Back in 2004, I got on a bread and pastry kick. I was making either a loaf of bread or some kind of pastry (or both) daily. And I decided after many years of putting it off, that I would finally bite the bullet and buy the KitchenAid standing mixer I had been salivating over for years. I always wanted one, but they just seemed so expensive.
KitchenAid Artisan mixers were selling for between $300 and $400 at the time (it’s amazing how the price on them has remained so constant). So, canny shopper that I am, I decided I would stake out Craigslist and scour it several times a day until I found a really good deal. I was living in Austin, Texas and with the increasingly international and growing gourmet community there, I felt reasonably sure that with just a little bit of patience I would be able to find one at a bargain price.
And after about two weeks of scouring Craigslist ads, there it was! The downside was it was pink. But the upside was that the owner wanted $150 for it. It still seemed like an extravagance, but I convinced myself it was half-price.
So I hopped in the car, took a 10-minute drive, sweet-talked the owner down to $120, and I drove home with Pinkie — still in her original box.
My kitchen was all white and brown and earth tones in those days, a bit masculine-looking. So Pinkie added a whimsical, feminine touch and looked just lovely in it. I proudly set her on the kitchen counter where she held a revered place thereafter and where and she was used at least three or four times a week since her first day there. Loved that baby! And she worked like a dream.
But then, ten years later, I moved. And my new kitchen had a totally different color scheme with salmon-tangerine walls. Pinkie looked ill. She still ran great. But the pink just was not working in that kichen. At all.
So I did the math and realized she had cost me about three cents a day to own and use for ten years. It was time to move on.
I stalked Amazon and the KitchenAid clearance site and found a super sale on a brand new KitchenAid Artisan, in the white I originally wanted anyway, for $229. Same model, just a decade younger. I put an ad on Craigslist for Pinkie and sold her in two days for $180. I got the brand spanking new white one two days later, with free shipping.
So I actually got to use a KitchenAid stand up mixer for free for ten years. And on top of that, I made $60 in profit! Now that is an investment.
I added $50 to my original investment and profit to buy my new mixer, so now fifteen year later, I have been able to use a KitchenAid mixer for less than one penny a day.
A KitchenAid mixer suddenly doesn’t sound all that expensive or extravagant now, right?
I share this story because a lot of my posts on this website are going to urge you to spend money on the right equipment. Many kitchen tools and gadgets you can pick up for next to nothing and you don’t have to buy the most expensive one on the market. But I urge you not to cheap out on the important stuff. The stuff that makes a difference in the joy you feel in your kitchen, the ease the tool affords you, the creativity it allows, and the results in your final creation.
Every time I walk into my kitchen (my kitchen that no longer has salmon-tangerine walls, by the way) I smile seeing Blanca sitting there in Pinkie’s place. Every day I use her, she is closer to free.
You just have to look at the big picture, the long haul.
And focus on the joy!
Ever so Frenchly,