakers are primarily concerned with baking breads, cookies, cakes, cupcakes and other baked goods and applying scrumptious toppings and icings.
  • Chefs make different kinds of food from meat, seafood, vegetables, grains, fruits and nuts, by frying, boiling, seasoning, grilling and steaming.
  • If you can make a flaky pie crust from scratch, you are a baker and the envy of all your friends.

In reality, most homemakers are both, requiring a pantry that stores a wide variety of ingredients and cooking implements. With a walk-in pantry, there is space to accommodate all the foodstuffs and equipment you need, possibly including a pull-out workstation to make food prep quick and easy. Fresh and packaged ingredients can be organized with floor-to-ceiling storage solutions like enclosed cabinets, pull-out baskets, drawers and shelves.

TIP:  Labeling shelves will keep like products together, making it quick to see what you have or what you need.

For a smaller, reach-in pantry, capturing every inch of storage is crucial and specialty racks are ideal for storing spices, wines and flavored vinegars. A pantry with narrow shelves keeps foodstuffs easy to see and, in a deep pantry, heavy-duty pull-out drawers can handle the weight of lots of items without anything getting buried in the back. Storing pans, bowls and other cooking essentials in nearby kitchen cabinets creates a smooth workflow from pantry to stove or oven.

TIP: For most herbs, one teaspoon of dried herb may be substituted for one tablespoon of a chopped fresh herb.

Bakers and chefs use spices, herbs, wines, liquors and liqueurs to season their culinary creations and put their own twist to classic recipes like Apple Brandy Glazed Pork Tenderloins and Christmas Rum Balls. Freshness of ingredients can make or break a dish, and direct sunlight, oxygen and heat are damaging to wine, spirits and spices so getting them off the kitchen counters and into the pantry is a good idea.

Custom wine racks are designed to store wine to preserve its integrity and freshness.

  • Keep it cool—450 to 650 F and 65-75% humidity
  • Keep it dark–direct light will affect the flavor significantly
  • Keep it still—vibration will ruin a wine and keep the sediment from settling in a red wine
  • Keep it sideways—prevents any air from entering the bottle by keeping the cork hydrated

Spice racks protect and display herbs and spices for longest shelf life and potency.

  • Keep a constant temperature around 700 F
  • Keep in airtight containers to preserve freshness
  • Keep in a dark and dry atmosphere
  • Keep away from the heat of stove or oven

TIP:  The Twelve Wines of Christmas, inspired by the classic Christmas carol, will have you covered for gift giving occasions and in-home parties.

You will definitely enjoy the holidays more if the doorbell ringing doesn’t send you into a panic at the thought of unexpected company. With a custom pantry and some thoughtful planning, you’ll be ready for anything the holidays can bring. Let that Brownie Troop stop by or your mother-in-law fly in unannounced. The whole home organization specialists at Tailored Living can help you get your entire home company-ready and keep you calm, cool and collected. We can transform your spaces with custom closet systems, home office design, Murphy Beds, laundry room organization, entryway storage, garage storage cabinets and custom garage flooring.

Call 866-641-8958 (US) or 866-973-8221 (CAN) today to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online to www.tailoredliving.com to find a designer near you. Put everything it’s place for the holidays and save up to $500.