Is your Kitchen Ready for Entertaining?

Any holiday celebration is incomplete without Cooking & Baking, I'm sure all of you have started gathering and bookmarking favorite recipes for your family dinners! But, after entertaining guests for the last two weekends, and cleaning up my precious Enclume Pot Rack, I suddenly realized that though I have the recipe list ready, I don't think I have all the kitchen tools and utensils needed for the immense amount of holiday cooking that I have planned! Funny, as most of us don't think about the cooking tools right until we actually start executing a recipe! Most of the times makeshift-tools will work, but what about those large family-size pots and pans? or the holiday Bundt-cake pans? Is your Kitchen ready for some serious Holiday Cooking and Baking? [img source - Williams Sonoma]

Baking Tools
As baking would undoubtedly be a primary contender to holiday preparations, its imperative to make sure you have all the tools and kitchen bake-ware to make your baking as stress-free as possible. I for one, need to get a new Bundt-Cake Pan, and also a simple baking Thermometer. In fact, a simple search online will get you several deals on professional cookware including cookie sheets, cake pans, measuring spoons, muffins cups, cutters, scrapers, chafers, enclume pot racks and more! Make sure you have different cookie-cutters for all your fancy Christmas cookies, and also some fancy serving trays & tableware to serve those in!

Cookware and Tableware
My biggest concern when I have to prepare a dinner for a large group is what to cook it in! Dividing the same curry into two non-stick pans will mostly never work, so make sure you have cookware large enough to cook your entire dish. Ensure that you have all your kitchen equipment in order - from casseroles to mashed potatoes, and soups and stews to serving bowls and roasting pans, everything needs to be co-ordinated, so you don't go scrambling at the last minute! And if you are going to use your ancient china, wash and clean them a few days ahead so it sparkles. Buy table linens and matching napkins as well as serving ware, as holidays are special, and a little pre-planning will keep you more relaxed on the main day. I have added a new food-processor, and perhaps a Chocolate Fondue set to my Go-Get-it list already! And perhaps some new Fall dinner set won't be bad either:)

Dinnerware & China
When it comes to a party, your dinnerware is as important as your food, and White is mostly the preferred choice at holiday dinners, mostly because they bring out the color of the food. But these days, there are a lot of designer options available. Choose a theme, and find a matching Dinner set that goes with your linen and china. Autumn themes, leaf-shapes and fall-colors are greatly flavored at such occasions, so choose what pleases you the most, as there are tonnes of options to select from! And again, artistic enclume potracks will be a perfect fit too!

Wines & Glassware
No festive dinner is complete without a fancy wine, a fitting festive Cappucino or a Fruit Cocktail! This is the time to splurge on the expensive wine labels, and choose nice and fruity champagnes. If you love making cocktails, you'd know its important to serve them in a fancy way too! Make sure your buffet table has enough of glassware, depending on what you plan to serve. I have 2 sets of wine goblets, and it really doesn't look impressive when you use two incomplete sets to serve different guests at the same party. So I'm adding some new wine glasses and some cute coffee mugs to my shopping list!

Holidays are all about family gatherings, a few times in the year when everyone gets together and spends some quality time, enjoying great food and chatting and reliving pleasant memories over a cup of coffee. As food is one of the biggest contributors to a successful Holiday gathering, one should start planning ahead, not just about what you are going to cook, but also how, when and where! Take some time see if your Kitchen is ready for the holiday season, and make sure you have all you need to impress your guests on the big day. Remember, the plate that you cook and serve the food in, is as important as how your food tastes!

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Aparna Balasubramanian said...

I have some plans for the holiday season but I need to grocery shopping first. :D

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

After reading your comment I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you're getting yourself as equipped as you need to be. Good luck!

It's funny you mentioned tableware. I have to set up two tables at my T-day dinner and last year when I had 14 people (8 at one table and 6 at another) I had two completely different settings. I didn't have enough matching plates so one table had one set of plates on a coordinating tablecloth and the other table had another set of plates with matching cloth. Each table looked good by itself, but next to each other they looked really weird. :-D It's going to be the same thing this year though. If I do end up with 17 people, I'll be sticking two folding tables together to make room for 9 people with 8 sitting at my regular dining room table.

Anonymous said...

Ok, now you've really made me nervous! my mother-in-law always comments about how I don't take "extra steps" to make our T dinner perfect:)D I'm one who concentrates on cooking more, but your post made me realize there are other things equally important to consider! wine glasses, new tableware and food processor, here I come!:)D

~sarah C

Gita Jaishankar said...

Hi, First time to your blog. You recipes are so good. Love the tips for the festive season.

mitr_bayarea said...

A nice post to get ourselves better equipped for the holidays.

Anonymous said...

Good post and links. I love cooking but I love decorating even more with flowers, nice dinnerware, dishes and wine glasses and even coordinating napkins. I don't spend lots of money, I am a smart shopper always buying items on clearance or huge sales and even out of season!

Mansi said...

hey, I'm really glad to see I'm not alone getting all nerved up for the impending holiday season!:) as always, it's great to find buddies floating in the same boat:)D

Rupa, and everyone else: if you have links of good stuff to share, pls do so via comments. I'm looking for cool deals myself:)

Gita - welcome to FF, and thanks for your gracious comments!

anudivya said...

Why? why did you have to do this post! Now, I need to get my act together! Boy, that is a lot of work :(

Bits said...

Hi, first time here, hopped blog and found your site. This is indeed cool! Preparing for ThanksGiving & Christmas! I'm still thinking what to cook for this festive!