I recently received an email from Jessie asking me for some suggestions on what to add to her wedding registry to make her more savvy and domestic in the kitchen.
You may remember reading about the day Mr. How Sweet and I went to register for our wedding gifts; it is the day I diagnosed him with hungry-angry husband syndrome. Luckily, my grandma came to the rescue and helped me register for gifts while Mr. How Sweet ate steak, ice cream cones, and ventured off for a new bottle of water every 16 seconds.
My grandma had actually encouraged me to make a registry before I even knew Mr. How Sweet. There was no way I was putting the cart before that horse, so obviously I didn’t do that. But I can understand why she wanted to start buying me gifts that I would use and carry on with me through out my life. I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that you don’t need to have a registry for a list like this. Here, you will find what I think are the perfect items for stocking a bare kitchen, or adding to your wish lists.
1. Basic, Everyday Dishware.
This is something I regret. We did not go with a basic, plain white. We got Lenox Butler’s Pantry dishware, which is very pretty and can be used for casual or more elegant dinners.
Over the last two years, I’ve found that it just isn’t basic enough for me. That, and it is huge. My dad calls them the “Flintstones” plates because I can’t close my cabinet doors due to them being so large. They are more of a beige color and I really think that a nice, clean white would match everything better. Think timeless.
2. Fine china.
Obviously, this is your own personal preference. But it saddens me that my generation really isn’t into dining elegantly anymore. It is true what they say – you really never will buy china for yourself. Even if you come into money, there will always be something else that is much more practical or fun you wish to buy. China was important to me because my mom, aunts and grandmothers all used it. I have pieces of my grandmothers and even great-grandmothers china and I really treasure it.
The truth? I haven’t even used or unpacked our china yet. In fact, it is still in my parent’s basement. But I also don’t host holiday dinners yet. I know that when the time comes, I will use it and use it often. My mom didn’t unpack her china for over 20 years, and it still stayed intact after my brothers shot hockey pucks at it for most of their childhood.
China is something I definitely don’t regret getting. Opal Innocence was our choice and I love it!
Again, this is debatable, but it is something you will never buy for yourself. It is also something that my mom and grandmothers both use/used often. I am so glad we registered for this because when I think about it now, there are so many other things we want to do: home improvements, vacations, savings … dropping a few hundred dollars on crystal would never happen.
And another reason I adore my crystal? My grandma picked it out solely herself because I could not make a decision. After she passed away, we found all the crystal glasses that she had already bought (completing the registry) to give us as gifts.
4. TWO sets of basic silverware.
This has been a lifesaver. I got through utensils like socks, and I find that one set of silverware does not come with enough serving spoons/forks/etc.
5. Basic appliances.
Think toaster, blender, stand mixer or hand mixer, food processor (large, small or both), a panini press or indoor grill, an electric skillet (these are so nice to have for big breakfasts!), a coffee maker and even some “fun” items like a waffle maker or quesadilla maker.
This will differ on your preferences, but the first few items will always come in handy. For instance – we don’t drink coffee but registered for a coffee maker to have when we entertain.
6. A crock pot.
I never thought I would use a crock pot, most likely because my mom never did. But it definitely comes in handy, especially if you both work full-time jobs. Even if you don’t think you will use it, get one anyway, store it in the basement, and I promise it will be a lifesaver one day!
7. A complete set of pots and pans.
If you get a set of high-quality pots and pans, my first suggestion is to read the directions and FOLLOW THEM. This means that if they say to not use any non-stick spray, or to not soak the skillet in soapy water, don’t do it. In the near future I’ll be sharing my pots and pans dilemma. It is a sad tale.
8. A cast iron skillet.
This is another piece that is timeless and is most likely something you won’t buy yourself. It is extremely versatile and you can make breakfasts, dinners and desserts in it.
9. A set (or two) of graduated mixing bowls.
Pretty self-explanatory, but they always will be used – whether you are mixing cake batter or eating a big bowl of popcorn on movie night.
10. Cake pans and baking sheets.
Baking sheets are used for everything from cookies to pizza to heating frozen meals. And when it comes to cake pans, think two round pans for layer cakes, a springform pan for cheesecake, a bundt and/or angel food cake pan, and a loaf pan for banana breads.
Even if you don’t bake now, chances are you will want to make something somewhere down the road.
11. A set of bakeware.
A set of dishes like Pyrex or Corningware that you can bake casseroles in or take as travel meals on holidays.
Even better: if you can find the carry-alongs that come with hot/cold packs. I love those!
12. Everyday tumblers and wine glasses.
We got some “fun” glasses, but also got a few sets of unbreakable glasses. Then one broke in our sink. Oh well.
13. A good set of knives.
This is something you most likely won’t buy for yourself. Again, follow the directions! If they say not to put them in the dishwasher, don’t. We have ruined many of our good knives already.
14. Cutting boards.
I can never get enough cutting boards. I love them in all sizes – mini, medium and large. You will always use them, whether it is cutting limes for drinks, prepping meat, or slicing vegetables.
I obviously never do that last one.
15. Useful gadgets.
Think garlic press, can opener, microplane, multiple sets of measuring cups and spoons, meat and candy thermometers, ice cream scoopers, spatulas, hand-held juicers and anything else that might catch your eye. We got a few things that I still find today and get very excited to use them!
So these are what I deem to be the kitchen basics. Obviously, you can pick and choose from the list based on your preferences. I suggest registering for the things you really need, and then a few things that you want + some fun items. Don’t make the list overwhelming (I think we did this) and make sure to have items at every price point. Remember – most people will still have access to your registry for a long time after the wedding, and it is a great place for people to look for gifts for you.
Stay tuned for Part Two: more household basics + fun items!
Is there anything you would add to or remove from this kitchen list? Any must-haves that you wish you would have registered for or you can’t wait to get one day?