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Appliance science | Manolo's Food Blog

Appliance science

Kitchenaid stand mixer

Can there be a more beautiful object anywhere in the home than the aristocratic KitchenAid stand mixer? Countertop-challenged New Yorkers gaze longingly at such a status vehicle the way other Americans gaze at a Jaguar.

KitchenAid blender
The KitchenAid bar blender is equally sleek, but there is dissent about its practical application. Mrs. Henry maintains that it is too noisy and, worse, that its beaker is too wide at the bottom. As a consequence her modern morning smoothie of banana, berries, juices, and Dr. Schulze’s SuperFood (a sinister green concoction of algae, seaweed, grasses, and yeast) gets stuck inside.

Each and every morning brings a fresh episode of the same drama. Chasing Little Henry round the table she cries, “Drink! It will change your life!” By the time she coaxes the last dollop out of the blender, however, Little Henry, who has never tasted the stuff, has made a clean escape out the door to catch the bus.

Color choices for kitchen appliances are style decisions that tellingly reflect family values. Though never one to foist his opinion upon others, Mr. Henry maintains that appliances which reside on countertops should be (like underwear) either white or black. Blaring colors like pistachio and pink deflect the eye from the machine’s (or the torso’s) principal attraction, namely, its sublimely engineered shape.


With regard to the KitchenAid bar blender, however, since Mr. Henry never uses the thing, he really doesn’t care.

The Waring or the Osterizer have narrower bases and might be better. He simply admires their shape – pure modern aerodynamic heaven, like the 20th-Century Limited, New York to Chicago, a voyage into the future.


The gadget he reaches for time and again, however, is the Cuisinart hand blender. For apple sauce, cream soups, mashed root vegetables, and the like, it’s perfect. Immersible in hot liquids, it comes apart for easy cleaning.

Cuisinart hand blender

Microwave ovens perpetually annoy. The door closing with a sharp clack succeeds in awakening both the noble hound sleeping deeply on her bed and the worthy father napping earnestly on his couch. When foods are suitably nuked, infernal micro-beeps pierce every corner of the household. Microwave ovens are NOT on Mr. Henry’s Christmas list. He longs to construct a kitchen without one, but they are too darned useful.

10 Responses to “Appliance science”

  1. JaneC December 4, 2007 at 12:17 pm #

    As I registered for wedding gifts several months ago, the mother of the groom tried to convince me that I wanted a red KitchenAid stand mixer. No, I insisted, I want white.

    It is ok to have bright accents–like my cheery red tea kettle which often sits on the stove but is easily put away–but the permanent items must be neutral so that color schemes may be changed, and so they blend into the background rather than being the focus.

    After all, this year’s canary yellow and pistachio are last year’s harvest gold and avocado.

  2. Glinda December 4, 2007 at 7:03 pm #

    I adore KitchenAid Mixers, I have a very old one from my Grandmother, I think it’s from the 50’s. It isn’t as big as the newer ones, though. And of course, it’s white.

  3. Cameron December 5, 2007 at 2:01 pm #

    As it happens, I JUST bought a KitchenAid stand mixer yesterday! I’d only been craving one for, oh, my entire adult life. I got the Classic one, not the Artisan- I figure if it’s good enough for Ina Garten, it’s good enough for me.

    And I do hope you’ll forgive me, Mr Henry, but mine is Metallic Chrome in colour. I don’t care for white, black is too stark and hulking, but this very neutral grey finish looks very handsome indeed on my kitchen counter. And should I ever get stainless steel appliances, it will fit right in.

  4. Phyllis December 5, 2007 at 9:40 pm #

    KitchenAid stand mixers come in way more colors than a Jaguar too (about 20 I think.) Ours is dark green, popular when we got it10+ yars ago. And of course when we remodeled the KitchenAid had to figure into the color palette.

  5. Abbey December 5, 2007 at 11:44 pm #

    I have an old, hand-me-down microwave. It has a dial that you turn to set the time, and it makes a pleasant “ding!” when it’s finished. No annoying electronic beeps, just a school bell-esque chime. It’s not the prettiest thing (faux wood grain, ick!) but it was free, it works, and I’m a broke university student, so it will do.

  6. class-factotum December 6, 2007 at 8:52 am #

    I have the Hamilton Beach blender my mom and dad got as a wedding present 45 years ago. It still works. The only flaw is that the lid no longer fits tightly on the container — that’s what happens when you pour hot stock and roasted red peppers into the container to blend them into soup — heat is not good for plastic.

    Now I have a little immersion blender that I got at TJMaxx for $10 and I no longer have to puree soup in the big blender.

  7. Twistie December 6, 2007 at 10:58 am #

    About thirteen or so years ago, my father’s warhorse KitchenAid stand mixer finally gave out just as he began the annual ritual of Making Fifteen Dozen of Every Kind of Cookie On Earth That Isn’t Chocolate Chip (the reason why, to this day, chocolate chip seems so much more exotic to me than it does to others who did not grow up in my home). He broke down and bought a new one. The K6 he’d been talking about for years.

    Then he found a place that could repair his old KitchenAid. I got the new one handed to me. Left to my own devices, I would probably have made Mr. Henry cry by getting the cobalt blue, but I’ve been more than delighted with my white one all these years. After all, I’m not Sandra Lee. I use my mixer to mix things, not just to create a countertopscape.

    As for my father’s KitchenAid that’s older than I am? It outlasted him and is still being used to make cookies by my brother.

    I never have gotten the hang of immersion blenders. It seems no matter what level I immerse it to is the perfect one for splattering soup on my floor and walls.

    In the last six years, I think the only thing I’ve used my microwave for is reheating leftovers when I’m lazy and melting chocolate. Once upon a time, I depended on it a lot, but now I think I could get that counterspace back and not miss it very much at all.

  8. Funoozer December 6, 2007 at 1:48 pm #

    Put the microwave, and the relevant bags of popcorn, in the basement where the giant television and movie-watching recliners live! Microwaves do not deserve kitchen counter space.

  9. Phyllis December 6, 2007 at 6:22 pm #

    Mrs. Henry might like the Waring Professional Blender. It has only two speeds, but also has a commercial grade motor that can practically grind up rocks. It’s the bartenders tool of choice. Plus it’s retro-cool and the all glass canister pours clean because the blades are built into the glass – no rubber rings ro deal with.

  10. Eilish December 14, 2007 at 10:45 pm #

    When I met my husband he had mismatched plates and glassware, but a white KitchenAid stand mixer in all its glory. I was swept off my feet. Is it any wonder that we were engaged six weeks later?