I mentioned earlier that I would tell this story. Now seems like a fine time since I’m waiting for bread to rise before starting yardwork – and getting dirt under my fingernails. I suppose it wouldn’t really matter since I’m not going to be touching it, again. However, I try to avoid multitasking when making bread because I forget about it (yes, I have a phone with a timer app, but I forget that, too, unless I’m writing about it). Anyway…
I’m old(ish) and my husband and I are doing well enough that when we want something, we generally just buy it. This makes Christmas presents somewhat problematic. About a decade ago, I was writing up my Christmas list and sorting it by desire. Two $400 items were at the top, one of which was a KitchenAid mixer. I decided I would rather have the other, so I crossed it out.
At the time, I was taking the bus to the office every day. This required walking a couple/few blocks from my house to the bus stop. About three days after editing my Christmas list, I was walking to the bus stop on garbage day. What do I see in the alley? A KitchenAid – with attachments no less – in a milk crate. After staring at it, agog, for a moment or two, I grabbed it, walked back to the house, and put it in the garage to deal with after work.
That evening, I cleaned it up, plugged it in, and it ran fine. It had the dough hook and whisk, but I had to buy a beater blade (yep, that one). A coworker gave me the pasta extrusion and the fruit/vegetable mill attachments. Finding the beater blade link, I see the meat grinder for $40 – I’m resisting the temptation to buy it. The pasta roller also looks nice, but quite expensive. In any case, I have a hand-cranked one and it works fine for the limited amount of pasta I make (the extruder works, but it’s not worth the effort). Anyway, back to what’s left of the story: I’ve been using it weekly (if one averages) ever since. One of the best Christmas presents of my life.
Coda: My first-to-get-married nephew and his wife (“to be” at the time) put a KitchenAid on their gift registry. Since I got mine free from G*d, I figured paying it forward would be a nice (and probably karmic) thing to do, so that was our wedding present to them.
Time to check on the bread…
Update: All of two minutes later, I bought the meat grinder. I’ve been wanting one for a while because I like sausage (particularly bratwurst and breakfast), but ground pork is not only difficult to find, it’s expensive. Meanwhile, Sam’s Club sells giant chunks of pork at a very good (per pound) price. I did check the reviews and it is the metal one – a plastic meat grinder? I don’t think so. I like to think I’m practically impulsive (despite knowing it’s just “impulsive” – one of my yardwork tasks is to cleanup the mess around the flag pole we planted, yesterday, which we impulsively – and practically! – bought at a stock show in Rapid City, SD in February).
Now, I’m going to check on the bread, really!
Unlike cakes, my bread-making is successful – I’ve been baking bread for years. I’ll still occasionally brick a loaf (particularly when I forget I’m making it and it rises for four hours), but that elicits surprise (and bread pudding!), not a resigned sigh.