For the younger couples getting married, or simply for those who have never invested much in their kitchens, a gift registry can be a daunting process. What will you need? What will just take up space in your pantry?
The best thing to remember when registering is who you are as a couple. If neither of you likes to cook now, chances are you won't magically enjoy it anymore after you say, "I do." There are some practical items which you will need and use, but you also should register for fun things that you will truly enjoy.
When registering be honest about what you will use often, and invest more in those pieces than what you will only use on special occasions. Also, remember to factor in how much counter and storage space is in your kitchen.
What does everyone need?
These are things every kitchen, regardless of how often you cook, should have:
coffeemaker, hand mixer, blender, set of pots and pans, cookie sheets, knives, cutting boards, measuring cups, casserole dishes, storage ware, and mixing bowls.
What if you are a little more interested in all things kitchen?
For the beginning cook who is interested in developing their culinary skills:
food processor (at least 9-cup), rolling pin, electric skillet, cake pans, loaf pans, garlic press, and higher quality knives, and upgrade that handheld mixer to a Kitchen Aid.
What needs more research?
Do your research on all cookware and bakeware. There is a difference in quality. Brands that are always a good investment: All-Clad and Le Creuset. If you take care of these pots and pans, they will last you a very long time. A more affordable brand available at large discount stores is Tramontina. Especially for the price, these pots and pans almost always have positive reviews and cook evenly. For bakeware, Pyrex is always a safe bet, although as you grow more proficient in the kitchen, you will also want to invest in some dark metal baking pans because they will help some recipes brown more evenly.
Multi-Purpose Appliances: Good or Bad Idea
In an effort to maximize counter space, many companies are unveiling multi-purpose appliances. The upside is that you don't have to store a blender, mixer, and a food processor. The downside is that if something happens to the motor that isn't covered by warranty, you will lose all of your major kitchen electrics.
What single purpose appliances should you use?
Single-purpose appliances are almost always a bad idea. They take up a lot of space, and often more practical electrics can do the same work. A few examples are margarita machines, yogurt makers, popcorn poppers, and fondue sets. So, unless you know that you desperately want to make your own yogurt, or that you must have Belgian waffles every Sunday, avoid these appliances for a registry.
Photo Credit: Alexander White