“An Electric Mixer Fitted With the Paddle Attachment”

Are you ready for the saddest mixer story ever?  I mean ever.  It’s about a young woman, her dreams of baking dominance and the kitchen appliance that crushed them.  Yes?  Then let’s begin…..

I’ve got a love/hate relationship with my kitchen appliances.  On one hand, there’s no way I could do some of the things I do without them.  On the other, they’re heavy, bulky and a bit temperamental.  None more so than my Kitchen Aid mixer.

For years my trusty Sunbeam hand mixer – acquired my Freshman year in college – mixed everything from cookie dough to cheesecake batter.  (In fact the little trooper still makes weekly appearances to whip cream and make frosting.)  About 10 years ago my mom got me a full-size Sunbeam mixer for Christmas.  The difference in power was night and day, obviously.  And I was happy.

But even though my Sunbeam mixers were hardworking and stable, I still longed for the passion and sexiness of a Kitchen Aid mixer.   I was tormented by the words, “in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.”  How could I possibly cut through three sticks of chilled butter with just two heavy-duty beaters?  I was convinced that I was never going to attain the baking prowess of legendary homemakers using equipment that was somehow inferior to something whipped up using a paddle attachment.

It was while I was working at a large housewares store that the coveting began in earnest.  Everyday I would stare at the Artisan Stand Mixer with longingness.  I spent hours fantasizing about attachments, (ice cream maker, meat grinder, pasta maker!) and shot bullets with my eyes at the young brides dutifully putting my dream mixer on their registries.  (Knowing full well that 90% of them were destined to become countertop accessories, only to be used once a year for Christmas cookies.)

Two Thanksgivings later, I fried my mom’s mixer making bread.  Knowing how much I wanted a Kitchen Aid, my mom offered to take my Sunbeam as a replacement.  For Christmas that year I purchased my very own 6-qt Professional Kitchen Aid mixer.

It was a beautiful bronze. And I was in love.  (Cue romantic sunset music.)  I made double-batches of cookies, pizza dough and cakes.  I began making bread at home.  I loved spending time in the kitchen with my mixer.

But the love-affair ended abruptly the day the paddle attachment (still attached to the Planetary Drip/Trim Ring and pin) fell out of the Planetary without warning.  Upon further inspection, I found that the pin that attached the drip to the housing had stripped and just like that, my mixer was dead.

I spent hours online trying to find a fix.  None of the blogs, manuals or forums I found could help me with my predicament.  I called Kitchen Aid customer service and was told that they no longer repair their appliances, but I could take it to an “Authorized Repair Technician” and pay $85 to see what was wrong with it.  (There was no guarantee that it could be fixed and for $85 I wasn’t willing to take that chance.)  So Joel and I dissected it with the precision and seriousness usually found only in an operating theatre.  Alas, nothing helped.

I was crushed.  I knew what was wrong with it I just couldn’t find the part in the correct color to fix it.  I had done everything that I was supposed to do.  I wasn’t one of those women who bought it just so she could have a $300 accessory on her countertop.  These mixers were meant to be used weekly, even daily, and I did.  I kept it clean, well oiled and maintained.  I had made a lifelong commitment!

So the mixer began to gather dust on the countertop and when it became clear that it was terminal, it was relegated to the bottom shelf of the pantry – never to be used again.  My short, three-year affair with Kitchen Aid was over.  (I blamed it on the fact that Whirpool had purchased the brand from Hobart just to take advantage of the name Tommy Boy-style.)

Since I had given my old Sunbeam mixer to my mom I was now without a stand mixer at all.  We went two years without cookies and I made our bread by hand.  The old Kitchen Aid was still gathering dust in the pantry and I was more bitter than ever.

But this past Christmas I received another Sunbeam mixer and I was happy again.  I vowed never to stray from my trusted brand again.

Then, about a month ago, a co-worker mentioned that she was de-cluttering her house and asked if I wanted her old Kitchen Aid mixer.  I was hesitant.  “How old is it,” I asked?  (I think she thought I wanted a new one…)  “Oh, I’ve had it for about 30 years.”  “Is it a Hobart?” I asked excitedly.  “Yes,” she said.  She went on to explain that she’d raised five kids using that mixer.  I said I’d take it.  It came complete with an extra mixing bowl, splash guard and cover.

So now I have two stand mixers, both happy to share the kitchen duties.  It’s true, you can have a wonderful marriage and a hot piece on the side.  Let’s hope they both keep working.

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3 comments on ““An Electric Mixer Fitted With the Paddle Attachment”

  1. Rob
    April 16, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    This, by far was your most profound literary work. Bravo!

    • Heather
      April 21, 2011 at 11:46 am #

      Loving that you love it!

  2. Traveler
    November 9, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    Must say, really good. ‘Was a pleasure to read in itself.

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