Julia Child still misses the La Cornue stove she bought for about $425 in France in the late 1940s, "which had a large oven and a marvelous hot plate with a strong burner." Cookbook author and Paris food critic Patricia Wells owns that stove now. "It's like having Freud's couch," Wells says. Today Julia couldn't live without her Garland stove, another $425 purchase from the '40s. (Garland stoves from $3,150; 800-257-2643).
Many cooks prefer flat cotton or linen kitchen towels because they don't shed lint, but Child swears by terry. "I like terry-cloth towels because they always look neat--you never have to iron them--and you can buy them anywhere," even in grocery stores.
At the International Housewares Show in Chicago, Child was intrigued by the GE Advantium Oven, which uses halogen lights to cook food as much as eight times faster than a conventional oven. She's well known for her love of roast chicken--and the oven, she's heard, "can roast a 3-pound chicken in 25 minutes!" (from $1,300; 800-626-2000).