As our household has transitioned from college grads to working adults, we have been taking stock of our kitchen items and upgrading as we are able, purchasing a few entertaining and cooking workhorses that will last for decades and focusing on elegant, timeless pieces that will only get better with age. Here are some of our favorite classics and adaptable basics.
A few of our must-haves are items you can purchase at any store, really, in any city. But two of our entertaining must-haves are more personal than that; we have found that these kitchen keepsakes are a mix of meaningful, sustainable, timeless, and practical.
First on our list: the coveted Le Creuset Dutch Oven. This enameled cast iron pot is the epitome of made-to-last kitchen ware and likely at the top of any home cook's wish list. Able to withstand daily cooking for decades, these pots might just be worth their weight in gold (and that's a lot of gold). They are so known for their reliability, in fact, that they're often passed down to the next cook in the generational line-up.
Another frequent long-lasting multitasker: a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. We inherited ours from an avid baker, and she used it for 15 years before handing it down to us in excellent condition. With attachments, this hefty stand mixer can do anything from knead and cut pasta to whip egg whites.
Whether you find one made from reclaimed teak, recycled metals, or even eco-friendly glass, a beautiful salad bowl (that can double as a pasta or bread bowl in a pinch) is always perfect for entertaining. Take the time to find one that fits into your current home decor sense, but is also a timeless fit.
Whether you're planning on serving your guests hot apple streudel or any variety of corn bread, a cast iron skillet only gets better with age. They're inexpensive to begin with, and are also worth their weight as a timeless kitchen workhorse.
We think that a handmade serving platter can elevate any dinner party from the everyday to the elegant. Like a good serving bowl, look for the perfect one that's made of eco-friendly materials. When it's not busy entertaining dinner guests with crudite, it can be home to fresh fruits.
What would you add to the list of entertaining items that are built to last?
• On Buying Sustainable Plates. . . Slowly
• Roundup: Best Eco-Friendly Entertaining Ideas
• Entertaining Green: Glassware
(Image: WordRidden, licensed under Creative Commons. Originally published 11.8.10)