Mixed Up

My mixer died at the worst possible time. Last week, as we were preparing for Thanksgiving, my chef-son was making focaccia bread. He had a large lump of dough in the mixer being kneaded with the bread hook. The normal whir of the motor was strained, with skipping pauses each time the hook traversed the bowl.

“That doesn’t sound good,” I told him, thinking he had put too much dough, or the dough was too stiff. It was a warning, really. I could hear the mixer deciding whether or not to continue its work.

“It’s fine, Mom,” C retorted in that terrible, sarcastic I’m-a-teenager-and-I’m-smarter-than-you way. “This is what it’s designed to do.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that mixers are supposed to, well… mix. But my mixer is 20+ years old, and because I am a baker, it gets a lot of use. Every year at this time, it whips up batches of gingerbread, sugar cookies, butter cookies, chocolate pretzel cookies, and armies of snowmen. At this time of year, it is mixing twenty-four-seven. Well… almost.

And that’s why I was concerned that the normal whir was sounding like a hiccupped whine. It is “this time of year,” and I am just about to ramp up my baking.

I stood over the mixer, watching it knead the dough, debating whether to turn it off and have C knead by hand, or let it keep struggling. And just as I was about to say, “Stop!” …it did. Not exactly the way I meant. It just stopped working. For a moment, I stared in shock. What am I going to do now? I wondered to myself, thinking about the dozens of cookies that would not be mixed and baked for Christmas.

I looked at C, my mouth still hanging open, but he was already removing the focaccia bread dough from the bowl, preparing to knead by hand. He wasn’t going to let a little mixer malfunction stop him.

I swallowed hard and took my cue from my son. I closed my mouth and moved on with my Thanksgiving preparations. It was a lucky thing that my mixer died two days before the Black Friday sales. I got one heckuva deal on a new one—one that is (according to W) almost twice as powerful. I’m looking forward to my holiday baking.

If I really think about it, my mixer died at the best possible time!

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