My mother died over a year and a half ago. She lived with me the last six years of her life. Like way too many people, I have procrastinated getting rid of her stuff. Some of her clothes are still hanging in a closet or in the basement.
The drawers of her dresser still contain all the scarves, gloves, handkerchiefs, some jewelry, sweaters, and other clothing bought years a go and never worn. All from Marshall Field.
The basement and garage are filled with things she owned. Some if it still useful and some of it junk. It was only recently I moved her death certificate off the top of the dresser into a drawer. For some reason, I cannot part with the bedroom set at all. It was manufactured by RWay and is well over 70 years old.
There is one thing I absolutely will not part with. I will never give up her Kitchenaid, which is well over 60 years old. No way. No how. Even though I have my own much larger and powerful one, I am never giving up Ma's Kitchenaid mixer. Aside from the fact it is in perfect working order and still looks somewhat new, there are too many good food memories that go with that machine.
I remember as a small child licking cake batter off the beater. I remember her baking, making lasagna filling, or my father grinding meat.
That Kitchenaid was a workhorse. Like the proverbial Timex watch, it took "a licking and kept on ticking". It still does.
About 25 years ago it stopped working properly. My mother was fraught with despair. I found out the manufacturer, Hobart, had a repair facility in the western suburbs. I took it in. The repair man was impressed with its condition. He showed me the only other Kitchenaid in the same good condition. It was about 20 years older than ma's.
The repairs were simple. Some worn out motor parts and a new cord. In a week, it was happily ensconced back on the counter in the basement kitchen, where my parents worked of their culinary magic.
I remember my mother's chocolate cake best. The original recipe for the cake and frosting was printed on the side of cans of Hershey's Cocoa powder. She adapted and made different variations of it. There were cookies, cream puffs with canoli filling, cakes, and a wide and diverse variety of other pastries and food requiring mixing.
One year, my dad even used it to make fifty pounds of Italian sausage. He ground the meat and stuffed the casings with that machine. They grated cheese with it too. It was used constantly.
The white color is slightly yellowed and the mixing bowl is a little beat up. But, it works just fine. This year, I am going to pull it out and use it, along with my own, for holiday treats and cooking. I may sell or give away all the rest her stuff eventually, but that Kitchenaid is here to stay.
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