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The transition from Farmers Market season to fall always sneaks up on you—that time of year when you realize you can’t rely on fresh produce every weekend. 

Luckily, the fall and winter seasons mean cozy, cold weather cooking: All-day simmering sauces, hearty soups and stews, and slow roasting meats that fill your house with warmth and wonderful smells. 

Keep your cooking elevated this fall and winter with our guide to stocking your kitchen (and avoid the late-night trips to the store in sub-freezing temperatures for a single ingredient)

How to Stock Your Freezer for the Winter

While cold-weather cooking is comforting, it can also be time-consuming to simmer soups, sauces, and braises all day. Stocking up on things like soup bases and produce can save you a lot of steps—and elevate your cooking—this fall and winter. 

Think about your favorite soups, stews, sauces, and holiday recipes so you can stock your freezer efficiently with things like:

  • Homemade chicken stock or broth
    don’t forget to keep bones and carcasses from roasted holiday birds for future stocks!
  • Rendered fats
    from roasted chicken, roast beef, and bacon
  • Freezer-friendly blanched summer vegetables
    including asparagus, corn, peas, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, and squash
  • Fresh fruit
    including peaches, cherries, berries, plums, bananas, mangoes, and strawberries

How to Stock Your Fridge for the Winter

You may not think it, but the fridge can be your secret weapon for elevating flavors when it’s cold out. Simple ingredients with big, bold flavors that can amplify a dish are great to have on hand when you don’t have access to fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs that we can get in the spring and summer. 

Be ready to quickly take your dishes from good to great by stocking the fridge with:

  • Preserved (or pickled) summer veggies like peppers 
    • try making your own with leftover summer produce!
  • Vinegars
    • at minimum, white, red white, rice, and apple cider vinegars should be readily available in your kitchen
  • Kimchi
    • sauerkraut’s spicy cousin brings zing to almost anything
  • Miso
    • for instant umami and Asian flavor
  • Tahini
    • the only ingredient that you can use in both hummus and cookies!
  • Chocolate
    • have enough on hand to snack on while you bake chocolate holiday treats!

How to Stock Your Pantry for the Winter

The pantry will be the MVP that gets you through the cold seasons if you stock it properly. 

  • Dried spices 
    • don’t forget baking spices for the holidays!
  • Dried beans and grains
    • don’t forget polenta, which pairs well with braised meats
  • Rice 
    • including jasmine, basmati, and arborio if you like risotto!
  • Dry pasta in a variety of shapes 
    • to keep things fun all season
  • Dried mushrooms 
    • add a burst of savory flavor to soups and sauces
  • Jarred pasta sauce 
    • for easily elevated weeknight dinners
  • Simmer sauces 
    • for an easy excitic entree with rice
  • Canned goods 
    • including tomatoes for sauce and stews, plus seafood for snacks and elevated pasta dishes
  • Flours 
    • keep bread flour for baking, and try homemade pasta with superfino 00 flour this year!
  • Oils 
    • such as olive oil for cooking and flavored finishing oils to kick your meals up a notch
  • Sweeteners 
    • have a variety on hand to avoid the late trip to the store on Christmas Eve
  • Wine
    • you can never have too much wine this time of year!
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