The Happy Baker

Thanks for your well wishes after my Saturday drama. My hip is mostly okay, even after a gym workout today. I tried to focus mostly on upper body, but I did try some lunges with weights. First set, fine; second set, twinge. So I stopped doing them. (Awww!) Still had a great workout, though, and only a twinge here and there remaining. I think I’ll continue to baby the hip this week to be safe.

Okay, so. Yesterday’s post was soooo long that I decided to save my happier Saturday event for today. Though not nearly as dramatic, it deserves its own post.

Saturday a.m. was warm and muggy, and as I mentioned yesterday, I had a hip twinge going on. Not the best setting for going to yard sales, but I was not to be deterred. Several of the ads listed books, and I’ve been on a reading binge lately.

The first sale was good. I found a pretty and nicely-framed print, a book (Rigged by Ben Mezrich), and a ream of neon copy paper–all for $5. Yaay!

The next three sales were busts, and I was ready to give it up for the day. There was one more sale, near my neighborhood, which had listed books in their ad, so I decided to swing by there on my way home. I’ll admit to some judginess as I approached the sale. For one thing, the neighborhood was kind of ratty, and for another, this particular sale was one of those ultra-small sales with two card tables and some stuff piled on top of the car trunk. But I felt kind of sorry for the man and woman standing out there because no one else was stopping, and there were those books to consider…I stopped. (I’m such a softie!)

For my generosity, I was rewarded with my greatest yard sale find of all time*:

Kitchen Aid K45ss Classic Stand Mixer

*happy sigh*

That, my friends, is a Kitchen Aid K45SS 4-1/2 Quart Stand Mixer – Classic version. Retail Cost: $300 at Macy’s, although it was on sale recently for around $250. I know this because I almost spent my hoard of Macy’s gift cards on it.

This mixer is an older model. It belonged to the seller’s mother, who was a prolific baker. Mother passed on, and although the mixer works fine, the daughter isn’t using it. Husband observed that it had provided many a fine baked good from his late mother-in-law. He even rubbed his belly fondly when he said it.

I spent some time caressing it checking all the parts and switches to give myself time to think it over. My unemployed status, along with my intent to declutter, requires that I think through a purchase more carefully than I used to. I’ve wanted a stand mixer since last Christmas, when I got in touch with my inner baker and had so much fun creating treats for friends and family. I’ve also been wanting to try baking my own bread, without spending hours mixing it. Most people I’ve spoken with say the stand mixer’s dough hook makes the whole process go much more smoothly.

My only hesitation was that it was something I didn’t have to have. Those mixers are big and heavy, and I probably would only use it a few times a year. On the other hand, I did just outfit my pantry with a chrome shelf unit, with an entire bottom shelf for appliances. And there was space available!
After careful thought, I decided that I would only buy it if it was a ridiculously low price like $20.

I asked the price. $25.00. I guess something showed in my face, because the woman said, “You know, you were so nice to stop, I’ll let you have it for $20.00.”

As the saying goes, “O-M-G!”

So now I am the owner of my very own stand mixer! I’ve polished and shined and turned it on and off a dozen times. I would’ve preferred the red version, but for a savings of over $200, this one is perfect!

What I have not done yet is to actually mix anything in it. The downside of this acquisition is that most of what I wanted to make with it falls in the category of baked goods. And I have a wee problem with baked goods. I do have a recipe for whole wheat bread I might try later this week.

I won’t use my new joy-toy for anything decadent until later this month, when I’ll be supplying cake balls for my parents to take to their next Ronald McDonald House outing. (Yes, they were so successful, I’ve been asked to make more! That never happens!)

Sometimes I think I must be the luckiest person in the world. :)

In sharing my appliance joy, my mom and I were laughing about some of my past cooking efforts, all the way back to my first appliance:

Easy Bake Oven circa 1963

Easy Bake Oven - Hasbro

Who knew you could bake a cake with nothing but a teensy box of mix, a whole passel of add-on accessories, and a 60-watt light bulb? No doubt, this appliance kicked off my lifelong love of sweets!

Ah, memories. Feel free to share your own appliance faves or recipes or memories in the comments. Any recipes would also be appreciated, especially if they require a dough hook! :)

*I’m not sure if it’s the actual “greatest find”, but it beats anything in recent memory.

22 thoughts on “The Happy Baker

  1. OMG is right! I love the mixer. Enjoy the mixing and the baking. I love mine, although I haven’t used it in awhile.

  2. Score on that one!!
    We use our kitchenaid mixer all.the.time. It is perfect for pretty much anything. Whipping up egg whites, mixing any and all batters, frosting, bread dough. We actually also have the ice cream attachment for it so we can make ice cream at home. Have you seen all the attachments for this machine? We actually nicknamed it the tool of the devil because you can easily get into trouble wanting to bake stuff.

  3. Cammy, thanks for the concern. I don’t drive and I live very close to work. It is about a 15 minute walk. I could take a taxi if I had to, but that would add up quickly. Hopefully once I get the appointment and have my orthotic adjusted it will heal quickly. Until then, ice, ibuprofen and stretching.

  4. That is a pretty darn awesome bargain! I bought one just like that a few years ago (from Kohl’s for about $220) and it was great for making double batches of the dough for my special cookie recipe, but the bowl wasn’t big enough to add the nuts and chips on the 2B. So, I found a bigger one (6 quart, white) on craigslist last summer and bought it from a woman who wanted a smaller, green one. Then, I posted my original one on craigslist during the holidays, knowing that it would sell fast, which it did. I can’t remember exactly what I sold it for! Like $120, I think. So, you got a great deal. Woot!

    My mom wouldn’t allow me to have an Easy Bake Oven because of my weight problem. I hung out a neighbor’s house just to play with hers….

  5. Oh, the memories of the Easy Bake oven! You’re right: teeny tiny boxed mixes that one could make and eat all by oneself. Perfect for the budding baker, not so perfect for establishing healthy eating habits :) Oh well, it was fun. Congrats on your garage sale find, and may you get lots of enjoyment out of it. And I’m glad your hip problem has calmed down somewhat. Ouch-that sounded very painful.

  6. I hope you ran (oops… walked) out and bought a lottery ticket too! What a great find. I got one as a wedding gift almost 23 years ago and it is still going strong. But now that you mention it I think it is only ever used for baked goods:( I also love my food processor. I am not much of a cook so don’t use it a lot but right now it is perfect for quickly slicing my carrots that I roast.

  7. I’ll give you 25.00 for it.

    Sounds like a good day and Karen is right…. go get a lottery ticket…. or play some bingo.

  8. I had an easy bake oven too!!! AND one of those cardboard kitchen sets! :-)

    SCORE is right! I love baked goods so this would be problematic for me too! I do love my protein cookie recipe I shared last Friday.. even healthy baked goods tempt me! :-)

  9. I have been WANTING one of those suckers for a very long time! And you are right on with the prices. You lucky girl getting it for a steal! Have fun with it! :)

  10. My word! I love those mixers and would love to have one!

    There’s an award for you on my blog!

  11. OH my, that is such a good deal! Twice a year use it will pay for itself. I have had mine for years and years, and only just now started using the dough hook. It is amazing. Make a whole-wheat flour pizza crust, and then do pizza on the grill – it is so much fun. Here’s a link to read.

    It goes REALLY fast, on the grill, so you have to work quickly. With all the summer veggies in abundance, you can make a really healthful meal.

  12. What a deal!! I fell into a deal like that several years ago. Not a garage sale, a cleaning out the in-laws basement event. None of Ed’s sisters wanted the really nice stand mixer his mother got when her arthritis got so bad she couldn’t knead bread anymore. I took the whole box home, an upon unloading it I found it had not only the beater and bread hook, but the sausage making attachment, meat grinder and juicer!! It’s big and a bit clunky, but it is a wonderful old piece of kitchen equipment.

  13. Such an amazing find. I love that older model that lifts up better than the one I have which doesn’t. Mine is getting less use these days as we share the baked goods issue. But my big red one sits on the counter top looking lovely and waiting for the day I can bake again. (Or when my kids are home and I bake for them!)

  14. You are SO lucky!!! I have one and I don’t know what I would do without the thing when it’s time to bake bread! I even bought the pasta attatchment a few years ago. Mine was a Christmas gift – otherwise I would never have been able to afford it.

    They are totally awesome! And TOTALLY worth the $20 splurge!

  15. I have the exact same mixer. I love it! But you are right it is best used to make the kind of baked goods that aren’t so good for our body. My peanut butter chip chocolate brownies were mixed in it last weekend and so was my banana bread. You are smart to test out the whole wheat bread recipe! :)

  16. I giggle Ive had the easy bake in my cart at the store SOOO MANY TIMES already and put it back with the realization it would be for me.

    the child isnt interested in one 😉

  17. You are the luckiest woman! My goodness that was an incredible bargain!

    That easy bake oven cracks me up. One year my son asked for the easy bake oven for Christmas and my daughter asked for a Lego table that same year! Santa was really confused!

  18. You will love love love your mixer! My BF gave me her old one when she upgraded to a red one! I love it so much. And I am just like you–a wee bit of trouble with baked goods. But there are enough low cal things to keep it busy once in a while.

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