My uprooted KitchenAid.
Here it is, from overseas. My first kitchen machine ever.
I own a food processor, a blender, even a rice cooker, but until this day I´ve never had an electric mixer. I didn´t mind whipping cream, beating eggs and mixing batter by hand. But since I have discovered the joy of baking bread I was longing for a kitchen machine every time I was kneading yeast dough.
I knew which one I wanted: A KitchenAid. Everybody seems to be enthusiastic about them, praises their performance and they are pretty. I wouldn´t exactly go as far as to say function had to follow form but I really love it when both comes together in one item.
It should be rather easy to get one, I thought, and googled them just to choose a color before placing an order on amazon.de. But it was the start of an epic search for the right machine. I had already come to terms with the fact that KitchenAids cost about more than twice the amount in Europe than in USA, but I didn´t know that a completely different league exists on the other side of the ocean! Not only the motors can be as twice as strong, there are also completely different methods of kneading! Suddenly our European 300-Watt machines appeared to be kind of a plaything.
After watching a video on youtube (Yes, I know, it´s a bit strange to watch a video about dough kneading, but even if it´s not really an action movie, it is rather meditative) I wanted one of those bowl lift models with a strong motor and a spiral dough hook. Unfortunately there is the voltage/Hertz problem between Europe and America. I talked to a trusted electrician who works with US-expats since 30 years. He told me it was no problem to use the 110 Volts US-KitchenAid motor with our 220 Volts system. I “just” needed a strong (and quite expensive) transformator which could handle the Hertz-thing, too.
I brooded for a while over that. Adding up costs for shipping, customs duty and the transformator for the KitchenAid would definitely cost -at least- as much as the Artisan one can buy here in Germany. Furthermore, the warranty for US-KitchenAids becomes void when the machines are used outside the 50 states of America. But I had got this crush on the spiral dough hook and its way of simulating hand kneading. Finally, I opted for a stronger US-version.
Finding the perfect model and a trustworthy seller who would accept my credit card, ship to Germany, etc., took me a while. Nobody seemed to answer my Emails; when I phoned everybody was extremely nice and lovely but couldn´t tell me anything without talking to a supervisor before. I don´t know how often I heared: “I´ll be back with you soon.” – which rarely happened.
To cut a long story short: After the sudorific ordering process to my big surprise it worked out, eventually. Today my KitchenAid has arrived. A 450 Watt model, 5 quart bowl – and a spiral dough hook. It´s a beauty, isn´t it? Let´s hope it´ll settle in and last for a long time!