Monday, February 4, 2013

Am I ready for a stand mixer?

Anyone who knows their way around a kitchen either owns or dreams of owning a KitchenAid stand mixer.  American made and made to last, this mixer is a standard for many kitchens.  I fall into the category of dreamer.

For the past 35 years I have successfully beaten with a KitchenAid hand held mixer.  It has served me well and I have no complaints.  Yet when the ads start showing up around the holidays...Mother's Day, Christmas and a bunch of other random times, I get to thinking..."maybe now is the time."  So, I start to dream and then the paralysis sets in.  So many choices.  I just can't make up my mind about which style, which color, tilt-head or bowl-lift, on and on.

Then one day I spotted a KitchenAid Pro HD series in a consignment shop. It was tucked in a corner, nicely stored in it's original box.  Using my Blackberry I searched on the product number.  Again...so many options for a 5 qt stand mixer even when I limited it to only the Professional series.  I could locate similar numbers but not an exact match.  Okay, so I figured this one is an older model.  I jotted down all the details and headed back to my kitchen for a cup of tea and more research.

The price in the consignment shop was about half of the original list price for similar mixers.  But, as we know, KitchenAid holds lots and lots of sales throughout the year.  So, one could get a mixer for much less.  Was the second hand machine a good value?  While I was thinking through the economics I scanned the blog commentaries.  Almost everyone loves their KitchenAid and many found "special" places for them in their kitchens.

A special place.  Did I need a special place? Where was I going to store this major small appliance? Would it even fit in my kitchen?  Oh, did I mention that my kitchen is original?  Meaning old and in need of a good renovation.  I had kept the kitchen as last on the list to renovate because I figured the kids could merrily beat on it while growing up.  This was the kitchen where they and all their friends learned how to cook.  No one was ever concerned about messing up the place.  Then the kids grew up and moved on.  But now tuition payments seem more important than a new kitchen.  Which is leading me back to say that with my old fashioned kitchen cabinets I only have a 16 inch clearance on the countertop.  The KitchenAid Pro series measures 16.5 inches in height.   Pulling out the measuring tape I scanned my counter space for a good spot.  There was no room to store it and there was no room to even use it on the counter.  The KitchenAid is even too wide.  This was the deal breaker.

Upon returning to the consignment shop a week or so later I saw that the mixer was gone.  No more agony.

Making the rounds to another shop I discovered an old Sunbeam Mixmaster Heritage series which looked in okay condition.  A quick search on the web shows Target selling the lastest model for about twice the price of the used mixer.  Measurements of the Sunbeam align better with my kitchen.

 So, what do you think?  Should I go with the vintage model?  Might look nice in my vintage kitchen.

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