photo by Ralph Romero (c) 2013

photo by Ralph Romero (c) 2013

I’ve got a chocolate cake in the oven. It’s a recipe my mom got from her dad’s secretary and she’s made it for years and now I’ve made it for years. It’s rich and reliable.

To make it, I mixed it up in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. There’s a story behind that mixer. I got it for $15.00 at a garage sale — and the guy whose garage sale it was? He was also selling a cabinet that he’d bought from me the summer before! It was a very distinctive cabinet that I’d painted myself, so yes, I know for sure it was the same one!

The Kitchen Aid didn’t have a bowl, but I got one at the outlet mall for just $30.00, bringing my total to $45.00. But I still didn’t have the beaters. So I asked for those for Christmas.

The model number on my Kitchen Aid is K-45, which means it’s from 1962! And still works great. The wonderful thing about Kitchen Aid is that they support their old models, so the beaters were still available.

Here’s the thing about this mixer — it’s not big enough for what I need. This cake, for example, uses 3 cups of flour and 3 cups of sugar. Even with the plastic collar that keeps flour from flying out (mostly), it’s just too big a recipe for this mixer. Lots of my recipes are large like this. Each time I make something, I have to go slowly, adding flour a little at a time to prevent messes. But I’m a little impatient, so there’s usually flour on the mixer, on the counter, sometimes the floor.

But I love my K-45, because you just never, never see a Kitchen Aid mixer second hand. They’re like Legos — people hang onto them or give them to family or friends. But I found one and got it for just $15.00!

If I upgrade to a larger Kitchen Aid, I’d be giving up the mess, but I’d also be giving up my story.

At the PMC Conference in 2010, Bruce Baker told us that people like to have a story to tell about their handcrafted jewelry. Sometimes that story is how they got such a deal from the artist. Bruce said that we need to give our customers a better story, so that the story isn’t “I got a deal.”

What’s the story with your jewelry?

P.S. What happened with the cake? It stuck to the pan, an intricate castle mold. FAIL! The photo is of some chocolate cupcakes I made on another day, reflecting in the lid of the cake dome.

The castle cake worked too, on another day, with a different recipe and Wilton’s Cake Release.

P.P.S. After writing this blog post, I think I’ve decided I’m ready for a new story — one involving less mess and a larger mixer!

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