I had wanted a KitchenAid stand mixer for several years, the bold red one, but so many things stopped me. It was BIG, unable to fit neatly into the cabinet where my portable electric mixer rested, quiet and out of sight, until I needed it. I worried I wouldn’t use it—let’s be honest, despite my best intentions of branching out, I had my favorite recipes which I could do unerringly without any mixer upgrade. With my devotion to my career claiming most of my time, visions of “branching out” were effectively tabled for the time being. Finally I wanted to minimize my footprint, carefully curate my possessions. Pre-Kondo, I had embraced “Less (having) Means More (Being).
Then we relocated, I retired, and in the process, shed so much of the stuff I thought I couldn’t live without. (The only possessions I ever miss having at my fingertips are the books I left behind.) That desire, that yeasty starter, bubbled once again. I had time, I had space, and I thought, “Less packaging if I make my own bread.”
So I did it. Now she and I are getting to know each other. I have a hard time imagining handling her with the ease, the familiarity with which I watch my baking gurus navigate the various blades and bowls. But I’m getting into a sort-of rhythm. Usually she stands silently by as I contemplate my next loaves, gearing up for the actual process. As much as I love her, I’m a bit intimidated by her, like a guest I’ve invited but worry that we’ll have nothing in common. I’ve felt her resignation as I, yet again, fail to move the lever that locks the blade in place, or dump a fair pile of dry ingredients outside the bowl’s rim, not yet sure how to use the plastic shield that’s meant to prevent such a misstep.
We’re in this together though, and I AM making bread. I even made Challah for Hanukkah, a bread not readily available where I live now. In fact, I’m feeling a bit like trying that again. It’ll soon be Friday after all. Wish us luck!