Stocking Your Pantry


There are few things more frustrating than running out to the store to pick up one item when you’re cooking, and during the holidays, stores can be closed. That's why it's important to account for every ingredient you need before you begin cooking. Each recipe in our school has a detailed list of the ingredients it requires. If you're making multiple recipes, take the time to carefully create a combined ingredient list. If you do find yourself in need of an item, refer to our Emergency Substitutions chart, but a better plan is to make sure your pantry is well stocked with these ingredients. If you need to purchase something, check out our comprehensive Product Reviews in Resources.

Chicken Broth

From gravy to soup to casseroles, packaged chicken broth is a holiday essential. Make sure to pick up low-sodium broth.


We use kosher salt in many of our roast recipes. It’s the best choice when salting meat. You will need table salt as well, especially for baking. (Its fine crystals dissolve better in something like pie dough.)


Freshly ground pepper is essential in all your cooking. It doesn’t matter what kind of black peppercorns you buy, just don’t buy ground pepper.


Unbleached all-purpose flour is a must in pies and rolls and will be used to thicken gravies and soups.


Holiday baking means butter. Don’t use shortening unless a recipe calls for it. (We like a mix of shortening and butter in our pie dough; the shortening makes the crust flaky and the butter adds flavor.) Don’t buy salted butter—it can ruin some recipes. Keep butter in the freezer until you’re ready to use it. After just a week or two in the fridge, it can pick up off flavors.