Around and Round

Around and Round

A war of epic proportions has erupted here at 1840 Farm.  I was minding my own business, happily mixing up dough for a batch of cinnamon rolls.  I snapped the bowl of my electric mixer into its base and switched on the motor.  Nothing happened.

I checked to make sure that it was plugged securely into the socket.  It was.  I checked to make sure that the dough hook was properly attached.  It was.  I furrowed my brow and tried again to turn it on.  This time, it did spring to life.  But not in the way I expected, with rhythmic, smooth turns of my freshly made dough.  Instead, it sounded like I was firing up a cotton gin.  The noise was incredibly loud and the smooth sound was replaced by a loud, repetitive clicking noise.  This was not good.

I tried everything that I could think of to remedy my mixer’s sudden illness, but to no avail.  Apparently, my trusty KitchenAid wanted a fight.  So, I did what any baker would do.  I kneaded the dough by hand for the required ten minutes.  The dough turned out just right and I got to work out my frustration at the same time.  I made a mental note that dough kneading makes for good therapy in a pinch.

Once the cinnamon rolls had been made and left in the pan to rise, I turned to the Internet to find out what my options were.  I came up with three:  send the mixer in to KitchenAid for a repair quote, try to repair the mixer myself, or buy a new mixer.  Because I am who I am, I chose the second option.  I read about how to remove the outer shell to check and see if the plastic gear had indeed given out.

The further I read, the more I wondered why I hadn’t tried this before.  It seems that the gear is manufactured out of plastic as a failsafe.  If the motor should run into trouble, the plastic is the weaker link and will give out before the motor burns up and is rendered nothing more than a boat anchor.  Several enterprising bakers turned repairmen had found that the gear could be replaced with a metal replacement piece which actually improve the overall performance of the mixer.

Was it possible that I could pull the mixer apart and end up with a better mixer in the end?  I’m not sure yet, but I plan on finding out.  Until then, I’ll turn to my mother’s trusty, nearly antique Sunbeam.  No, it doesn’t have any attachments other than the traditional beaters.  No, it can’t be used to make pizza dough for my party on Saturday night.  But, it still works after decades of service.  I have a birthday cake to make for my son and my uncooperative mixer will not stop me.

I’m off to make cake because a fifth birthday only comes around once.  I’ll try to see the irony in the fact that I will be using the same mixer that my mother probably used to make my fifth birthday cake.  I will persevere.  I will finish the birthday cake as requested.  It will look like the flying car from the Harry Potter movies.  Luckily, the five year-old won’t be critical.  Hopefully, I can convince myself to follow suit.

Then, I’ll be taking a screwdriver, and if necessary, a hammer to my mixer.  If I can make cake and frosting look like a flying Ford Anglia, I’m pretty sure that I can perform brain surgery on my KitchenAid.  And, if I end up losing the battle with my mixer, there’s always the Cruciatus Curse.




  1. My big mixer broke when I moved several years ago. We don’t have a lot of storage space here, so I never replaced it. I periodically drool over Kitchenaid mixers, but for now I’m all about doing it by hand.

    1. Author

      I actually pulled it apart yesterday. I won’t lie-it was quite a process, but I’m looking forward to fixing it and making brioche soon. I can’t wait to hear that lovely thumping sound that the paddle makes!

      1. I’m very impressed. I also sense a kindred spirit. I once took the radiator out of my car to check a leak. Then I had to put it back to drive to get it fixed.
        I was thinking tonight that perhaps I had omitted some key mixing tools I do have: stick blender (good for that pumpkin soup), handheld low-powered mixer, small food processor . . . . No wonder I’ve lived without my big mixer!

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