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A Long Goodbye

For a while the Kenwood Chef (blue and white 1960s or early '70s vintage) has occasionally--wilfully--shat its chunky nut from the plate into which the beater screws into the cake mix. I've washed the offending article and refrained from jokes about added ingredients.

A handful of cakes ago, the KC stopped. M turned it upside down, discovered where the power cable had worn through over the years, and fixed it. The upside to this (apart from having a working KC again) was enough crud had been dislodged, air had got to its innards, that it smelt less of burning lubricant whilst working.

Today, the whole mechanism was slipping so it jammed against the bowl (this is the white pyrex variety not one of the more recent inferior stainless steel or plastic ones). I'm terrified of the bowl breaking (or breaking further: it has a chip on the upper edge of its lip, sealed with pink nail varnish, where I try not to aim when cracking eggs.) We repeatedly dismantled the clockwork mechanism, cleaned it up, reseated it, screwed it up. By the time I'd hand creamed the butter and sugar and beaten in the eggs it was fettled enough to mix in the flour for Looby Loo's lemon drizzle cake. Then it fell apart again.

I do not want to have to replace it. I learned to bake with a similar (possibly slightly newer) model and never really got used to its blocky brown and orange replacement (which my Dad had to replace last year, so it also did rather well). Looby Loo learned to bake with our model, which M inherited from his grandmother. We like our well-worn sturdy technology. (I own one sewing machine from the 1950s that was my grandmothers and still refer to the second machine--from 1977--as the new one. The old Singer is superior.)


(And I promised birthday cake to take into school on Monday, too.)


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 14th, 2013 08:28 pm (UTC)
I am sorry to hear this :-(

(ETA: And may, at some point, add my own comments on well-worn sturdy technology, but only when I have not drunk quite so much Fleurie).

Edited at 2013-12-14 08:29 pm (UTC)
Dec. 15th, 2013 08:45 pm (UTC)
Ooh, yes, tiddly in charge of technological comments would be dangerous ;-)
Dec. 14th, 2013 08:58 pm (UTC)
If you do have to replace it, vintage editions are tolerably easy to find on E-Bay. We can't get KCs here in the US, so I compromised with a '70s-era KitchenAid. Which is rumbling grandly through my repertoire thus far.
Dec. 15th, 2013 08:53 pm (UTC)
Parts on order.

Also my dad will be told not to dispose of his dead model as we may cannibalise it for parts, too.
Dec. 15th, 2013 09:45 am (UTC)
I agree with you that the old tech is the best! I'm currently sat in front of an electric fire inherited from my grandmother because, in the past 20 years or so, every recent incarnation of the same electric fire idea has exploded in a molten volcano of sparks between 1 month and a year after purchase. The intervening decades of electric fires at my parents' house showed a slower but no less distinct decrease in their reliability. If I cooked, which I don't, I'd want an old Kenwood. My family also has evidence that Singer sewing machines are the best anyway (for persisting and being able to be got going again) but with the older ones being decidedly superior.
Dec. 15th, 2013 08:50 pm (UTC)
My old Singer is definitely superior to the newer Frister-Rossmann: metal gears wear better than plastic.
Dec. 15th, 2013 10:16 am (UTC)
My KC is an eBay special, bought from a bloke who refurbishes them before selling. He sold me loads of bits for it as well and the total cost was just a bit over £100. It's been great so far (maybe 3 years?). I think if you're used to old ones you'd probably find a new one hard.
Dec. 15th, 2013 08:47 pm (UTC)
We (by which I mean mainly M, since I was hand creaming cake mixture) have identified the problem--worn out planetary mechanism--and ordered a refurbished replacement. (I sometimes wonder what we did before Ebay.)
Dec. 16th, 2013 12:19 pm (UTC)
Far be it from me to ever disagree that old tech is superior!

Before my parents moved to Oxfordshire we had a (foot-treddle type) Singer sewing machine that pre-dated yours. The big dent in the lid was rumoured to have been caused by a brick propelled by a V1 explosion.

Glad you've found the bits to repair the KC.
Dec. 16th, 2013 01:24 pm (UTC)
"Far be it from me to ever disagree that old tech is superior!"
Indeed ;-)

Interestingly, some of the older electric Singers can be converted to manual operation: I do wonder if our high tech stuff ought to have a similar capability built in for when the power runs out.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )