Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sunbeam Mixer

For years I had a KitchenAid mixer.  I loved it.  It beat my cookies, kneaded my bread, and whipped up birthday cakes. When my standard-sized mixer died after about 15 years, we bought a larger one that could handle enough bread dough to make two full-sized whole-wheat loaves.  When the motor began to shed metal shavings, we knew the bigger machine wouldn't have the longevity of the older, regular-sized machine.  But we let it keep grinding away. 

In April it died.  Good-n-dead.

Option A:  Buy a replacement for $500.
Option B:  Buy a Bosch, which has a reputation for being a multi-decade machine-of-durability.  But that's more expensive yet.
Option C:  Buy a standard KitchenAid, which is $200 if you can find one on Craigslist or wait until the pre-Christmas sales. 

Y'know, if I believed that a machine would actually last 10-15 years or more (!), I might find a way to afford a new one.  But at the rate things are going, I'm not sure I can count on more than 5-8 years, and possibly less.  As a stop-gap measure while I decided what to do (or maybe as I waited until the pre-Christmas sales) I decided to buy a hand-mixer.

At Fleet-Farm I found a Sunbeam Heritage mixer* for thirty bucks.  It has whips, beaters, and dough hooks, powered by a pretty decent motor. When I first bought it, Maggie was at a loss.  She'd never operated a hand mixer before.  It took a while to figure out the machine.  We needed to slightly tweak how we made bread, as the mixer didn't have enough power to knead 8 cups of ww flour.  Because the bowl doesn't spin itself, you have to bother to hang onto the mixer and move the beaters around the bowl [gasp].  And yes, it can even make cookies, not just breads.  As an added bonus, we can whip the mashed potatoes instead of just smashing them up with the potato masher -- yummy.  As I was running $30-50 per year for my KitchenAid's depreciation costs, it looks like I'll be ahead if my little Sunbeam mixer lasts me just one year.

I wish I could have confidence that the quality of merchandise would be better if I forked over more money for a reputable brand known for quality and longevity.  But I don't.  So for now, I will just ask God to give me decent tools, and see what He provides.  Over the past five months, this Sunbeam has gone far beyond my expectations.

* I'm suspecting it may have been discontinued, as it's no longer available on the Sunbeam site, is expensive on Amazon, and is down to $22 at Fleet-Farm.

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