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Sep 10, 2009 03:04 PM

Etiquette question for using someone elses kitchen

I'm house sitting for some friends who just had a wedding anniversary and are off on vacation. They got a pizzelle maker as a gift for their anniversary and haven't used it yet. I'm tempted to make them some pizzelles for them to come home to, but I don't know if it's rude or not to christen someone else's appliance before they get to, especially when it's attached to a special event like this. They're very generous people, and are the "use our stuff/eat whatever's in the fridge" kind of folks (I house sit for them alot). Am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

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  1. that's an interesting one! are they avid cooks/bakers or total gadget freaks? and are they likely to *ever* use it themselves? (i'm wondering if it's something they asked for, or just a random gift from someone who thought it was the kind of thing they'd personally like to receive.) if the answers are no and no, then i'd do it. it's a really thoughtful gesture on your part, but it is a tricky situation.

    you could always make them something else, and explain to them that you had thought about making pizzelles but were concerned that they might be upset if you christened the gift. their response will likely give you a good indication of whether or not it would have been wise...and the next time you house-sit, you'll know where they stand if you want to break in their new ice cream maker or ebelskiver pan ;)

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I had to look up ebelskiver. In the Netherlands they had something similar called a poffertje pan.

    2. not sure . . . I guess if it was still in the box, I'd leave it. If it was unwrapped & put in the cabinet (or wherever), I'd go ahead. Sounds like they probably would not mind, but I would hesitate to open the box & take it out for a first-time use.
      So nice of you to think of making something for them, though!

      2 Replies
      1. re: elfcook

        I agree with elfcook. If in the cupboard - go for it. Otherwise, leave it for them.

        1. re: elfcook

          I'm with elfcook on this one too. I do house-sitting for friends and relatives (who always say, "help yourself to whatever you want in the fridge and pantry"), but still I don't think I would ever open a gadget or appliance still in a box (I wouldn't even do it at my mom's house without asking). It is nice of you to think of making something for your friends; maybe you could make cookies, a casserole, or something else that wouldn't require you to use a brand-new appiiance for the first time.

        2. Probably wisest not to use it, but to take the opportunity to mention thinking about it, as goodhealthgourmet suggested, to get a feel for their general position on such matters. Definitely not if it's still in the box an/or if you gave it to them. They may be planning on putting it on eBay.... If, on the other hand, it is something that they requested and it has been taken out of the box, you could make s batch for them, and say that you hoped they didn't mind that you used it before they did.

          1. To the contrary, I think its a lovely gesture. I respect the sentiment that they should open it and use it first but, you can be the one who seasons the grill (making it more useable for them when they make their first try) and welcome them home with home baked goodies. For you to even think of the offer, you obviously have had the knowledge of what to do. Share it with them and have a stack of crispy pizzelles to welcome them home. While the anise flavor is the most popular, there are other recipes with citrus zest, vanilla, etc.. Print a few out and present them with a mini-pizzelle cookbook. You might be opening a whole new world.

            Hey, they said "use our stuff!" Make a pot of espresso and have a plate of fresh fruit to go with it..


            P.S. If they trust you enough to house sit, you shouldn't hold back on any kind thoughts you have for your friends.That's what memories are made of.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Chefpaulo

              I'd be willing to bet my firstborn child that Chefpaulo is a male, the OP and all the rest of the posts being from female. Guys are likely to take the "make yourself at home" greeting literally; women to analyze it more, and think about possible negative ramifications. ;-}

              1. re: greygarious

                I read your comment and bells went off in my head. I think you're on to something. And the fact we worry about it means it's a legit question.

            2. This is a lovely and generous thought on your part, but I would err on the side of caution and let your friends break in their own gift. I would be upset if someone got to play with my toys before I did (because I am petty and immature). They might have a special "let's christen the pizzelle maker" night planned. Do you want to ruin their special "let's christen the pizzelle maker" night? Of course you don't.