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last minute ingredients you always forget

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Spending my first Christmas in UK and from what I understand there will be no grocery shops open on Christmas or Boxing day. A far cry from NYC when Christmas day trips to the Key Food for forgotten ingredients were a part of the annual celebration. So I'm wracking my brain to try to remember all those weird things you always forget, and any last minute additions for my menu, which will be roast duck (Alton Brown recipe), roast vegetables in duck fat, brussel sprouts, chestnuts, green and fruit salads, and some kind of pudding (afraid I haven't figured that one out yet). Plus, breakfasts and snacks for both Xmas and Boxing day...

So, what are the ingredients you guys always forget and have to run out at the last minute for?


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  1. Where I live nothing is open on Christmas or Boxing Day either. What you have to do is go over every recipe for every meal and check that you have everything. Also check that you have enough dish detergent, paper towels, toilet paper, trashbags, lightbulbs and batteries. It does require a bit of a seige mentality!

    And of course make sure you have enough soft drinks, wine, beer and spirits!

    1. One thing about NY is how so many bakeries do their best business of the year on Christmas morning before closing early for the rest of the day. It's been like that since way before the end of the blue laws there.

      1. 2 lbs of unsalted Butter, heavy and light cream, onions, carrots, celery, peppercorns, cooking oil, booze to flame the pudding (rum cognac or vodka), matches for candles, and lots and lots of different cheeses, crackers, and cut up fruits and veggies for snacking and crudites. And champagne. Lots of champagne.

        1. Think eggs! If you're talking puddings & breakfast for 2 days, your going to use a lot of eggs

          1 Reply
          1. re: ocdreamr

            I could be wrong, but I believe the OP is using "puddings" in the casual British usage, i.e., a generic term for all desserts. Which isn't to say that she shouldn't have extra eggs on hand, anyway! ;o)

          2. Citrus for zest and juice. I'm usually scrambling for OJ or lemon or orange peel.

            1. c
              Caitlin Wheeler

              Brown sugar. I always forget about brown sugar. It comes in those teeny boxes, and I always run out.

              1. half and half for the coffee

                1. cream -- most people don't have it in the house already
                  eggs (make sure you have enough)
                  parsley for garnish or sauces. So easy to forget!

                  1. Dishwasher detergent and plastic wrap. If I cook a lot, I do a lot of dishes, and without fail I run out or run low. It never occurs to me to get more when I am doing the final shopping trip. Plastic wrap is another thing that gets used up a lot during the prep for big dinner parties. I use it for rolling out pie dough, covering make ahead dishes for long and short term storage in the fridge, wrapping up left overs and making "doggie bags" for guests. Next party I should put both at the top of my list.