Kitchen Workhorse

We have a Sunbeam Power Plus stand mixmaster that we got 38 years ago when we got married. It was a big splurge at the time.  Both RangerSir and I enjoyed baking and so we used some of the wedding gift money and got a little crazy.

The Sunbeam has been the workhorse in our kitchen that has outlasted every other kitchen appliance we have owned.   I have occasionally looked at the current Kitchen Aid with some lust, but the price has always made me step back and wonder what could it do, that my trusty old workhorse could not do.   My Sunbeam probably has more metal gears and a more substantial motor than what is found in today’s stand mixers.

I recently used it to make a new dinner roll recipe.   I enjoy making bread by hand and have done so for years.  I decided with this new recipe, that I was going to try using my stand mixer as called for in the recipe.    The directions called for me to knead the dough using hooks/paddle for 20 minutes.   I wasn’t sure that the old girl could handle the length of time and the challenge of a yeast dough.  I marched forward and the old workhorse did not fail me.

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The recipe was for flaky dinner rolls with many layers of butter and dough.  They turned out nicely, though I must admit I missed the process of kneading my dough.  There is something sort of calming and peaceful about it.    Do you have an appliance in your kitchen that keeps on plugging along?

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Procarstination Caught Up with Me

We have been working on redoing our kitchen now for a couple of years.   We have been doing the pay as you go plan and are nearly done.   I have a few things yet to do, but the one I knew was coming but had been dragging my heels on was the refrigerator.    It had been freezing certain areas of the refrig  causing me to loose tons of fresh produce.   Yet it was always  frosting up areas of the freezer as though the door was left open.   Our trusty appliance repair man had looked at it and told us it was time to move on.      The refrigerator was old enough  that from an energy standpoint it needed to go; technology and energy efficiency had moved on.   It was so small that it really wasn’t large enough for us since we don’t shop groceries very often.   Suddenly this week the freezer portion of it went nuts and the time to replace it was NOW.

All my months of browsing the  appliance department every time I was near a large box store or the local appliance store had come to a halt.   Time for research and looking had come to an immediate end.    My quirky demands for some things that could only be found on the highest end refrigerator  and the desire for other things that could only be found on the lowest end models no longer mattered.    I could  no longer refused certain things and demanded other things.  Compromise and prioritize were my first and second names.   I also was a realist that I wasn’t going to find any refrigerator that I wanted for the price point I was seeking.   Nothing in my research had even come close to what I wanted to spend.    I checked online and the big box stores would take 10-14 days to deliver to my local.   So  I took some time off of work Thursday and went to the local appliance shop and found my new refrigerator.

It reminded me again of the joys of shopping locally.   The local store doesn’t keep much  stock on hand, but then what store does now days.   They did have white refrigerator, that they were willing to deliver out to my place the next day even if Friday was rural north and I was rural South.   It was just too small and I was giving up everything I really wanted, so I passed.   My salesman had already talked to the owner and they both knew I was in a bind but wasn’t going to just settle.  So we looked at things I liked and looked at when the next shipments were coming from the various makers.  Calls were made to see if they could x or y and how soon.   We got lucky in that a shipment was coming from one manufacture and they were able to add an add-on item and it will be in store on Tuesday.  It will be at my house on Wednesday (still not a rural south delivery day).   These folks understood my dilemma.   They wanted my business because each of them knew it made a difference.  Most of all they had no corporate policy that could not be changed or bent, they right then and there could make a decision that was out of their normal practice to make my life a little easier.

It wasn’t easy to get here, but now that the purchase is done I am ready for it to arrive and be one step closer to done.   In the meantime all the stuff that used to be in my upstairs refrigerator is now in the deep freeze in the basement and the meter wheel on my electricity is whirling like crazy.

 

Vacation of Uncertain Kind

My husband out there in the elements trying to adjust that little antennae

My husband out there in the elements trying to adjust that little antennae

Last fall  we  planned our vacation for this week.  We had made  lots of plans that we were quite excited about.  We had hotel reservations that ensured we were going to be leaving Dodge and take a “real vacation.”  Something we seldom do.   Then life happened.  My husband is a federal employee and sequestration and the debt ceiling suddenly made things uncertain.   My employer had a tough year and I may have reduced hours.   It no longer made sense for us to take off.   That vacation fund might just be needed for other things.   We decided that we would stay home  finish up projects in our kitchen that we had planned for later the year.

This vacation has been a comedy of errors.   We tried to replace the lights only to discover that the conversion kit need for the vaulted ceiling cost more than the new lights did.   They went back to the store.   We discovered that the salesman for the flooring was not fully informed and it could not be laid on the existing subfloor in our kitchen .   The new flooring is going back next week.   Our old range  had died beyond repair.   We had waited  ten days for the new one to be delivered, only to discover it had been damaged in transit,  again beyond repair, and would have to be replaced.  Another two weeks without a range  is on our horizon as our old one was already on the way to the recycle center.   Our TV quit working because they changed the “repeater” towers for our over the air TV.   My husband spent the cold day out in the wind trying to get the over the air antenna to pick up three stations.  No such luck only two or one the towers are just too far apart to work with our little antenna.  We had planned to hike and ride our new bikes.  Instead we have had snow two days already, when it has not been snowing, the wind has been howling.

This could be a disaster.   My husband and I could be fighting about all our frustrations.   Instead we are somehow enjoying the time for what it is.   Every time we drive two hours to the city to buy or return something we treat ourselves to a nice lunch.    We are foodies and love to enjoy food that we can’t easily find in our neck of the woods.   We love to sit in a restaurant and compare how we saw things and our plans.    One day we split a Cubano sandwich and salad, another I had a Thai chicken salad with mango, and he had a southwestern style sandwich, yesterday we found a Mediterranean café and split a trio/combo lunch.

No this wasn’t how we had planned our life, but it is ok .   It is a vacation of a different kind.  A vacation to reconnect.  A vacation to enjoy simple accomplishments.   A vacation not to be spent hurrying trying to squeeze as many things a possible things in a five-day-long holiday.  It has been a holiday that we have savored the time together, and the trials that have reminded us that together we are stronger than we are alone.