The other day, K-Chef – the Kenwood Chef Mixer that had once belonged to my paternal grandmother and had been my almost daily indulgence for the past three years – suddenly stopped working. Just like that.
After an hour of trying to fix it, my husband came out of his workshop-slash-surgery and gently told me that K-Chef might not make it. His jaw set grimly, he went back in to give it one last shot.
To distract myself, I hit Twitter big time with the following series of “tweets” (Yes, I’m so flippin’ hip):
09:13 – RIP Kenwood Chef. A lot of good times, a lot of good cupcakes.
09:15 – Arguably too many cupcakes. It was the cupcakes that was its undoing in the end. Still, good times.
09:17 – Maybe Kenwood will send me a new one for free… I could change that apron design to “Can’t. Stop. Cupcaking… With My Kenwood Chef!”
09:18 – Or I could just change it to “Will Advertise Here for Free in Exchange for Goods.”
It was at this point that my husband came back inside to break The Bad News and my frivolity was washed away in a flood of tears that surprised everyone, especially me.
Mr Justice ran over to give me a big hug. As he looked up at me, he, too, had tears in his eyes (which would come as no surprise to those readers who remember the”Goodbye old friend!” picture he drew in remembrance of a piece of star-shaped plastic – see “The Cupboard Rarely Opened“) and he asked “Is this is the only thing you had to remember your grandmother?”
“As if!” my husband couldn’t help but exclaim, no doubt thinking of the many times he’s tried to throw away things like a cracked tupperware container only to have me clutch it to my chest and sob “It was my grandmother’s!”.
“No, sweetheart.” I admitted. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Not that holding onto cracked tupperware is a problem, right?
“Did you have a granny, mum?” The Pixie asked.
“Yes, I had three actually. But they have all died now.” I replied.
“Well, you can share mine.” she kindly offered.
“Thanks, sweetheart,” I said, and burst into tears again. My K-Chef, with all its little cracks and flaws (including the fact it had ceased to mix at any other speed than turbo-jet fast), was gone and it was Just Too Much. I had liked the thought every time I used it that my grandmother had turned that very same dial in the sacred act of baking – it connected me to her, although I suspect she would advise me to use more recipes involving butter and to throw in a heap more salt.
Now, my husband, for all his little cracks and flaws (all two of them), understands me. You see he knows about the Chocolate Eclair. My grandfather always bought me bags and bags of chocolate eclair sweets to the point I thought I’d never get through them all. And then one day, some months after his death, I came down to the very last one and I just couldn’t bring myself to eat it. I have subsequently put that small gold-foil covered sweet in a special place as a kind of “Break Glass And Eat Sweet in Case of Emergency” setup. It’s good to know it’s there when the shit really goes down.
And so that husband of mine has taken the K-Chef dial off the machine and plans to mount it on a nice piece of wood in the kitchen so I can reach out and give it a twiddle whenever I feel the urge. Who knows, it may even become some kind of mood barometer for the rest of the family (“Don’t go in the kitchen right now, Tiddles. Mummy just turned the K-Chef dial up to 8…”) and thus reduce the need to ever eat that Chocolate Eclair at all.
Anyway, good-bye K-Chef. Good-bye Old Friend. Your dial will live on…
And just in case anyone from Kenwood happens to be reading: