Yesterday started out as a typical Saturday. I was cooking, working on two recipes at once. I was making chocolate ice cream for a dinner we’re hosting on Thursday (It took 30 plus years of cooking until I really understood mise-en-place, and took it to heart. If you’re lazy, you need to be efficient.). I was also using the KitchenAid to knead some pain de miei dough (after I killed the yeast in a previous attempt. Yes, I do screw things up. No, I don’t always blog about them. Do you think I should, oh dear readership? Or does that ruin your image of me?).
Then it happened. The thunk, then the whine. My mixer stopped mixing, and the whining sound got louder. I swiftly went over and shut the mixer off. I tried to restart it, and nothing but whining ensued (by the machine, not by me. Mine was later.). Next step, unplug, don’t panic. (Finish ice cream base, get it into the fridge to cool) I of course, went to the internet and searched. I found out that I’d blown the transmission.
Heavy sigh. I had a few moments of panic when I realized (for real) that this means an extended outage without a mixer. I found links to a parts list, and a repair manual. Soon I discovered that the description “just realign the brushes, and figure out which one is damaged” was going to require an extra degree in mechanics and wiring, which are not currently in my skill set. I’m a software engineer. You expect me to deal with a hardware problem that doesn’t involve clicking in a new chip? Wiring and un-wiring?
I went to my local Food Co-op for the weekly refresher on basic supplies (coffee, milk, spinach), and to talk to B, my favorite cheesemonger. We discuss the deli dept’s issues with heating elements this morning, and other non-related items. I mention my blown tranny. We discuss the large cramp in our normal styles that it would be/is to not have a mixer. B suggests the small engine repair joint across the street. After I procure my comestibles, I head over there. The door is locked. It’s Saturday morning at 9:30. Since no hours are posted, I’m thinking this is a dead end. I’ve already searched for small appliance repair in the normal channels (internet, phone book).
I took the food home, put it away, and continued with the bread, and kept churning away at what to do. I called my other friend H, who’s lived here longer than I have, and who’s dealt with such issues with his batterie de cuisine. H always has good equipment and recipe recommendations. I explained my dilemma, and asked if he had repair recommendations. He asked how long I have had it. At least 16 years, I said. We determined it was out of warranty, and he suggested I buy a new one, given that my mixer does more than just look pretty on the counter in our kitchen. I did get a new one, at Target. In cherry red. But now I have a box to send the old one in for servicing, too. It’s good to have a backup. I wonder if getting it fixed will cost as much as the new mixer, by the time I pay for shipping, etc. We shall see. Did I mention that the new one is 60 Watts more powerful? It’s the beginning of a new era of cooking.. with the red mixer.