“The measuring and mixing always smoothed out her thinking processes - nothing was as calming as creaming butter - and when the kitchen was warm from the oven overheating and the smell of baking chocolate, she took final stock of where she'd been and where she was going. Everything was fine.”
― Jennifer Crusie
I received an unexpected gift yesterday. It wasn't my birthday. I hadn't done anything particularly deserving. But when my Guy had me close my eyes and he opened up the back of his Man Station Wagon (it's a sport model), I had no idea that he had purchased a Bright Red KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer. For me.
The Bright Red KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer has always been a dream of mine. (I know, you're probably reading this thinking, "I've had a stand mixer for years. Pfft. No biggie.") But it IS a biggie. A VBD (Very Big Deal), if you will. See, the Bright Red KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer represents more than just a mixer for me. It's my Someday tool.
I love to bake. It calms me after a stressful day. I love the way the house smells when I'm crafting up something yummy in the kitchen. And olfactory memories are strong ones...I want my boys to remember growing up in a house that smells of cookies and cakes and...well...love. For many, many years (19, to be exact), I have used the hand mixer my mother gave me as a wedding present. I've loved that hand mixer. It has seen me through stiff meringues, chunky chocolate chip cookies, thick butter cookies for my new cookie press and the beginning (and end) of my marriage. It's been a great mixer. It does the trick. So much so that spending a Veritable Fortune for a Bright Red KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer just never made sense.
So, I told myself this: "Someday. Someday you will buy yourself the Bright Red KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer as a special present JUST FOR YOU. Maybe it will be because you do something extraordinary like not forgetting to shut and lock the back door before bed. Maybe it will be because you finally finished writing that book. Maybe it will be because you're just SO DAMN AWESOME. But, someday, you will buy that ridiculously extravagant Bright Red KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer. And you will BAKE."
Someday hasn't arrived yet. I just have never been able to justify the expense.
But, yesterday, due to...I don't know what it was...maybe the cool fall weather? I looked especially fetching last week with my runny nose? Just because?...my Guy purchased the Bright Red KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer.
So, yesterday I rushed home, excited to use my Brand New Bright Red KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer.
And life got in the way. I was busy picking up kids, getting groceries, supervising homework, printing Thing 2's school project that, before I knew it, 10 p.m. had rolled around. I was EXHAUSTED. And a little cranky. And I didn't want my Very First Baking Experience with my lovingly purchased Dream Machine to be rushed or stressful.
I rested my hand carefully on top of the Bright Red KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer and said, "I'm going to take a little nap. But I'll be back."
So, I set my alarm for 2:30 a.m. And, at 2:30 a.m., I woke up like I was 6 years old again and Christmas morning had arrived. I raced downstairs and made a cup of coffee (hello, I still have SOME sanity left...I know what's important). And then I carefully washed the parts of my new mixer. And I read the operating instructions. And I assembled the butter, the sugar, the eggs, the flour. I juiced some lemons. I installed the splash shield. I finally figured out how to install the mixing paddle.
And I mixed.
I oohed and aahed over the blending. I walked away from it while it creamed butter and sugar. I listened to the whirring of the motor.
It was everything I dreamed it would be.
I'm sitting here now smelling deliciously baked lemony goodness. And I know my boys are upstairs in their sleep smelling the good smell of love wafting from the kitchen. I have my coffee and my dogs. That Bright Red KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer is a part of the living dream.
Go out there and bake something today.
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