07 August 2008

favorite (kitchen) thingamajig...

Darren and I have recently started the registering process, and I have to say it is one of the strangest things we have done for this wedding so far. It feels very weird, almost wrong, to be going through a store picking out things we'd like other people to buy for us. (But I have to admit, it is a little exciting too, considering that 95% of what I own is from a garage sale.)

When it comes to the kitchen section we've gone through and added a lot of basic cookware, dinnerware, a few small appliances, etc. But there is sooo much to choose from. So I was wondering if you ladies had any thing that you use when cooking that you just LOVE. Maybe something that makes certain recipes so much easier to make. I'm really loving cooking, but it's only been the past year or so that I've ventured beyond grilled cheese sandwiches, so there's a lot I don't know. There are a few random things that I think would be great, like anything that makes chopping easier haha! and Darren is excited about simple things like a coffee grinder and a meat thermometer. But then there are things that I really have no idea what they are or if they'd be useful - like a dutch oven. sounds like the type of thing every chef should have, but i don't have a clue what the purpose of one is.

So, after all of my babbling, is there anything in your kitchen that you just can't live without? A favorite doodad that gets you super excited? And I guess it doesn't have to be just kitchen, but no, I don't think I can register for fancy knitting needles haha.

10 comments:

Johanna said...

The thing I absolutely cannot live without is a really good knife set. I have Henkels, a 9 piece block set, that is wonderful. Here's a link to them: Henkels Knife Set It's a little bit expensive to register for an entire set like this, but Target does carry a type of Henkels (I don't think they're quite the same as these) that you could at least register for one or two good knives. My biggest frustration in the world when I help prepare food at someone else's house and have to use dull knives that were 5 for $7 at wal-mart!

Joanna said...

I second Johanna's comment. I have Chicago cutlery knives. A proper, good, sharp knife will save you time and cuts in the kitchen.

I'd love to have a dutch oven, but I've lived without it for this long so I'm not sure that it's an essential. Things I wish I had sooner are the food processor and waffle iron. I'd like to have a cookware set that can go straight from the stovetop to the oven. If I could get anything I'd probably get a mandolin for slicing and julienning.

I'd go crazy registering now. We didn't register at all when we got married. Everyone gave us money and we paid off some of our debt with it. It was what we needed most as a couple at the time though.

Marie said...

You might find Alton Brown's Gear for the Kitchen helpful. He talks about all the kitchen gear you can imagine, what the uses are and how useful/indispensable he finds them.

The thing I really love is my set of mixing bowls. I like these because they're light weight and easy to clean.

But I think if I had this 8" chef's knife, it would be my favorite kitchen item by far. I think you can live without a whole set of knives. I only use my (mediocre) chef's knife and paring knives. I would recommend that you spend the money on a few really good knives, versus a whole set of of so-so knives.

Something else we love is a french press. It's also a good excuse to have to get a coffee grinder.

Marie said...

hmmm... so I was posting this at the same time as the jos because I didn't get to read their posts first. so you guys, might disagree with my assessment that it's possible to live without a whole knife set. Might just be me that only uses two types of knives. I do have two of each though and they all seem to always be dirty.

Johanna said...

I drool over mandolin's every time I'm in a kitchen store...it would be really nice. I thought of one other thing. I am amazed at how I actually use all of my various sized mixing bowls all at once quite often. I have four glass ones of varying sizes and a set of 5 stainless steel ones. I don't usually use the little stainless ones, but the others are frequently dirty all at once.

Joanna, after your ode to the spoonula, I am surprised you didn't mention that!

Joanna said...

I *almost* mentioned the spoonula. It was on the tip of my fingers. I do really, really like my spoonula.

As far as the knives go, my set consists of two chef's knives, a bread knife, a boning knife and two different kinds of paring knives. I use the chef's knives and the boning knife all.the.time. Not so much with the paring knives. So I agree with your assessment that as long as you have several different types of high quality, sharp knives you don't need a whole set.

Also, figure out whether you are a rocker or a chopper. If you put the tip of your knife down first and then rock the knife through the food you are cutting up, you're a rocker. If you just chop right through the entire thing, you're a chopper. If you rock, you need this kind of knife (a chef's knife). If you chop, you need this kind of knife (called a Santoku). This is one thing I learned from the knife class.

Also, if I had my druthers, I'd gets lots of Shun knives. Lots and lots of them. Notice the price though. You'd have to sell your first born to afford them. Unless your a famous, crazy chef like AB is.

Joanna said...

you're...not your. I do know how to spell, I promise.

Born Blonde said...

Two things I couldn't live without: my pastry blender (I use it almost every day) and my apple corer/quarterer thingy (it is a big circle with a little circle in the middle and little 'spokes' that you push down on the top of the apple to core and cut it into quarters at the same time -- don't know what its official name is though). Whisks too. Have to have those even though most of my friends don't think they're important. Good luck!

Meagan said...

ummm, can I say kitchen cabinets?!?!?! The most useful thing I have found in the kitchen was enough space to store all the kitchen gagets that one tends to think they *need* when they register for the wedding gifts.

Seriously though, don't register for something unless you specifically feel you will use it on a regular basis or that you specifically plan to replace what you have currently.... I say that cause I still have an extra set of really nice glasses that we have never used cause we already had too many. Chances are, I noticed from my wedding, was if you really needed it you already probably own one!

Leah said...

well meagan, i don't think we can register for cabinets!