Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The "Killer" Is Loose Again!

Yep! A killer loose in this house once again and how frustrating it is when this re-occurs too!

The killer is me! I have a reputation here for "killing" small appliances -mainly small kitchen appliances, that is.

And today, I did it again!

Well, in this instance the appliance isn't totally dead yet, but it is it in the death throes, that much is certain. That means sometime this week I will have to take another trip to Walmart and purchase, yet again, another damned hand mixer!

Today, I was fixing the dinner that I was to take on Sunday for the young couple from our church who just had their first baby - a little boy, born last Friday -and the women of the church have this program in which we provide a full meal to new parents the first and second days home from the hospital.

The mother and baby were due to be discharged on Sunday and I was to make their meal that day -which I did. However, the grandmother phoned me to say things had changed and they weren't being discharged that day because the little guy had developed a touch of jaundice, which meant some special time under the light and the mother had opted to stay in the hospital with him. So, it was decided the lady who was doing the second-day dinner would actually be doing the first day dinner and I would be doing the meal today. As things worked out though, they weren't discharged until today so I was back on tap for the "first day home" meal!

My plans on Sunday were that I would cook up a double batch of spaghetti sauce and make lasagne -one for the new parents and a second batch then for us for our supper. My meal planning also was to include a big tossed salad with the leaf lettuce fresh from my lovely garden and for dessert, zip-lock bags filled with three different kinds of freshly baked cookies.

Well, as things went the way they did on Sunday, we -the family here, that is -dined on the lasagne Sunday evening and again, last night we polished off the rest of the leftovers of that. I had the cookies all bagged up but that idea plummeted down the tubes when some one here managed to dip into the bags I had set aside -ignoring the two rubbermaid containers I had filled with the other cookies -the ones that didn't look quite as nice or were a bit darker.

So today, I heated up the sauce, got out the cottage cheese/ricotta/parmesan mixture and cooked up a package of bow tie noodles instead of fixing another big pan of lasagne.

My dessert plan changed too as I decided instead of the cookies, I was going to send them a really rich, creamy -sinfully loaded with calories galore chocolate-peanut butter pie!

And it was as I was mixing the chocolate/peanut butter/cream cheese/powdered sugar mixture with the container of cool whip that my mixer decided to malfunction! But only one beater stopped working. At least this time the kitchen wasn't filled with that acrid smell of something burning -like a small motor, ya know!

The "Killer" label for me was acquired oh, about 3-4 years ago now when I went through at least three hand mixers in about a 12-18 month time span!

Each of these mixers was supposed to be a "heavy-duty" mixer but for some reason or other, they sure didn't live up to the "heavy-duty" label they came with!

And each time one broke, it always happened at the least opportune time too! Once, in the middle of trying to mash potatoes, another time, about 3 days before Christmas in the middle of trying to cream butter and sugar and another time, it was when I was trying to add flour to a cookie recipe!

Mandy told me back then -I think about the time when I burned out the third mixer (first was a GE, second a Black and Decker and the third, yet another GE) that she had heard someplace people who had at sometime in their life had radiation treatments somehow or other had some kind of radiation-type residue in their system that somehow or other passed through to small appliances and caused them to fritz out on them!

She had told me that story after the first or second mixer -don't recall which -because at about the same time as I was burning out motors on hand mixers, I had also managed somehow to kill at least two coffee makers too! I don't know what the heck I did to the coffee makers, but they had died when I was using them so of course, I got the blame.

Well, by the time the third mixer bit the dust, I was beginning to believe maybe there was some truth to Mandy's story (old wives tale, maybe) about the radiation thing and I decided to see if I could find out more on that topic.

I surfed the net for information pertaining to radiation residue and finding nothing about it causing burned up small appliance motors, I decided maybe this was a very well-hidden secret of the medical world. To find out the truth and nothing but the truth, I went so far as to call the radiology department then at our local hospital to ask them about this fact.

(Bear in mind here that for at least two years, maybe three, prior to all these calamities occurring here, I was a pretty steady "customer" at the radiology department at the local hospital -having had upteen tests done there regularly and repeatedly. Enough so that most likely just about everyone in that department knew me to see me and knew my name too! But because I am who I am, you know I had no qualms calling and asking them this question and yes, I identified myself by giving them my right name too when I called!)

Anyway, the bottom line to that part of the story is that my call with that question was passed around in the radiology department till I ended up talking to a lady who was the supervisor of the department and who informed me she'd been working in radiology for oh, about 33 years then and had never known radiation to cause burn-outs with small kitchen appliances -or any other appliances either, for that matter.

So, it turns out apparently it is just me that this happens to!

I even went so far as to log a complaint with GE about the particular mixer that I had paid top dollar for (well, top dollar at Wal-Mart for that appliance anyway) and grumped to them about if this appliance isn't strong enough to handle a stiff cookie dough batter, then why were they selling it with dough hooks and touting it as capable of mixing bread doughs then too?

I also made some suggestions to them when I bitched too. A request, actually, for something to be attached to any new designs for portable hand mixers and that was for 1) a motor that definitely can handle the type of dough/mixture that it said it could work with and 2) to put little umbrella-type things where you insert the beaters or dough hooks so that when you start mixing something and the dough begins to cling and then, work its way up the beater it wouldn't be able to become this thick paste-like substance that would then make its way up into the hole in which you insert the beaters!

Anyone who uses one of these appliances and who mixes up either cookie dough, meringues, bread dough -stuff like that -I'm sure will know what I mean that takes place there, makes a royal mess to clean up and yes, probably clogs the mixer up, making the operation very sluggish and then, burns the motor in it out completely!

Well, although the mixer I killed today was a Hamilton Beach and near as I can remember, this one had the most longevity of any of the recent mixers that have had the misfortune of falling into my hands, the fact that I now have yet another dead-as-a-doornail mixer on my hands does nothing to sooth my anger -and sorrow too -to have slaughtered yet another mixer, way before its time!

And by the way, before this series of deaths struck my kitchen, the hand mixer I'd had previously -before the first GE blew up on me -had lasted for close to 20 years and had only cost me about $10 brand spanking new too!

Does kind of make a person wonder about the quality of merchandise being turned out in recent years though, doesn't it?

I'll be checking to see too if any of the newer models have a little umbrella-type feature on them where you shove the beaters in to prevent clogging the mixers up with whatever one is mixing too.

See if the engineers took my suggestion to heart there, ya know!

Maybe it was the death of this mixer today and my growling and grumbling -ok, bitching -about having another one die on me that lodged in Maya's mind then too, causing her to give way with a bunch of questions at the supper table tonight about dying and going to heaven, and getting wings and such.

She also wanted to know how far away heaven is -to fly there ya know -once you got those wings. My answer to her was that it is a kazillion miles away and her follow-up question to that was "Is that more than 10 miles?"

Yes, baby -it is a lot more than 10 miles - a number that is infintesimal (sp) (if such a figure or word even exists) but I'd just like to fling my latest corpse about a kazillion miles and let it land in the lap of some small appliance engineer some where, some place and let him/her get all ticked off and frustrated over having this happen, yet again!

And with all that off my chest now, I bid you adieu from the "Killing Fields" of my kitchen!


Maggie May said...

No wonder that your small mixers die so frequently. The reason is you're working them to death!
You will have to get an industrial one I think!

You seem so laid back!
I would be getting in a state about all that cooking! I wouldn't be the best choice for providing the meal for the *newly born's* family. What a good idea though. Hope they ask for volunteers and not just say *YOU* do it!
Good post!

Marguerite said...

I think that Maggie Mae is right about you needing an industrial mixer, Jeni. lol I know what you mean, though. I'm the same way with sewing machines. Every one I buy breaks down, way before it should.

Sandee said...

I got a visual on all your small appliances in fear when you enter the kitchen. Sorry, but it's kind of funny. Just saying.

Have a terrific day. :)

Debo Blue said...

Just one word: YUMMY!

Everything you mixed together, put together sounds heavenly. Ah.

Jocelyn said...

What a rare and wondrous superhero power you have! Use it for good, not evil.

My mom had a hand mixer that lasted more than 30 years. Now she just doesn't cook. My husband and I have a KitchenAid stand mixer, and I would never go back. It's amazing--a beefy appliance.

I dunno. I wouldn't trust the quality of most things from Wal-Mart. I just found out this week, thanks to the construction in our kitchen, that you can buy what seems to be the same appliance--same company, same model name, etc....but if it's bought through, say, Menards, it's of lesser quality than if it's made for a "higher-end" place. For example, our Kohler toilet that we bought from a direct Kohler distributor is more solid and heavier than the "same" toilet sold at Home Depot.

RuneE said...

I would guess that there are more seriously radiating objects in the world... :-)

Dianne said...

nothing is built heavy duty anymore!
I too think you need an industrial mixer
actually lots of restaurant supply sites sell cheap

if it makes you feel any better
my car window just open by itself while I'm driving - and then won't close - which is especially exciting when it's raining
and my car alarm starts to blare while I am driving
the only way to stop it is to pull over, get out, lock and unlock the door

good times!

TechnoBabe said...

Let me know when the services will be for the hand mixer and I will have flowers delivered!!! I have had to "bury" so many appliances myself, I know what you mean, I can picture you eeking the very last ounce of energy out of the declining hand mixer. Sniff.

Suldog said...

It's interesting, the thing about you maybe killing appliances because of radiation. I do think that some people send out energies that cause things to go on or off electrically.

For the longest time, while we were dating, MY WIFE and I would put out street lights as we walked together. Not every one, mind you, but enough of them, often enough, to remark on it and speculate about what sort of energy we were sending out when we held hands :-)

Shelby said...

things are built so cheaply these days.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

I honestly don't think appliances/cars/homes/anything are manufactured as well today as they were forty years ago. I have my mom's mixer she received as a wedding gift in 1969, and it still works. But, other appliances we purchased a few years ago? Gone. It is discouraging.

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