I’ve been having a spate of bad luck — appliance-wise. Well, maybe not so much bad luck as just the passage of time. You know how it goes — you buy a pasta maker or a sewing machine or even a foreign car or a leather jacket, and it soldiers on through the years. You forget when you bought it or where or sometimes why, meanwhile fussing over the gadgets that seem to die almost before they’re out of the packaging — cellphones, Ipods, even laptops. Do toaster ovens ever reach the 2-year mark?
And because you take the warhorses for granted, you never expect the disloyalty, the slap in the face, when they fail. Making tortellini for Christmas dinner last December, I realized that the dial controlling the rollers on my pasta maker was stuck. It had long been touchy, but now it wouldn’t budge. Then, again, I got it in the first months I moved to Boston and fell in love with the North End, so I sighed and chalked it up to age. Then, I started to sew a hem, and my old Viking stalled — irrevocably it turned out — refusing another stitch of service. My PC is pretty much dead, although it lasted much longer than a computer is supposed to.
So then how do you explain — and I hesitate, fearing I’m going to jinx this– the Kitchen Aid mixer than my late mother-in-law gave me at least 25 years ago. Every week, it faithfully churns up bread dough and kneads it. In between, it’s been known to make chocolate cakes, whip cream, and fashion Italian meringue all in one morning. It’s not glamorous, and its only bell and whistle is a sausage stuffer attachment I rarely use, but it seems to be indestructible. Once, many years ago, while kneading a stiff dough, it bounced off the counter onto the floor. I unplugged it, picked it up, put it back on the counter, turned it on, and finished the bread making. It’s the Maggie Smith of mixers. Long may she live!!!