Reading this thread has made me laugh. One thing to bear in mind is that some of us are born bakers, some born cooks. What may be a necessity for a baker may not even enter into the realm of a year of cooking for people who don't bake. Among my own non-cooking friends, there are some who are more likely to bake one cake a year, and some who are likely to make one huge dinner a year. As a non-baker, but prolific cooker, I weigh in with the cutting board, knives, a good meat thermometer, a set of seives. I have a very good friend who is an excellent cook, but when I try to help her with a party, there is not one darned decent knife in the kitchen. Needless to say, I'm going to buy one for her one of these days.