Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mixed emotions?

I broke my stand mixer. I was making a cake to bring to work for our Christmas lunch, and first I heard a clank, and then the beater stopped moving. It's a KitenAid, with the accessory port on the front. We have a can opener that plugs in and is powered by the mixer motor, which I had removed it while I made the cake. I covered the accessory port with the little metal circle circle. Apparently I did not screw it on tightly because at some point, it fell off and into the cake batter, got hit by the beater, stopped the beater, and probably broke a gear inside the motor. The motor makes noise when powered on, but does not move anymore. I didn't realize what had happened until I was attempting to finish beating the batter by hand and found the metal piece swimming in the bottom of the bowl. I had to stop by the grocery store this morning to buy canned frosting, depsite the plethora of powdered sugar and other ingredients in our cupboard--mixing icing by hand takes more time and one more hand than I had free last night (the cake was from a mix and would normally have taken about 5 minutes + baking time to prepare, if I didn't have to mix it by hand after troubleshooting the mixer).

This sucks. I love my stand mixer, and I use it a LOT. I don't really have any backup for it--a couple of years ago I gave away my bread maker and my hand mixer because I never ever used them. The only time lately that I've regretted not having something else was when I needed to beat 2 eggwhites to stiff peaks--the kitchenaid does larger batches of egg whites really well, but that small amount isn't caught by the whisk attachment well, and it takes forever (about as long as doing it by hand, and just as frustrating)--needless to say I've chosen a different waffle recipe to use since that episode.

My husband and I may try to repair it ourselves--he attempted to disassemble it last night to figure out which part was broken, but ran into trouble getting to the motor (he had every visible screw undone at that point and was stumped). I'm hoping there are instructions online somewhere (we found several places that stock all manner of parts). There are also repair centers, but I'm afraid that the labor may be more than it's worth. Luckily the basic design has been around forever (50 years? probably more), so the repair procedures should be fairly well documented somewhere, and the workings are mechanical and not electronic.

I don't want to have to buy a new mixer, because it's going to be expensive. It will be more expensive than the original one (not even counting the wedding gift cards we used to actually purchase it), because I'm sure I'd talk myself into upgrading to a more powerful version, or perhaps the "commercial" one that has a sturdier motor (metal gears vs platic I think) that would stand up to all the use I put mine through. They don't actually sell the exact model that I have anymore--the 5qt "heavy duty" with the bowl lift--currently their 5qt with my speed motor has a tilt head, which I think uses different bowls (and I have an extra, plus lids...would have to buy those too).

What does it say about me that I'm actually sad about the mixer? It's not the fridge, which we absolutely need to provide food for the family, or the oven, or even the dishwasher, which would be really obnoxious to do without. I guess that's why I like my mixer so much--it's not an appliance that I need, but one that I use to do fun things like bake cakes and cookies.


Amanda said...

I highly doubt Eric is using my KitchenAid right now. I can ask him if you could use mine until we get back. Write me an e-mail if you'd like it for the time being. It would at least put off you having to buy another until around your birthday. :) It's a shame that the poor thing sits there being unused.

Kristi said...

Thanks. I think I can live without it for a little while, and to figure out how to disassemble the other one. Luckily we're going to my Mom's for Christmas, so we can probably postpone making Christmas cookies till we get to her house :) If I find a pressing need for it, I'll let you know!