Saturday, November 13, 2010

Adventures in kitchen appliances

Anyone who knows me understands that I am quite seriously obsessed with kitchen appliances. My focus is generally on the small countertop variety such as blenders, espresso machines, and food processors. But I also quite fancy their larger cousins, the dishwasher, stove and refrigerator. I often stay up late at night, after my partner has gone to sleep, scouring the internet looking for that little something that, once given electricity, will help facilitate my culinary masterpieces.

Since I’m obsessed with kitchen appliances, one would think that I would have every single kitchen gadget on the face of the planet. Au contraire! We don’t have a lot of storage space in our apartment nor do we have a lot of extra ‘dough’ hanging around. So I a) have to be highly selective about the appliances I buy and b) like to get a really good deal. By really good deal I mean I decide that I want to purchase an appliance and then patiently await the perfect deal to come along.

For roughly six months I have been entranced by the ubiquitous Kitchenaid stand mixer, the ultimate symbol of domestic prowess. I have been fantasizing about seeing its iconic design on our countertop. Whenever I pass by them in a department store I take a few minutes to admire their colour and form, go through the motions of removing the attachments and setting the speed. I place my hand on the smooth shiny lacquered body that reflects the overhead fluorescent lighting. And, by the way, think of all the fancy things I could make!

Incidentally, some of my best childhood memories took place in the kitchen with my mother on one side of our stand mixer and me on the other. We prepared all kinds of cookies and cakes with our little mixer. One day, while we were mixing the ingredients for my grandmother’s famous chocolate and beer cake the mixer started to smell like smoke and metal shortly before it stopped dead! In hindsight, maybe it wasn’t so surprising as it was a Sunbeam. My mother never replaced the mixer and that sort of represented the end of us baking together.

After thoroughly researching all of the models I first decided on the tilt-head design because it is a more compact machine and seems less cumbersome than the bowl lift models. Next, I decided on the Artisan model because it offers more power and a larger bowl than the other lower end tilt-head models. The only problem is that the Artisan mixer is expensive! It ranges from $300 to $500 in retail stores.

The other day, however, I was on the Kitchenaid online store, and there was a sale on white Artisans for $169! Because I live in Ottawa, and their site was American, I cleverly thought to ship the mixer (for free!) to the nearest boarder crossing. The result was a super inexpensive stand mixer anda road trip from Ottawa to Ogendensburg, New York! I paid the toll for the bridge ($3) and $5 fee to pickup the parcel from the local UPS store. That was that!

It was great to spend some quality time with my partner during the drive and, when we got home, I made Flax Seed Bread from It was deelish!

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