Ready or not, it's rapidly becoming the holiday season and many of us will be cranking up things in the kitchen this year, baking and making treats. With COVID-19 numbers climbing at alarming rates in Montana, you may be scaling back large family gatherings, per CDC recommendations to limit the spread of the virus. Health officials say the best way to avoid unnecessary exposure risk is to limit contact with members outside your immediate household, adding,

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 epidemic is worsening, and small household gatherings are an important contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

Instead of traveling to Mom and Dad's house or hosting a large Thanksgiving get-together, many of us are considering having Thanksgiving at home. That means you might become the "head chef" this year, instead of a simple guest who normally can get away with bringing a side dish or a bag of dinner rolls to your traditional gathering. And if you find yourself in charge of the holiday meal, you're going to need some gear.

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I swung by Zest, a cooking specialty shop that opened earlier this year in downtown Billings to browse their extensive inventory of useful kitchen gadgets, accessories and "must-have" items that will make your holiday cooking efforts easier this year.

Here are 18 items that every home chef should have in their arsenal of cooking gear.