Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mixmaster castle

Yesterday, A was cleaning up an old Mixmaster stand mixer for resale. When I saw it, I was immediately reminded of my Mom's great desire to have one. Around 1955, her ability to produce an edible cake suddenly ceased. They would fall, or have rubbery bottoms or just simply not taste the way her cakes usually did. She had no explanation for this and tried a number of remedies. The cake mix cure was the worst of all. Just not the same as Mom's and we all complained - my Dad the loudest. So, one day he came home with the marvellous Sunbeam mixer.

It was a beauty: all white with shiny black lettering and trim. Two wonderful white glass bowls that fit just so on the neat black turntable. There was a lever at the back to adjust for the large bowl or the small one. When the big handle was pushed sideways, the beaters fell out. There was another little lever under the mixer that would take it off the stand - you could take it anywhere and mix anything. The dial promised cookies, candy, bread and pies as well as those needed cakes. We kids had never seen anything quite so wonderful - we had yet to get a TV!

It was hard to say who was prouder of the mixer: Mom or Dad. I think Dad because he built this machine it's very own castle - complete with drawbridge. He built a cupboard where there was a space between the existing food cupboards. And then he added a shelf that was hinged and part raised up like a drawbridge to close the cupboard. The beautiful mixer stood inside this shelf and was safe from little fingers. When Mom wanted to bake a cake, she just lowered the shelf which was then supported on chains at either side. The mixer came out and she happily mixed and baked. I remember that all the cupboards and shelves in the kitchen were painted a sunny yellow enamel. The walls were papered in white with a cherries design. The cupboard knobs were made of wood and Mom had carefully cut out the little cherry pictures and pasted them to the yellow knobs then varnished over it. My first experience with decoupage.

The current Mixmaster is all clean now; it looks its age but still has 'good bones'. I wonder if a new-style mixer elicits such wonder in today's kitchen.

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