Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mix and Shout

A few days before my birthday I got this ridiculous idea in my head that my parents had gotten me a car. It would have been a timely gift, since I'd recently totalled mine. They'd been dropping hints about my present, saying it was too big to bring to the restaurant and that maybe I could come by the house to get it. My mind jumped from,

"I don't want anything big for my birthday. Just dinner with the family," to "Holy shit, what if they got me a car?"

Then I felt shame wash over me. What is this, my super sweet sixteen? I don't want my parents to buy me a car. I have a 401K, shouldn't I be buying my own cars now?

The big reveal came and turns out, it wasn't a car. It was better. It was a KitchenAid Stand Mixer. A few weeks later I unboxed it, releasing it from its styrofoam shackles to reveal a gleaming stainless steel beauty.

Even the instructions for the KitchenAid Stand Mixer are smug. Over and over again it implies that your new mixer will run laps around your other kitchen appliances. Such gems, unedited from the handbook, include:

"Your KitchenAid Stand Mixer will mix faster and more thoroughly than most other electric Stand Mixers."


"The Stand Mixer may warm up during use. Under heavy loads with extended mixing time periods, you may not be able to comfortably touch the top of the unit. This is normal."

I couldn't decide which recipe to try on its maiden voyage. I didn't want something complicated and liable to fail. What if I cursed my new mixer? I consulted Jeff, who suggested bread, and I agreed that a life-sustaining staple like bread would be a great way to start. Then I disregarded that advice and made Smitten Kitchen's Strawberry Cake.

I'll spare the suspense and let you know that it came out really well. There was an episode of burning cheese in the oven, remnants of a frozen pizza, that sent me throwing windows open through the apartment and re-distributing fans.

And the mixer. To borrow a line from the marketing team behind Stella Artois, "She is a thing of beauty." Smooth, sophisticated, self-assured. It made cake-making quick and easy, which is helpful when you start a cake at 11 PM on a Monday night.

I could go on about it but it's time for me to catch up on Wimbledon matches on the DVR, and I have a slice of strawberry cake to attend to.