Recipe Review

How I Fell Out of Love with My Stand Mixer

published Feb 6, 2017
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I remember the day I opened my KitchenAid mixer: The box was the biggest thing under the Christmas tree that year, and (for once) I had no guesses as to what was inside.

You see, I had come to terms with the fact that I probably wouldn’t get the kitchen essential until I got married — to a person I didn’t even know existed yet. I figured by the time my wedding came around, some poor soul (probably an aunt on his side) would take pity on me, and somehow know that a stand mixer had been sitting on my heart’s registry for more than a decade.

It had always been too expensive and, frankly, too big for my New York City kitchen to handle. Until that Christmas.

So in Love

I wasted no time getting to work. Ooey, gooey, Nutella-stuffed cookies? I made them. Brownies from scratch? Coming right up. German chocolate cake? No problem. My new mixer looked so good gleaming on my kitchen counter, I felt like I had been promoted from home dabbler to real baker. I started bookmarking all the recipes I had deemed too difficult for just my OG bowl and spoon. I could finally stop ignoring recipes that started with, “In the bowl of your stand mixer … ”

Now that I had a stand mixer, I was determined to prove that I had the chops I’d always hoped I had. I baked passionately and enthusiastically.

There was nothing I wouldn’t try; I even shredded cooked chicken breast with my mixer, at the behest of one ill-fated taco recipe.

The Beginning of the End

But as it happens with any new relationship, as the newness wore off, I started coming up with a list of things to complain about.

  • The machine barely fit in my kitchen and I had to get rid of stuff (sorry, knife block!) in order to make room for its large footprint. To boot: When I tilted the head back, it hit the uppers in my kitchen if I wasn’t careful — which, admittedly, is more the fault of my kitchen than the machine’s.
  • No matter what attachment I was using, I still needed a spatula to really incorporate all of my dry ingredients into my wet ones. At that point, I was back to manual labor. I thought this machine would do the hard parts for me?
  • The attachments were much harder to clean than my trusty spoons and spatulas ever were (especially after said shredded chicken decision).
  • It looked so pretty, I started worrying about messing it up. Sure, it took up valuable space on my counter, but what if I used it and something happened to it?

It’s Complicated

I started noticing that more and more weeks were passing where I didn’t even reach for my beloved mixer at all. And I’m ashamed to admit that for one particularly bleak stretch in the winter, I used it for one thing and one thing only: to whip cream for my hot chocolate. And while, yes, those hot chocolates were delicious, I’m sure it wasn’t exactly the reason the stand mixer was invented.

These days, I certainly don’t use my stand mixer as much as I thought I would. It’s more of a show piece. A pretty car (that rarely gets driven) in a garage.

That’s not to say that I don’t still reach for it now and then to make another batch of cookies. I even got the pasta maker attachment for my birthday three months ago (I just, um, haven’t used it yet). I’m just saying that I reach for a bowl and spoon more often than I reach for the machine’s plug.

Read More About Stand Mixers

Do you have a stand mixer? If so, do you use it more or less than you thought you would? Be honest!