Who Needs A KitchenAid Stand Mixer?
My baking adventures began with whatever was in my kitchen, and being the daughter of an Alabama – down home – pound cake – sweet potato pie – and/or tea cake baker I inherited a General Electric hand mixer that was handed down to my mother when we moved to California 44 years ago.
That GE hand mixer was the only mixer I had. Eventually, my mother moved up to a KitchenAid stand mixer, and the GE was passed down to me. Even though I envied her, I was not willing to pay the price for one of my own. So, when I started making shortbread, the process was slow but sure. After a few months, I began to hear the strain on my GE when I was making my shortbread dough. Fear of being in the middle of a large shortbread request and the 44-year-old GE grinding to a halt had me researching and contemplating buying a KitchenAid of my own, but the price, THE PRICE, I just couldn’t justify it.
Luck would have it that my mother was going on vacation and she allowed me the use of her KitchenAid while she was away. OMG! Why didn’t anyone tell me how much simpler my life could be with the KitchenAid (more like why didn’t anyone make me listen)? The ability to turn on the mixer and walk away . . . GENIUS! I was able to get so much done, and I loved it. From that moment on, I was hooked. My new purpose in life, besides providing fabulous shortbread cookies, was to find a way to afford a KitchenAid.
Unfortunately, my eye-opening experience happened during the Christmas holidays and, again, I found myself unable to spend money on myself because I wanted to provide a nice Christmas for my son.
After the holidays were over, I calculated the loving gifts from my bosses and co-workers and found that even though I could not afford a KitchenAid, I could afford a different stand mixer, but I was not sure which mixer was worthy of my investment. I researched high and low. I compared reviews as well as prices, and in the end I chose a 300 watt Hamilton Beach (for half the price of a KitchenAid).
When the mailman delivered my stand mixer, I was excited. Granted, my Hamilton Beach was a little smaller (3 quart bowl) and lighter (in weight) than my mother’s KitchenAid, but when I started mixing with my Hamilton Beach, I found that it was a valuable resource and a life-saver for me. Now I understand that just like cars, my standard sedan (Hamilton Beach) will get me where I need to be and get the job done, but a luxury sedan (KitchenAid) may get me there faster and offer more frills.
Since the purchase of my Hamilton Beach stand mixer, baking (shortbread and bread) has been much more enjoyable. Do I need a KitchenAid? Well, since my current stand mixer is getting the job done, at this time I don’t. Although it’s not as efficient as my mother’s KitchenAid, it’s an extreme improvement from my GE hand mixer. Meanwhile, I am constantly researching and reading reviews on stand mixers, because my next purchase will be a valuable investiment (probably a KitchenAid). What do you think?
UPDATE – December 2014:
I finally got that KitchenAid (pictured above), and I was able to get the exact one that I wanted. It is wayyyyy better than my Hamilton Beach. Life is so much easier in the kitchen.
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i see you got that Rolls Royce of stand mixers after all, The Kitchen Aid….
Lol! Yes I did and it is worth every penny!
With me it was breadmaking; French bread would bring the breadmaker almost to a halt. I went on eBay and kept bidding a maximum of $75 on working KitchenAid mixers. It took almost four months but I finally landed one. That was ten years ago; it’d probably cost around $100 or so, but my used one runs without any detectable flaw in all that time. Rather have a used KitchenAid than a new anything else.
Wow! I never thought of eBay! I agree with you. Everything else seems so substandard. I will definitely keep eBay in mind from now on. Thanks for sharing.
The only drawback to used is that you have to go with whatever color is available, but I love my Harvest Gold KitchenAid mixer. I had to buy the dough hook and wire whip attachments but they’re readily available and reasonable in cost. I have the meat grinder attachment which I use to make ground chuck for hamburgers at least a couple times a week.
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