The Little Hand-Held Electric Mixer Who Could

Written with my Tuesday group with the prompts:  cornucopia, apples, pies

I like to bake but I don’t do it that often.  I don’t do it that often because I need to keep my blood sugar low.  But I don’t want to write about that.  I want to write about my electric mixer.

Thirty-something years ago when I moved out of my parents’ house, my mother bought me a hand-held electric mixer for Christmas.  I loved my hand-held electric mixer.  I had many friends and co-workers who told me over the years that I should get one of those big industrial-strength free-standing Kitchen Aid Mixers with its variety of beaters, paddles and wire whisks, but seriously, I so loved my little hand-held Sunbeam mixer!  When I used it, I felt at one with the machine.  It’s the difference between driving a manual vs an automatic transmission. With the hand-held mixer I had more control to move the mixer here and there, to feel the texture, to be at one with the batter.

A year ago I was making a lemon blueberry four layer cake with grated zucchini in the batter for a friend’s birthday.  Somehow one of the beaters went catawampus and the whole mixer just stopped mid-beat and BAM—that’s all she wrote—I was left mid-cake, having to beat the entire concoction by hand.  Hey, if it was good enough for my grandmothers, it’s good enough for me.  So I finished the cake and even whipped up cream cheese/lemon zest frosting using nothing but elbow grease (as my father used to say).  It was a magnificent thing to behold, and tasty too, but sadly I realized it was time for a new mixer.

I went shopping online and I was surprised to find more than a few customer reviews that said stuff like

“I’ve just opened the box and it looks great!  Five stars!”

“The color is beautiful and goes well with my kitchen.  Five stars!”

Such recommendations did not instill confidence in the new crop of hand-held mixers.  So I took a good long look at the old mixer and I futzed with it a bit and I fixed it!  I don’t know how I fixed it, but I did.  I was so happy, and my 38-year-old hand-held mixer and I braved the holidays together.

Last week, another birthday, and I was making a raw apple cake with my handheld mixer when it started to smoke and give off that funny electrical smell that happens just before a light bulb pops or a fuse blows.  I shut off the mixer, washed my hands and kneaded the apples into the cake batter with my fingers.  I was a little worried that the cake might have a faint smoky taste like bacon, but luckily it turned out just fine.

This year has been about grieving, learning to accept loss, and letting go for me.  Guess it really is time to let the Sunbeam go on to its next incarnation.  But I’ll buy another hand-held model, I swear I will.





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