Jan Norris: Food and Florida

Food, Restaurants, Recipes and Pre-Disney Florida

Jan Norris: Food and Florida header image 1

The Cobalt Blue KitchenAid Mixer

November 25th, 2008 · 4 Comments

Not long after I was married, I decided my serious baking expertise — quite good from the beginning — deserved a more serious mixer than the Sunbeam and GE hand mixers I kept wearing out. They were fine for mashed potatoes and one small batch of cookies — but they couldn’t handle a double batch of any cake batter, no sticky divinity, and surely no bread dough.

I remembered the mixers our neighbors had when I was growing up. My mom didn’t bake much, so a hand-mixer was fine for her. Our neighbors both had big families, and baking was a part of their everyday cooking. On one side, there was Mrs. Smiggen, with her old KitchenAid — a workhorse. On the other side, was Mrs. Davis, with a sleek Sunbeam Mixmaster. Both were stand mixers — no hands required — and both had powerful motors that could even mix stiff bread. Both hummed along as they did their jobs. I thought they were magical.

I read up on them and decided I wanted one of those two brands. I dropped serious hints to my husband before the holiday.

The Baker’s Gift

No fool he — Tom loved my baking. I was given a KitchenAid 5-quart stand mixer that Christmas. It was cobalt blue — that color’s first year, and it changed my baking entirely. I rarely used my hand mixers again. I have had six KitchenAids since then — I keep lucking into them at yard sales, thrift shops and occasionally from friends. I recently had one custom-painted an aqua green. The huge 1945 K-5 machine works like it did when it was new and Hobart USA’s name was on them, but it needed a makeover — rust had pitted it badly. It’s now a beauty; I’m only waiting on a set of motor brushes to put it to use again.

I use my cobalt one for almost all my baking; it sits out all the time on the special baking station I designed in my new kitchen. I have a classic, 4-quart white one from the ’50s (thrift-store find) next to it.  I use it for icings and meringues and other small jobs. My cousin Mike wants one just like it, so I’m on the hunt for another one again. They’re a little harder to find these days.

Frankly, I can’t imagine my kitchen without these mixers — they’re on my list of “things I must take” when I evacuate for hurricanes. I’ve hauled them to numerous cooking demos, and squired them to friends’ kitchens to prepare things on the spot. 

This is one of the few kitchen appliances that I can endorse without hesitation, and that I will tell you is worth the big money. Parts are still available for those that need them — they rarely do unless you get a really old one that’s been neglected. Repairmen have no trouble working on them, though, since they’re a simple, great design. The motors are made from metal — nothing plastic in them to wear out. That they work reliably after 60-plus years on the job is testimony that speaks for itself.

The Amazon Black Friday Deal

KitchenAid 5-Quart Stand MixerThe reason I’m going on about them is because a friend told me that there’s a special sale on Amazon called Black Friday deals, and if you order the 5-quart Artisan KitchenAid in certain colors (metallic chrome, onyx black, red, or like mine — cobalt blue) through them, it’s only $209 after a rebate. That’s quite the deal; they’re normally around $350. It’s an investment — but it’ll be the last mixer you need.

Note: You have to click on the special colors for the deal price — the deals don’t come up automatically from the chrome one that’s first displayed — and the others are regularly priced, or discounted only marginally. Full disclosure: If you click on it from my site, I earn a pittance for sending you there. But you can go there on your own through www.amazon.com – and fish around for the Black Friday deals. The deal is the same either way. This is one, however, that isn’t really being advertised – you must hunt for it. I’m just pointing it out; it’s a short-term special — and I hear jingle bells in the distance.

Tags: Two Forks Up! Food Finds

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ben // Nov 25, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    A number of years ago, my father bought both my mother and sister the special anniversary addition and had their names etched onto the mixing bowls. These two cooks were beyond thrilled to display their new gift… if you asked either the best gift of their lives, their mixers would rank right near the top!

  • 2 hazmat1225 // Nov 28, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    You’ve got so many, maybe you could start a rent-a-mixer business…

  • 3 Jan Norris // Nov 28, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    I’ve seen some of you fools in the kitchen, and wouldn’t rent my “babies” out for your abuse.

    While firefighters can cook, not so sure they’re great bakers. Too risky- you can’t snatch a cake out of the oven halfway done to run to a rescue, then put it back when you’re back at the firehouse, and get good results.

  • 4 scottsfla // Dec 1, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    My great-grandmother had a Hobart that she’d use to make mayonnaise in the ’40s. The ladies would pool their oil and egg rations during the war, and she would make a large batch of mayonnaise for the neighborhood. She died in ’49, and her mixer was sold around 1951. Wouldn’t surprise me if it still were operational. Those things are workhorses. I have one I bought for $20 at a church rummage sale. — Scott Simmons

Leave a Comment