10 Foods to Keep on Hand for the Holidays

Think it’s impractical to fly in fresh figs at their peak ripeness for your New Year’s Eve party? You’re not the only one. Our ancestors sure didn’t need them to celebrate. Traditionally, holiday treats were made from less widely available, but still non-perishable items – baked goods with sugar and ginger, dried fruits, candied nuts, preserved meats, cheese. Anticipating some impromptu holiday entertaining? Skip the figs, go to your pantry instead.

Here are 10 foods to keep on hand for the holidays:

  • fancy crackers – my favorite is the multi-pack with several individually wrapped sleeves
  • cheeses (brie and cheddar are my favorite) – they’ll last for weeks, maybe even months in the refrigerator
  • summer sausage
  • smoked salmon – buy the shelf stable kind and it will keep indefinitely
  • white & milk chocolate covered pretzels – you can make these yourself for a fraction of buying them already made
  • tin of Danish butter cookies
  • mini candy canes – part tree décor, part after-dinner mint or drink garnish
  • jar of spiced fruit preserves (a nice apple-cranberry) go well with a nice brie and crackers
  • fruitcake – everyone likes to joke about it, but fruitcake is good
  • festive beverage – I like Harpoon’s Winter Warmer, Ballatore’s Rosso Red, but hot chocolate mix or a nice tea are perfect, too.
Bon appetit!

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