Is it possible to love an appliance?
I know women aren’t supposed to get too excited about them when they arrive as gifts, but this is one I cherish. When my 31 year old son Eric was just a baby, I was nursing him, and he arrived at that point where we could add more solid foods than rice cereals and the like. I asked my husband at the time, "Bob," if he’d go and get us one of those little $5 “food grinders” that they had back in the late '70's, because I thought I could start Eric on some good healthy foods that we ate, too. I’d seen little plastic ones that you could literally carry with you on the road in your bag, and they looked great to me. (Bob and Eric below)
Well, Bob came home that day with what you see above: a KitchenAid mixer in an enormous box. Not only would it NOT fit in my bag, it was extremely heavy, large, and cumbersome for my intentions. Portability had been what I was after. We didn't have a lot of money, and it just seemed so extravagant to me, too. But if you have one of these machines, you know it’s amazing: it beats, whips, kneads, and-- with attachments that fit into the front of the machine, it slices, shreds, juices, makes sausage, and even polishes silver! (I’m serious!) Only thing it doesn’t seem to do is vacuum. (At least my model doesn't!) Quelle dommage, eh?
It turns out that Eric was none the worse for having had foods prepared that started out in the KitchenAid. And over the years, I’ve grown extremely attached to this creature. I have prepared so many things that started out in this bowl: I made French baguettes, back when I did that sort of thing, I baked cookies, shredded carrots and cabbage for coleslaws, made cakes, and pies and quiches and all manner of dishes, etc. (Eric below)
My nephew Graham, when he was little, would come to visit, and he was fascinated by the KitchenAid. He’d say “Aunt Sue, could we make some cookies?” Of course, I’d have to say yes.
That meant, to Graham, that I’d let him stand on a chair so he could see it in action, which is what he liked. I think the KitchenAid itself had far more appeal for Graham than anything we ever made in it! First, I’d tell him “OK--Fingers on nose!” and as I'd instruct, he’d immediately put both of his index fingers to his nose so I could start the beaters, knowing he wouldn’t be tempted to put a hand into the bowl as it was spinning. He was busy keeping his fingers on his nose and out of harm's way while he watched. He loved it. (Graham below)
Bob is not living any longer, and it’s strange that every time I use that thing, I think of him and smile, remembering that day when I was actually very frustrated with him for coming home with something so far removed from what I’d requested. It turns out it really was quite a wonderful gift. (Graham below.) July 23rd was Bob's and my anniversary. Happy Anniversary, Bob, wherever you are.
“Cooking is like love: it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” (-Harriet van Horn)