Monday, January 2, 2012

My Mixer

I finally started making my holiday cookies last night. Yeah, I'm appalled at myself, too.

Anyway, I started easy. Viennese Kiss Cookies. Only six ingredients. I wasn't sure whether my mixer was still working, so I dropped flour, butter (chilled and cut into 1-inch pieces), and sugar into my food processor. That did nothing but make a mess since flour and butter fell through the hole of the bowl and onto the food processor base itself. Meanwhile, the food processor couldn't seem to catch hold of the ingredients to process them. I ended up with the flour, butter, and sugar still in the same state as when I put them in.

So it was with some trepidation that I dragged out my mixer. Last time I used it -- last year -- the motor sounded like it was straining.

The mixer's old. In fact, it used to be my mom's. Her first mixer from back in the 1960s. A Sunbeam Mixmaster.

My mom's old Sunbeam Mixmaster. Now mine.
(Please ignore snorkle mask in background.)

I remember watching my mom use it when I was a little kid. I remember her turning the control on the end and watching the mixer speed up as she did.

I remember being fascinated by how the beaters got released. When you rotated the handle on top, down to the back of the mixer, there was a clicking noise as you rotated the handle. Then there was a second clicking noise when the beaters pushed out of their holders. You could then pull the beaters out one at a time to lick the batter off. I remember wondering why the second beater didn't fall into the batter while you were licking the first one, and being a little anxious that it would.

I remember thinking how cool the bowl size lever was. To move it between small and large, you had to push the lever down first. And when you did move it between bowl sizes, the whole top of the mixer moved in and out so that the beaters could move along the edge of the bowl, whether the bowl was large or small.

I remember that the beaters were shaped differently from each other; the one that went on the outside, along the edge of the bowl, was rounded, while the one on the inside was square. And when you put them into the mixer's holders, you had to put them in just right so that the notches lined up and clicked in. So sometimes you'd have to rotate them around a little 'til you got it right. I remember loving that clicking sound as they pushed into place. I still do.

The mixer is quite heavy, as it's almost all metal. Its weight reminds me of the old heavy cars we used to drive: our Country Squire station wagon (which I crashed when I was a teenage driver) and my dad's prized Mercury Cougar (which my mom gave away without consulting my dad when it was rusting in our driveway). Both of them boats.

As I was saying before I interrupted myself with a walk down memory lane, I plugged in the mixer and transferred the ingredients into the large mixing bowl. Then I moved the speed control from "OFF" to "1 Add Dry Ingredients/Folding." 

And that trusty, old, heavy mixer of my mom's began mixing my ingredients. 

And mmmm. Those Viennese Kiss Cookies were yummy.