Kitchen Tools That Last

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We recently passed our 10th anniversary of marriage. When Mr. V and I wed, we were just a few months out of college. We had lived in dorms our first three years of school, then in on-campus apartments that we filled with our mothers’ old plates and silverware from 1978. So when we registered, we basically needed everything for our home together.

(Of course, needed is a stretch. We could have gotten by fine with those 70s plates. But you know what I mean. We didn’t have anything of our own.)

It’s neat to see what in the kitchen has held up for 10 years. We joked that 8 years seemed to be the threshold for linens: that’s when all our sheets were suddenly too shrunken to stay on the bed and the towels seemed ratty.

Some items have been replaced more because of want than need; some met untimely ends, like the blender I dropped on the pantry floor and the toaster I set on fire. (Yep. Awesome.)

If you’re looking for long-lasting kitchen paraphernalia to give as a wedding gift or for your own home, here’s what has lasted in my own kitchen. (Or kitchens. We’ve lived in five different homes since we got married.)

Wolfgang Puck Stainless Steel Cookware – We just have the pots and pans, not the utensils. I have no complaints about our pots and pans. They are nice and heavy and clean up well. We supplement them with a Dutch oven (I have a stainless one as well as an enameled cast iron one), a cast-iron skillet, and a couple of nonstick skillets.

Cuisinart Stainless Mixing Bowls with Lids – Again, stainless steel cleans up so well every time. And I love the lids on these things! So practical.

Sunbeam Heritage Stand Mixer – I actually don’t still have mine, but I used it until a few months ago and then passed it on to my mom. I had a chance to get a free KitchenAid from someone in the family, and I jumped at the chance! But if you want a stand mixer without forking out hundreds of dollars, the Sunbeam did me well. And there are things I actually like more about it than the KitchenAid.

Oxo Good Grips nylon tools – We have quite a few of the Good Grips tools – this ladle, a vegetable peeler, a few others. I’ve been very happy with how they have held up. Just a few weeks my balloon whisk bit the dust, but I think 10 years is a pretty good life for a ($7!) whisk!

Oxo Softworks Salad Spinner – Still in great condition, although it’s not something I use a ton.

We still have the Pflatzgraff dinnerware, Target glasses, and Oneida flatware that we got for the wedding. The dinnerware is mostly in good shape – it is scratched as you would expect from stoneware and a few pieces have chips. We’ve talked about replacing it but that would mean agreeing on something else.

Honorable mention goes to one of the oldest items in my kitchen: my Microplane grater. I inherited it from my grandmother’s things when she passed away, so it’s older then 10 years! And that thing still will grate my skin right off. It’s sharp! (I also have Grandma’s Muffinaire muffin tin, which I used this morning to make Double Chocolate Banana Bread Muffins.) (Also I talked my other, living grandmother into giving me a set of her Tupperware measuring cups. Because the measurements are engraved and they are so nice. I think she had all three of their 70s colors: harvest orange, avocado, and harvest yellow. I took the orange ones.)

What’s the oldest item in your kitchen? Or one that has definitely earned its keep?

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4 thoughts on “Kitchen Tools That Last

  1. Oldest has to be my grandmother’s rolling pin – I can’t even begin to put an age on it, but my grandparents were married in 1925, so…

    It’s glass, and hollow, with a ginormous cork in the open end. It *is* shaped – the ends drop down to a handle shape, though the whole thing is one big hollow piece of glass. Anyway, you put some crushed ice and water in that baby, and who needs a marble cutting block to roll out pastry? It keeps the dough nice and cold on its own.

  2. I have two antique items in my kitchen that I love. One is a Waring blender circa 1950 that belonged to my Great Uncle. It’s in great shape and is the best at making smoothies. The other is a nut grinder. I collect Androck nut grinders because that is what my grandmother used for chopping pecans for cakes. They came in large sacks of flour in the 1940’s and 1950’s. The nut grinder is wonderful for chopping walnuts and pecans and the glass base holds about 1 cup.

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