The essential kitchen registry list.

Notes on nuptials.
June 11 2007 12:01 PM

Too Many Gadgets Spoil the Kitchen

The essential bridal registry list.

Click hereto read more from Slate's wedding issue. 

(Continued from Page 1)

Cutting Boards
One area where bigger is better: cutting boards. Get one as big as your cabinets and sink can bear. When chopping, you want to be able to move aside the food you've already cut, something you can't do on a dinky cutting board. Get a thick board, too—at least a half-inch thick, so that it's less inclined to slide around. As for wood/bamboo or plastic, it's something of a draw (wood draws microbes away from the board's surface, plastic can generally be sterilized in the dishwasher). I prefer wood because it's more attractive, and it doesn't get fuzzy with use. Go ahead and get one smaller cutting board, too, for those times when you need only to slice a strawberry. Flexible plastic mats aren't really shock absorbent enough on their own, but they are effective, dishwasher-safe liners to use when cutting raw meat on your board.

The glass or ceramic 9x13 pan ties, in my mind, with the Bundt as the most American of pans, but it's far more versatile. Old 9x13 is good for casseroles, slumps, buckles, and grunts, good for sheetcake, baklava, and braised shortribs. It may be breakable, but it's fairly sturdy, and it looks pretty on the table. In general, this sort of bakeware is a good investment because it can double up for serving, so you might indulge in a few other shapes as well. Click here for more baking suggestions.


Kitchen linens
How can people buy so many fancy linens that don't dry a drop? I highly recommend terry bar towels, which do clean up spills, and (when dry) function as excellent pot holders. Bonus: When stained beyond redemption, they can move to the rag bin and be cheaply replaced. For drying wine glasses, admittedly, you want something less napped: Splurge then on flour-sack towels. Save the cute linens for your placemats and napkins. Other drying notes: Do get a strong drying rack. You will need it even if you have a dishwasher.

I love appliances and can't bear to part even with those I use but once a year. But think long and hard about each new appliance you introduce to the kitchen. Although my food processor is great, I still mutter whenever I have to pull it out of its above-the-fridge cabinet. If I had to choose only one, I'd go for a very high-end blender. (Yes, the price is obscene, but have you ever felt a 2 horsepower motor whizzing away in your hands?) Unless you use the slicing/shredding blades often, blenders and food processors serve a similar purpose—and blenders have the edge in pureeing the hell out of liquids like soups and sauces. They are also a little easier to clean (fill your blender with water and a drop of soap, run it as if you were making a milkshake, and rinse). I do enjoy my food processor for certain jobs, like truly lazy shredding and hummus-making, though. Click here for additional thoughts on appliances.

I have a dark and ominous Lazy Susan cabinet jumbled with spice jars. Growing up, my mother had a dark and ominous Lazy Susan filled with spice jars. It is hereditary, perhaps, but not my proudest inheritance. I wish I had considered my spice problem more thoroughly before I settled into my home. You should, too—register for a spice rack that makes sense for your space, whether that means a sleek countertop solution or something that fits in a drawer. All jars must have airtight seals. Also, gift givers, a particularly lovely extra gesture would be to send high-quality spices to fill those jars.

A registry gives you a fantastic head start on a kitchen, but the truth is that the best kitchens evolve a little at a time, after you observe what you use constantly, and what's gathering a thick coat of greasy kitchen dust. Nothing gets a shared household off to a worse start than an argument over where to put the goddamned wok.

For a complete list of items mentioned in this article, click here.


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Subprime Loans Are Back

And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

  News & Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 9:17 PM Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl Soundtrack Sounds Like an Eerie, Innovative Success
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.