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Just got back from registering--how'd I do?

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I'm a vegetarian and don't plan to cook any meat or fowl at this point. Also, my non-cooking fiance and I plan to keep a kosher kitchen, so we need two sets of things, one for meat, and one for dairy.

Here goes--would love to hear what you think!

1 All-clad stainless steel 24 qt. stock pot
1 10 piece set of calphalon one anodized cookware. (I know sets aren't ideal, but this one has two frying pans and two sauce pans, which I would have needed anyway. That said, feel free to convince me to buy from the open stock!)
1 Le Creuset 5.5 qt. round french (dutch) oven
1 calphalon non-stick hard anodized 10 in frying pan

1 global vegetable knife
1 global utility knife
1 global chef's knife
I also got the sharpening kit--do I need it?
and I got the drawer knife holder

1 non-skid bamboo cutting board
a bunch of serving plates/bowls
a bunch of mixing bowls
1 wooden salad bowl set
1 stainless steel colander
1 set of cookie sheets
2 metal quiche trays

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  1. 6 gallons will be an enormous quantity of anything -- I don't think I would feel safe having that on a home stove. Other than that nothing leaps out at me as particularly unnecessary.

    I would add a plain, inexpensive uncoated cast iron skillet (or two) for everything from cornbread and pancakes to steak and fried chicken.

    3 Replies
    1. re: renov8r

      Yes, that sounds like an enormous stock pot. What the heck are you cooking in there?

      1. re: flourgirl

        That size pot would be great for making beer. Or rendering a goat. But otherwise it's likely just going to be in the way all the time.

        1. re: Chuckles the Clone

          Thank you. Now I'll know just what pot to use the next time I'm contemplating rendering a goat. Because the LAST time I tried to render a goat, the goshdarn pot just wasn't big enough. ;)

    2. Agree with renov8r - stock pot is probably waaay more than you need. Assess how much you'd use it(and how much you want to use it), and then consider 16 qt or even less (in your considerations think about how much storage you have for keeping stock/soups, for ex.).

      On the Calphalon set, consider what you'll be cooking in the pans. I got a set for my wedding (lo, these many years ago) and belatedly found that cooking acidic foods can ruin that nice anodized coating. If you need two sets for a kosher kitchen, consider adding some open stock stainless so you don't have to worry about acid for those pans. (I assume you'll be planning meals and breaking up cookware for your kitchen.)

      One more thing - always have more veg. knives than you think you'll need, as they 1) go awol and 2) are useful for even a non cooking spouse to help in prep!

      Congrats, and have fun setting up your kitchen.

      1. Looks good. Make sure though that your cookie sheets are really heavy duty with rims. Like the ones they have at Bakers Catalog. It's more important that they be heavy duty than that they be nonstick. That way they won't warp. You can use sheets of parchment paper on top so things don't stick. (Again, from Bakers Catalog) Enjoy your new kitchen!

        1. First of all Mazel Tov from all the hounds.

          add jfood to the 24 qts of what are you planning on cooking. and with no fowl it ain't chicken soup for the machatainas (excuse the spelling) and the bubbies. so he would sugest a MUCH smaller size.

          jfood also does not see any baking pans for roasting veggies. with no meats/fowl in the plans, veggies become an important aspect and there's nothing like a great big vat of roasted veggies.

          also do not really understand the sizes of your knives. how big are you planning the chef's? and is the utility a 4, 5, or 6" knife. jfood assumes the veggie knife is 3-4". veggie cooking may require another knife for the two of you to work together, likewise maybe another cutting board.

          on the pan side, jfood has too many (he knows tough problem to complain about) but his point is he uses his 10" saucier more than any other pan in the kitchen. he has two, one with two u-handles and the other with one u-handle and one long handle. he likes the long handle one better. Wrt the calphalon pans, jfood has lots and his comment would be on the lids. make sure you have potholders because the u-handles on the lids get VERY hot. he also loves the glass lids for the calphalon.

          now if you are not cooking meat is the meat/dairy double dishes important at this point?

          2 Replies
          1. re: jfood

            Good point, jfood...missed the vegetarian aspect. OP: will you be making meat for others, or keeping veg/kosher in your home?

            BTW, I agree with the roasting pans for veg mentioned by jfood - and you can never have enough there, too, as you'll want to rotate pans while your oven's hot and make enough for a few days! BUT! You don't need really spendy ones - if you're registering in more than one place, check out the options. You may end up with two or more!

            1. re: cayjohan

              Thanks SO much everyone--can't tell you how helpful this is. I'll need two sets--one dairy, one parve. I won't be preparing meat, but if others bring it or if we pick up a rotisserie chicken, I'll have the parve sides ready to go. I'm taking off the stock pot, and adding knives and roasting pans. All other thoughts/suggestions are most welcome!

          2. Have you tried the Global knives? Actually held them in your hands and moved your hands around as if you were cutting? Or have you actually used one in a kitchen? I know they look cool, but knife preference is like picking a spouse--preferences are intensely individual and looks aren't enough on which to build a relationship. Make sure the knives you choose are comfortable in your hand, feel secure and well-balanced. Again, just like a good spouse! LOL....

            1 Reply
            1. re: KenWritez

              Ken, I have to say your analogy made me laugh heartily - it so true! Plus, I'd never thought to compare knives with spouses. Well, at least not seriously <grin>.

              But, Noya - Ken is absolutely right on trying the knives. Heck, try different makes for different uses. Don't get hung up on any matchy-matchy issues the marketing tries to ply you with (comes with a matching knife block!). Global might be good for one of your knives, Wusthof for another, cheap parers from the corner market for something else. A spendy knife you don't use because it doesn't "feel right" to you will just be an annoyance and a space waster.

            2. List looks great, and I agree with everyone else here.

              I really like my oval Le Creuset "dutch" oven, and that takes capacity up another .5 qt, I think. But since you are mostly working with vegetables instead of something "oval" like poultry or a roast, the shape probably doesn't matter. If you eat a lot of grains, I love my rice cooker which has a timer so you can have cooked brown/white/wild rice and other grains waiting when you get home. On the inexpensive gift side, I know this is a bone of contention on this board, but I really do like my large salad spinner if you eat a lot of greens. You might want to consider a Silpat baking mat. Some of those color-coded cutting mats might be nice to help segregate things, too. Also, anything to steam vegetables, like an insert? They make separate appliances for that but it's really not necessary.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hollerhither

                Salad spinner - great suggestion. I love mine and use it almost every day.

              2. I agree with most that is said here. 24 quarts is absolutely tremendous if you are not using it for something like a large quantity of soup or gefilte fish or meatballs. And besides, if you are cooking on (gasp) an electric stove, it will take forever to bring to a boil, especially if it is a thick metal. If you put such a pot on a back burner, you will have to watch your backsplash to make sure you don't scorch it (trust me on that one...). I like having a 12" pan in addition to 10." As to cookie sheets and any other baking pans you may subsequently acquire, make sure they light in color, not a dark color. If you bake, try to get both 10" x 15" and 12" x 17" or 13" x 18." Dark pans tend to bake things faster, so that you will get a cookie with a bottom that is too dark, or the surface of whatever has contact with the pan may over-bake and toughen. You do not need non-stick cookie sheets if you use either parchment paper or a silpat on the bottom of the pans. You may want a 9" or 10" round spring form pan. Don't forget liquid and dry measuring cups, measuring spoons, a timer, parchment paper, silicone brush for basting, silicone spatulas, wire whisks. Good luck.

                1. I got married very young and hubby and I were the first among our friends to tie the knot. We felt guilty registering and registered for a modest amount of things in limited price ranges (mostly the cheap stuff). We were poor and figured everyone else was poor, too.
                  I would do it differently now. Our registery sold out very quickly and we ended up with all sorts of bizarre things (and a zillion champagne flutes) because people did not know what to give us. And, much to my surprise, there are a number of generous people who are able and willing to give you some luxurious items.
                  Some of the items I did not register for (and don't see on your list), but wish I had include:
                  spring form pans
                  quality kitchen shears
                  muffin pans (variety of sizes)
                  bundt/loaf pans
                  set of sturdy tupperware
                  cake stand
                  kitchen torch
                  salad spinner
                  hand help blender (perfect for soups)
                  Most useful kitchen item I did receive (which jfood mentions) was a nice caphalon roasting pan.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Honey Bee

                    Thanks again. I have now made major additions to the list--I so very much appreciate all of your thoughts.

                    1. re: Honey Bee

                      Soup bowls - I realize your list is for the cooking and prep, but I love large soup bowls that are oven proof - the 18 oz Apilco lion's head bowls from W&S are perfect for French Onion Soup which go into the oven (or microwave) and are necessary for baked soups.You might really get a lot of use from these.

                      And if someone else already meniton - so sorry - but a slow cooker and nice pepper grinder.
                      Best Wishes and Many Years of Happiness!

                    2. I'd consider replacing the bamboo cutting board with a nice big maple one. Like
                      one of these: http://www.johnboos.com/residential/m...

                      Bamboo seems to get all unpleasant after a couple of years, but these guys will last for the rest of your life.

                      1. The only thing I would recommend is making sure your meat and dairy sets are different enough - you do not want to be confusing your pots - it is one of the pluses of keeping a kosher kitchen you have the opportunity to have two sets of cookware -

                        1. I would add a stand mixer (e.g. Kitchen Aid or the like). I felt a little guilty when I put it on our registry 6 years ago because I thought it was expensive, but a mom and her daughters pooled together and bought it for us. If you like to bake (and I see cookie sheets on your list already), it is a great thing to have.

                          A food processor (Cuisinart) is also a nice addition, but only if you have ample counter space to have it out and ready all the time. If you need to pull it out of a cabinet, you will never use it. It is a whiz for grating lots of cheese, making your own bread crumbs, pesto, and whatever else you can think of.

                          On the cast iron, I would get a grill pan too. I use mine all the time when it's too cold to grill outdoors, or when I don't feel like firing up the grill for only two people.

                          And I say keep the 24 qt. pot. You can always invite the neighbors over (ALL of them) for a lobster boil. ;))

                          Congratulations and Good Luck!!!!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Philly Ray

                            Can't do lobster if she keeps kosher. Some other possibilities- cheese graters, salt and pepper mills, good quality cooking utensils.

                          2. I would say also add a bunch of 'jelly' cuttingboards. As an addition to the bamboo one you got. I always have a whole bunch of Heat restistant Sillicone Spatulas, use them for everything and they come in nice colors to brighten up the kitchen!
                            Electric Handmixer (for tasty mashed potatoes!)
                            Different kinds op utensils, slotted spoons, soup ladels, etc and the Crock to put them in.
                            Pairing knife, for the small stuff. For the knife givers; Don't forget to put the penny on the knives!
                            Good Luck!

                            1. Like others have said, the stock pot is WAAAAAAY too big unless you're wanting to do things like make pasta for 50 on a regular basis. I think the biggest I've had any want for is 3 gallons, and that's for making wort for a five-gallon batch of beer. The Dutch oven will do just about anything you need it to, including making stock.

                              I got a 10 piece set of Calphalon cookware years ago; I have used two pieces of it frequently. The minimum essentials are a nonstick and a regular 12 inch skillet (or if you want the convenience of two-in-one, skip the Calphalon One and get a Lodge cast iron) and a 5 or 6 quart Dutch oven. Then go for 10-inch skillets and a 2-quart nonstick saucepan. Beyond that, let your cooking habits dictate.

                              As for knives, you need three. Vegetable and utility knives aren't them. You want a chefs knife that's at least 8 inches long, a serrated bread knife that's at least 10 inches, and a 4-inch paring knife.

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                Thanks--re: knives: I cook A LOT of veggies--are you sure I wouldn't need the vegetable knife? I never bake bread--what other uses does a serrated bread knife have?

                                1. re: noya

                                  I actually do use a fourth "average" knife sometimes that's between the size of the chef's and the paring knife. It's helpful when you have people helping you chop stuff who might be intimidated by a chef's knife. Paring knife takes forever for that stuff. :) So a 6-inch knife that could be called a "vegetable" knife isn't a bad idea.

                                  1. re: noya

                                    A serrated knife is good for bagels, cakes, tomatoes, and anything where a gentle sawing motion is needed.

                                    1. re: noya

                                      I use the chefs knife on my vegetables and find it works fine. Philly Ray is exactly right about the use of the bread knife... anything delicate that would get squished by a chefs knife.

                                      1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                        I think an 8-9" chef's knife, slicer (bread knife), and paring knife would be a good set - you don't really need the utility or vegetable knives. Spend the bulk of the money on the chef's knife - the others can be of averate quality - it's the chef's knife that's going to get used most and last longest. If you really want another knife, get a santoku or a larger / smaller chef's knife.

                                      2. re: noya

                                        You might not need a veggie knife, but I will say that my global vegetable knife is my favorite and most used knife of all the ones I have (including a nice 8 inch chef's knife). It somehow just feels the best for me to cut up vegetables. I do, however, love having a bread knife as well. So I would say 4 knives would be perfect - and a good set of kitchen shears - for everything you would want.

                                    2. I'm thinking of utensils. Don't forget slotted spoons, ladles, spatulas, whisks (particularly if you bake), and tongs. Also, I couldn't live without my microplane grater for citrus zest, garlic, and ginger. And I've also found that a few oven-proof glass or ceramic dishes/bowls are really useful. It saves on washing up if you can heat something and serve in the same dish.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Kagey

                                        Good point about the tongs - I use them all the time for all sorts of things, including removing hot pot lids.

                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                          I found a great tip for pot lids from Alton Brown... wedge a couple of wine corks in between the lid and the handle, and use that to pick it up. Works like a dream. If you aren't much of a wine drinker you can likely get lots and lots of corks from a local wine bar just by asking near the end of the night.

                                        2. re: Kagey

                                          If I can provide brands I've had good luch with... for the slotted spoons, spatula, and tongs, Oxo is great. Throw an Oxo salad spinner on the pile while you're at it. Calphalon puts out a perfect plastic ladle, with a firm 10 inch long handle (not so short it falls in and not so long that it's cumbersome) and a rolled lip on the bowl to prevent drips. And the microplane is very nice indeed.

                                          1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                            Thanks--the suggestions and specifics are so helpful! I'm going to have the best registry ever! I appreciate your thoughts so much, everyone.

                                        3. without going through the list again one thing just struck jfood:

                                          Coffee maker

                                          1. I forgot to mention an immersion blender! Nothing like it for pureeing soups right in the pot--you don't have to take apart and wash a regular blender! Get one that also comes with a little food processor attachment. That's great for making small amounts of curry pastes, pestos, other sauces, etc. I wouldn't be without mine.

                                            1. Some miscellaneous thoughts:

                                              1) Some kitchen appliances and gear I find really helpful:

                                              --Blender with excellent ice-crushing ability (great for drinks as well as pureeing soups, gravies, sauces, etc.)
                                              --Large roasting pan (excellent for making stock or roasting large amounts of veg)
                                              --Food service-size rolls of plastic wrap and aluminum foil.

                                              2) Never, NEVER, ever, put good quality kitchen knives in the dishwasher or cut with them on glass cutting boards or tile/concrete/stone countertops. Best way to dull the knives if you do.

                                              3) There is another aspect to kitchen gear--Will you be entertaining: Lots, some, none? Do you want to host dinner parties? Will you be cooking food to bring to events? If so, then we need to consider entertaining gear, even if it's just simple stuff.

                                              4) Do you like to grill? If so, consider a BBQ grill (even a small, simple one) for outside on a patio, deck or balcony. Grilling is a great way to add incredible flavor to your foods.

                                              5) Do you eat fish? If so, wide spatulas are very practical and some oval serving platters will be nice if you do whole fish.