5 Registry Items to Splurge On
When choosing goods for your newlywed nest, everyday plates, stainless flatware, and small appliances are shoo-ins, but don't pass high-ticket items by because you think no one will buy them (guests can go in on gifts together), or that you'll never use them (think to the future). This is the time to upgrade the everyday versions of what you have, and also to get all the indulgences you need for special occasions (hosting Thanksgiving dinner four years from now.) So get that scanner ready for these five super-fine splurges:
Make a Sterling Choice
In our parents' time, sterling silver flatware was a fixed item on most wedding registries, and complete sets were passed down from one generation to the next. These days, couples tend to skip over sterling in favor of stainless, liking its lower price tag. But stainless will never hold the value, beauty, and heirloom quality of real silver. And it wears so well -- the more you use silver, the better it looks and the shinier the patina grows. Although it has to be hand-washed, the extra elbow grease is worth it for beautiful silver.
A lot of people shy away from fine dinnerware, thinking that usage once or twice a year doesn't make this fragile purchase worth it. But the truth is that porcelain and bone china are actually tougher and more durable than common stoneware. So don't save china for special occasions only, instead work it into your everyday dinners, as this top-quality tableware is meant for regular use.
Slice and Dice
High-quality knives are probably the single best investment you can make in your kitchen. Allowing you to prep meals faster, more easily, and more safely, you will immediately notice the impact of a quality knife on your cooking. Don't worry about getting the whole 23-knife set (although definitely do if you'll put them to good use). Instead invest in three basic types -- a chef's knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife. When you register, pick each knife up at the store, checking for comfort, weight (should be on the hefty side), and balance (shouldn't feel like it's toppling out of your hand). You can't go wrong with brands such as Wüsthof, J.A. Henckels, and Shun.
You need more from a stockpot than the ability to boil water -- after all, there's a reason half the food gets burned when you use your cheap college cookware: Inexpensive pots and pans won't heat evenly or properly. Upgrade to stainless (corrode-resistant) pots and pans with aluminum or copper cores (great for heat conduction), any other copper combination, anodized aluminum, and cast iron.
Stop relying on your neighborhood barista to get your caffeine fix. Instead, use your registry to treat yourselves to the sophistication of espresso at home, sipped from the comfort of your own kitchen table. Sleek espresso machines often come with a hefty price tag, so put one on the registry and look forward to brunches and after-dinner noshes full of fun cappuccinos, espressos, and happily caffeinated guests.