Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Mixer Memories

I was reading the main article in the Food section in the St. Petersburg Times called Battered, Not Beaten in Wednesday's paper. The author Lane DeGRegory talks about her 40 year-old handmixer that she still uses. It was a wedding present to her parents. She got it when her mom stuck it in her going to college boxes (she says it's because it was an excuse for her mom to get a new one.)

It works, mostly, and it's cord is an old cord from electric hair rollers she used in college and changed it to the mixer when it's detachable cord died.

This mixer represents to her so many family memories. From her and her sister fighting over who gets to lick the beaters to her son who now gets that privilege.

While we don't have a 40-year-old appliance in our family we did have a 15+ year (mom how old was that old girl?) SunBeam stand mixer that we used to mix everything from cake mixes to Christmas cookies and the famous Christmas and Easter tea rings. I used it to comfort myself when my Dad was in the hospital after having an appendectomy. It was Christmas time and instead of buying gifts for friends I baked like a nut. From the famous butter cut-out cookies to soft sugar cookies and everything in between. I decided I wanted to cut down on mixing time so I not only doubled the recipe (which is OK) I tripled the butter cookie one. Man, what a mistake! Before I knew it the dough was coming over the top and up into the mixer. Soon it was smoking. I thought the I had killed the thing. Wrong. Just washed the sucker off, cleaned out the batter and removed some of the dough from the bowl and went to mixing it again!

That was in high school, I was just 16. The mixer was retired about 10 years later when we implored my Dad to buy a brand new Kitchen Aide for Mom, she deserved it. The mixer was getting really hard to use and it jumped around like it could dance off the counter at any time, you had to watch it. The new mixer is great. But it is missing some of the fun. The mangled beaters that I couldn't tell which was the round and which was the square by the end, they clicked together no matter which side they were in.

It was a part of my childhood and young adult life which I look back and always will smile.

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