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Jun 19, 2010 09:23 AM

Poor Cookware Gift [moved from Cookware board]

Have you given a cookware gift in an improper situation or regret doing so?

I know there is always an issue of giving a knife (especially for a wedding) because it can be perceived as an ill omen. I have given a bread machine as a wedding gift and was later told it is not a great choice. In my defense, I have a tendency to buy people gifts which "I" want to have. I bought an 1-year old toy which I want to play and I bought that bread machine because I wanted one.

Have you ever regret giving a kitchenware to another person? Maybe it violates a tradition or maybe it is a poorly made product.

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  1. I did get my sister an electric steamer once (for vegetables) and I don't think she was particularly thrilled. But I don't *regret* it--sure, I'd have liked to have had one, but she was really into diet food at the time and I thought it appropriate. Can't say I've ever regretted a cooking-related gift I've given. If the giftee doesn't want it, he/she can always return it.

    BTW, why would a bread machine be considered an inappropriate gift? I've never heard of that. I am truly curious. And knives are only a bad omen in certain cultures, not all of them. My mom gave her granddaughter & new husband a set of Wusthof knives that were very well received.

    12 Replies
    1. re: nofunlatte


      Why wasn't your sister happy about the steamer?

      I were indirectly told that bread machine is a poor gift because it is so so so typical as if the person didn't give any thought into the wedding gift. It isn't inappropriate, just a bad reflection on the person. I only found out the bread machine thing after the wedding.

      I were at a computer room with a coworkers about 2 weeks after the wedding and we were talking about wedding gift and I said "I am not sure if they liked my gift" and my coworker said "Don't worry. It is not like you gave them a bread machine".(My coworker didn't know what I gave them).

      I must had a real shocked expression on my face because my coworker looked at me for 2 seconds then said, "Oh, you gave them a bread machine, didn't you?" and he then explained that some people considered a bread machine as a "no-thought" gift. In my defense, I did not know this, and I spent over an hour brain-storming and shopping that machine for them.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        If you'd given me a bread machine, I'd have written you a nice note and returned it. I have no desire for one. It seems like most people are registering so if you want to go the practical route, you can see exactly what they want. A bread machine could be perfect for alot of people. I had a niece marry a few years ago and they even included some power tools from Home Depot in their registry. They have an old home and are into DIY. I was tickled to buy them those things. Her sister got married more recently and I wanted to give her something more personal as she's my goddaughter. I found her a lovely small vase at Tiffanys.

        I think if you're operating blind, it's just going to be damn hard to guess and I wouldn't worry about it. Those gift receipts (without the price) are always nice to include.

        1. re: c oliver

          Now that you mentioned it. Yes, they did registered, but I didn't even bother to look at the list because I thought I could come up better. Guess not. I did include the receipt.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Our younger daughter married about two years ago. They were registered at Williams-Sonoma, Crate & Barrel and Bed Bath & Beyond. Really covered it from soup to nuts.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              I would have loved a bread machine, personally. Most of our gifts consisted of lots and lots and lots of white bath towels and picture frames.

          2. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Interesting--I would never consider a bread machine a "no brainer" gift. And frankly, a gift is a gift. Now I DO sometimes give "no brainer" gifts. It's called cash :) So, I LIKE your "no brainer" gift idea. Should I get married, I'll be sure to send you an invite!

            I don't think my sister ever even used the steamer (it's an old one--this was probably 20 years ago--and not particularly expensive, but I was a college student at the time and I'm from a family that believes in buying gifts within one's means). But the year before I got her a Black and Decker food processor and she didn't use it for a couple of years. But once she did, she was hooked!

            1. re: nofunlatte

              I can't remember if I had actually married my husband (the first time) when he gave me a FP. I thanked him sincerely but later followed up with the suggestion that perhaps small appliances weren't the most romantic gift :)

              1. re: c oliver

                I wouldn't think of a bread machine as a no brainer either.. I have one, granted haven't used it in some time, but do like it when I do.
                I would take your co workers ill spoken comment with a grain of salt.
                Bread machines are not exactly a cheap no thought item.

                Oh.. and one other thought.. those were your co-workers personal thoughts.. not necessarily those of the newlyweds. ;)

                My stepfather got my mom a vaccuum for mothers day.. granted it's a dyson and she is a gadget person.. so it was a good fit for her.

                Worst wedding gift I received was a cheap plastic mandoline labeled "as seen on tv" the blades stick straight up.. I sliced my palm and wrist on the thing.. I recently found it, I never trashed or gave it away as I was afraid for anyone else to have it. It belongs in a torture chamber!

                1. re: grnidkjun

                  Take a hammer, bash it into pieces and THEN trash it. I cut myself with a decent one. They're scary at the best of times.

              2. re: nofunlatte


                Thanks. I won't say I feel horrible about the bread machine thing. I don't regret in a major way (like crying at nights), but I would have probably bought them differently if I can do it again. Probably similar to your steamer incident. Not a real regret, but I am sure you would have bought your sister something different if you knew she won't use it very often.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Your friend simply returned the bread machine, if she/he didn't like it. Don't fret. There is entirely too much angst about wedding gifts. The bride and groom can't control the gifts they receive. And gift registrations are supposed to be for the convenience of guests, should they desire to know what the couple want. I think the bread machine is a nice gift.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    I would have loved a bread machine, in fact I would still love to own one. I think it's a great gift.

            2. I think a bread machine is a very nice gift! Granted, I don't want one b/c I enjoy making my bread by hand...though I'd love a stand mixer! But even so, I think a bread machine is a nice gift. Back when I got married 10 years ago, I would've loved a bread machine.

              I also would love knives. Heck, I got knives at my wedding. And was thrilled to get them.

              1. For those newlyweds that you know are going to complain, save yourself the trouble and get them matching ball and chains.

                Registry service is nice in that you don't get ten of the same thing and offend someone when they visit and see that their gift is nowhere to be found. On the other hand television has created a belief in some people that you have been saving since you were born in anticipation of their wedding. They set up a registry at a store in which few of their friends can afford.

                I think a bread machine is fine if you think they might enjoy it. Same goes for knives especially if their current collection consists of plastic knives and box cutters.

                Let's face it, if gifts were purchased after the reception dinner 90% of the people wouldn't get a roll of aluminum foil. People should be getting married for love, not a money making and gift getting operation.

                2 Replies
                1. re: SanityRemoved

                  A good friend gave me a Ronco rotisserie as a housewarming gift (used). He had bought it for himself and did not care for it. Who cares? We are not friends because of gifts.

                  1. re: phantomdoc

                    Well, obviously the 25 cents works.

                    Actually, another superstition is that knives as gift will cleavage the friendship between the giver and the receiver, so it is between you and the couple.

                2. I think the pople who told you that you goofed with your gift choice are out or their minds! I think you did fine. As for bridal registries, the ORIGINAL intent was to give "clueless" people some idea of what the B&G might like, but it was/is perfectly acceptable for someone willing to put some thought into it to present a gift that's not on the bridal registry list.

                  To be honest, I kind of resent bridal registries because.... I once recieved an invitation to the wedding of the daughter of a couple who were "casual acquaintances" at best. It included a small business size card stating that the bride was registered at three rather upscale California department stores. I did go to the bother of checking out her wish list at all three places, and excuuuuuuse meeeee... The LEAST expensive item was over $200.00, and we're talking thirty-plus years ago! And that wasn't the only time that something similar happened. I have come to consider many bridal registries as extortion lists! But not all brides, grooms, or respective parents are this clueless. If someone has doubts about what they would like to give, then a registry is a good place to get ideas or guidance, but I have never considered them "MUST" lists!

                  Chemi, I think you did great, Stop beating yourself for being thoughtful and generous!

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Caroline1

                    Holy cow re the prices! I think you make a good point that the registry and give you some ideas regarding their taste. And, hey, if they don't like the gift, they can return it. I was glad that our daughter included C&B and BBB since WS can be rather pricey.

                    1. re: Caroline1


                      Thanks. Nah, I didn't beat myself over the bread maker. I just thought it was funny.

                      I am shocked that the couples have $200 item (30 years ago) as the cheapest item on the list. Well, maybe they were a very wealthy couples and they didn't even think of these item as expensive. As I get older and my friend get wealthier (people get wealthier as they get older), I notice the wedding registration items get more expensive.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Older couples probably have a house full of stuff already and are looking to upgrade. Well that sounds crass and I don't really mean it that way - just that they already have the basics.
                        No one is obligated to buy from the registry, but I have to say that I don't understand the mentality of ignoring the registry on the assumption that one can choose a 'better' gift. The registry consists of the items they themselves chose! I love the crystal wedding gifts I received because I know they reflect the taste of the givers, who love us and wanted us to have the best. But they sit mostly unused and really don't match the rest of our stuff or lifestyle (actually, I'm more familiar with the crystal bowl as the white elephant of wedding gifts, not the bread machine).

                        1. re: julesrules

                          Our daughter and SIL were 30 when they married and had been living out on their own for years. So, yes, they had some things and, yes, they were pretty clear about what they would like. They had no interest in the whole "china,crystal,silver" thing. They were registered with three different stores of different prices ranges and types of merchandise. But there's nothing inherently wrong with buying off the registry. And there's nothing wrong with gifts being returned. Unless it's from Great Aunt Gertrude who lives a few blocks away and is going to expect to see that crystal bowl in a place of pride when she drops by :)

                          1. re: julesrules


                            In hindsight, I should have checked out the registry list. I think I might have also been initimated because online registration thing was kind of new. Well, new to me anyway, it might have been around.

                            I think I should have said that people's expectation for wedding gifts grow in value as they earn more money. In other words, high income earners expect more. I were misleading when I wrote "older" beacuse I am not talking about seniors. I remember the weddings I attended when I were a student. The registration lists were usually relatively inexpensive. A $50 gift is good and $100 is a lot. However, once we graduated and holding jobs, I certainly see a major difference in the registration lists for professional couples. $100 gift becomes nothing.

                            People who has a master in science plus a law degree, working in a law firm simply have a very different idea of gifts than graduate students earning $1500 a month.

                            In a time span of 5 years, I can see major difference.

                            Hey, I cannot complain. Spending $20 for a knife (as opposed a $10 knife) was a major decision for me when I were a student. I remember lusting for that $20 knife over 20 minutes in an Asian supermarket and finally found the courage to buy it. I were so happy with that $20 knife too and calling my mom about it. Now, I consider a $50 knife cheap.

                            What the heck, right?

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              Ha, I wasn't talking about seniors either - by 'older' I guess I meant adults more established in their careers, maybe already owning a home together, not young couples just starting out. Pretty much what you described.

                      2. Yikes. I gave my mother a shun knife set for xmas last year and got her a breadmaker about a decade earlier..