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Shower newlyweds with good, basic kitchen tools
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Setting up housekeeping is a huge task for newly married couples, and young people with limited experience on their own can benefit from gift items for the kitchen.
Pamela Redwine, nutrition and food safety area agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Yalobusha County, said every kitchen needs tools, but keep the personality of the user in mind when buying gifts for the kitchen.
“Every kitchen should have a can opener, a good set of knives, a good cutting board that is dishwasher safe and doesn’t get knife grooves when used, and a good set of pots and pans,” Redwine said. “Kitchens should have a set of mixing bowls, and the stacking ones are handy because they save space. Most people who cook find a hand mixer and slow cooker are also indispensible.”
These items can make good wedding gifts for young couples who have not collected their own kitchen basics.
Other kitchen basics include a silicon spatula set, kitchen shears, storage containers for leftovers, measuring cups for liquid and dry ingredients, and a digital thermometer.
Brent Fountain, Extension human nutrition specialist, encouraged couples to cook at home when possible.
“Half the meals consumed today are prepared outside the home,” Fountain said. “Meals prepared at home can offer more variety and may be healthier than eating every meal at a restaurant.”
Many young couples just starting out find a sense of accomplishment in making their own meals. Gift-givers can help by learning about their interests before spending money on a kitchen item they may not use. A big-ticket item can be a wise investment if the person will use it regularly.
“A stand mixer can cost a few hundred dollars, but if the person doesn’t do a lot of baking, a hand mixer or a simple wire whisk will work just as well,” Fountain said. “The same is true of a bread maker. You can have a machine to make yeast bread, but you can also do it in an oven with a recipe. A bread maker that just takes up space on the counter is not a wise investment.”
For those looking for gift ideas for young couples, Fountain recommended a cookbook that features simple and quick recipes or a collection of personal recipes used through the years.
“The personal touch of sharing your favorite recipes is a great gift and one they will treasure for a long time to come,” Fountain said.
Many people today look for convenience when cooking, and modern kitchen technology can help make this possible. Fountain urged couples to remember to eat healthy diets high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, with quality protein sources from lean meat and low-fat milk products.