kumquat (kumquatpie) wrote in thefoodyoucrew,

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2 questions, about pots and pans, and subletting from non-cooks

1. My fiance and I are getting married this August, and as a result I am preparing our wedding registry. One of the things being put on is - naturally - a new set of cookware, because all our stuff is hand me downs and some of it has seen better days. I'm thinking about putting a stainless steel set on there (because I don't like nonstick cook pans and their potentially hazardous crud), but was wondering if anyone had a particular brand to suggest. I seem to remember Calphalon, but from what it looks like on Macy's, all they do is nonstick cookware? Or am I off my rocker. Also, any suggestions as to good stuff to put on the registry is always appreciated. I think we've got our essentials covered (new plates and all that does with that, some fun cooking stuff like a bread maker and an ice cream maker, a few less expensive items for those strapped with cash but still want to buy gifts). I don't feel like we really NEED anything so it's been hard. And of course the things we really do need (a new couch, a functioning TV), I hardly feel is appropriate for a registry.

2. I am subletting over the summer (usually I live in Atlanta with my fiance and two cats, but this summer I am exiled in DC for research reasons), and am facing some issues because the person I am subletting from apparently isn't much of a cook, nor is her roommate, who is here for the summer. They don't have the weirdest things, like a good skillet, or cookie sheets. I honestly cannot imagine how you live without these things. The other night I cut the nail of my left middle finger trying to use a dull vegetable peeler (which I was shocked she had, considering uh, she doesn't even have a pot large enough to boil pasta in). I am a poor graduate student, and as such I really can't afford to revamp their kitchen. I've bought some spices, simply because hello, you can't cook without spices, and I can take those back to Atlanta with me. There is however no point in me buying a bunch of cookware that I'm going to use for 2 months total, and probably won't be able to get them to pay me back for, because they obviously DON'T cook, otherwise they would have bought these things themselves long ago (my roommate is the kind of person who all of her meals seem to come out of one of those freezer bags). Any suggestions? I've been just trying to make do, but trust me, after the vegetable peeler debacle, I am buying a new one, and am going to buy a knife sharpener too because their knives are ridiculously dull. I just have to suck that one up, and deal.

Thanks in advance for your help!!!
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Calphalon does a hard anodized aluminum which isn't bad for every day use, in my opinion. I'm pretty firmly against sets of things, because they're often a poor value. It's better to mix and match to get the best quality for the long term; try a Calphalon every day skillet (shaped like a paella pan, 12 inch diameter), a Le Creuset or a Staub cocotte/dutch oven, an All-Clad stock pot and a small and large saucepan...those kinds of things will last you forever.
I hear you. At first I was wanting to do the set thing because I figured it'd just be the easiest way for me to make sure I have everything on there I want. But the problem is that you can't separate them out, meaning one person would have to end up buying the entire set, which is impractical. I'd noticed the anodizd aluminum and wondered how that was. Thanks!
re: your subletting situation, I heartily recommend thrift stores. I found the pot I've been racking department stores for for months (a 1.5 qt, solid metal, UNCOATED saucepan) at the Unique thrift store in Silver Spring (DC suburb) for $3 yesterday, and they had a lovely selection of miscellaneous skillets, pots and pans, woks, and bakeware. you could probably find everything you need for under $20, and for that little you probably wouldn't mind leaving it behind or giving it away on Freecycle at the end of your stay.

my partner and I are planning to ask for a light-weight cast-iron cooking set on our wedding registry; her parents have one and I've been lusting after it since I saw it. Calphalon does make stainless steel cookware, though.