Since my move to Victoria, I have tried out and adopted some appliances and discarded others.
I started with a new set of Paderno stainless steel pots – purchased cheaply in 2006 when Canadian Tire dropped the Royale sets. I have added another sauce pan and the steamer and double boiler (not Royale but who cares). Capital Iron carries Paderno in Victoria. I expect the saucepans and the dutch oven to last for a while. The coated frying pans are standing up well although I think the coating in those pans will break down long before the pans wear out.
I bought a larger enameled cast iron dutch oven at Capital Iron which has become one of my favorite pots.
I started with some decent knives – some with the Superstore house brand and some of the midrange Wusthof Tridents.. I bought a couple new knives last year – I went to Mac for a 6 and a half inch Santoku and a 10 inch chef’s knife. The steel is superb – it stays sharp enough for ripe tomatoes with a few strokes of a diamond dressing hone.
When I started to bake, I bought a 350 watt stand mixer and some accessories to shred cheese and carrots and little jobs like that.
I have a pressure cooker, which is a useful appliance. It is a good way to cook dried legumes, saving on the consumption of canned goods, and good for braising and steaming tougher produce. My first pressure cooker was a Lagostina and I wouldn’t recommend them. They sell some lines of low-pressure devices which is annoying because a low pressure pot doesn’t perform as the recipe books assume. They have some quality issues too, in my experience. I had a problem with the dual pressure fitting which were also the pressure release. I was not impressed. I bought a Presto which was cheaper and better for my goals.
When my dad went into the nursing home and gave away things from the house, I took his bread machine. I had been making bread, off and on, for a couple of years but found that making one loaf at a time was just too much effort, and making large recipes led to things going into the freezer – and then they just weren’t as good. The machine machine puts out a fresh loaf that last for a couple of day – just about ideal for my needs.
I had a food processor but I did not use it properly and ended with mushed onions when I wanted finely chopped.