« vacation thoughts | Main | a valuable community service from Stand Firm »

mixing it up

Those of y'all who know me well know that I love to cook, and also have a weakness for gadgets -- not just the newest or shiniest gadgets, but the gadgets of quality most useful for things that are hardest (at least for people like me) to do without them.

I have ONE chef's knife, but I think I treat it a bit like a Marine treats a rifle; it goes where I go, it cuts anything that needs cutting, and I care for it a bit more conscientiously than I do my skin. Masaharu Morimotu is my kind of guy when it comes to the honor and care due to the tools of culinary arts; the way I feel about the One Good Tool that I have in each cooking category in which I have one is probably about as close as I'll ever come to knowing what a samuri felt about his sword (y'all tell me if that's wildly inappropriate culturally; I'm grasping here).

And I have long coveted a really, really good standing mixer. One that will kneed 100% whole wheat bread dough as I did when I was a more hale and ambitious baker. One that (with the proper attachment) will grind the lamb I buy so cheaply at Costco if I want to experiment with burgers and meatloaves including such a meat (which I know a decent butcher would grind for me, but you might not know just how huge the difference in price is between lamb you buy at a good butcher's and lamb of equally good quality at Costco). One mixer to rule them all, one mixer to bind them ...

Well, maybe not quite that magical a mixer, but you get the idea.

Kitchenaid Costco today had a deal that looked pretty irresistible on a mixer that looked as though it might suit my purposes. It's a KitchenAid Pro series -- 475-watt motor -- just like the mixer I've been dreaming about for years (yeah, I dream about kitchen appliances -- what can I say?), though I'd thought that to get the motor I wanted (mmm ... 475 watts ...) I'd need a six-quart capacity. This one has a five-quart capacity -- still enough to make six loaves of bread in a batch, the box says (and the wattage supports).

And the mixer, which I'd walked by at Costco for a year, was $40 off -- down to $239.99. The six-quart, 475-watt mixer I'd been eyeing for the last several years at least is way more than twice that much.

Cooking mavens, tell me: Am I a mixing fool? Will the five-quart capacity that seems perfectly fine to me, given the power of the motor (without which true whole-wheat dough, as well as many pasta doughs are impossible), chafe within weeks? Are attachments harder to get than they seem for this odd creature, the 475-watt but five-quarter? 'Cause I think this mixer just might be The One.

August 22, 2007 in Cooking, Life and Whatnot | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference mixing it up:



Go for it! You're entitled and you deserve it. I had the smaller KitchenAid for 25+ years, before upgrading to the larger model. Though not quite as well made as in days of yore (I don't believe), it's still a great piece of kitchen equipment and something you should have. Mine has been in the garage the last two months and is about to come back inside into my newly remodeled kitchen!

Posted by: MikeC | Aug 22, 2007 1:01:05 AM

Get it! Thats a great price, and a great piece of equipment, and those things practically never break. My kitchen dream was a serious food processor, but I didn't get it for a long time because I was afraid I wouldn't use it... I use it all the time! I love it! So I say get yourself a "beginning of fall semester" present and start mixin' it up!

Posted by: Susie | Aug 22, 2007 10:03:16 AM

If you have the counter space and use it at least once a month, it is a great investment.

My mom got one (at Costco) about a decade ago now, and it really only comes out once a year: for Christmas cookies. She can turn out 5 dozen of 12 different types of cookies in 12 hours. And I've used it to make bread many a time when I'm visiting.

Posted by: Mary Sue | Aug 22, 2007 1:06:43 PM

Check out the KitchenAid web site.... the current mixers only have 450 watt motors.
The one at Costco may be last year's motel and the price is a bargin.

Go for it!

Just send us all a loaf of home made Monks Bread!

Posted by: Diek | Aug 22, 2007 2:47:44 PM

You also can't beat Costco's "no questions asked" return policy. If you don't like it in 5 years they will take it back.

Posted by: Sarah | Aug 24, 2007 12:17:34 PM

oooo!!! I did the same thing when I was mixer-shopping. I dreamed of kitchen stores, I read reviews like some people read gossip mags, I lovingly ran my hands over every store model... finally, my heart's desire went on sale and I snagged my Artisan mixer for almost $100 off. My mom has had her Kitchenaid Classic for at least 15 years.
That is a good price, and these puppies are made to last. Granted, I wanted the smaller one for my small apartment counters, but if you have the space, go nuts.
I got the grinder attachment for a wedding present- it came with pasta plates! Can't wait to try 'em out! Get the grinder to make the meat stuff (or the codfish balls...)

Posted by: Elizabeth | Aug 25, 2007 1:59:05 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.