Thursday, December 26, 2013

One woman's junk is another woman's treasure. UPDATED!! Grain mill - no dice. :(

My old mixer says Rival on the side, but it is a Kenwood, made in the UK.  It is about 20 years old, and I have loved it since the first time I hit the "ON" button.  Now that I have a home bakery, I am making loaves and loaves of bread with it.  I can knead the dough for six baguettes at once.  It has paid for itself many times over.

It has survived two trips onto the floor when I turned my back on it while using it to knead bread dough.  First time, Allen, my housekeeper extraordinaire, put it back together.  Second time, I fixed it.  And it worked fine after both accidents.  But in the last year, it has been slowing down.  It makes a nasty noise sometimes, so I know it is time to replace.

Oil leaks stained the housing

A little masking tape holds a cover on.

But she was still my workhorse!

Alas,  a new one similar to mine can only be had from the UK, as they are no longer distributed in the US.  DeLonghi used the design for a bit, but there were many complaints about their machine.  Made in China.  Any questions?

I got into discussion with other Kenwood diehard fans on Amazon.  The only one listed there said not available, and no guess as to when or IF they would carry it again.  I tried eBay, but nothing there.  Someone suggested I try eBay UK, but they were for 220V only, so those wouldn't work.  And the price!  I paid around $350 for mine 20 years ago, and now they are around £450.  Multiply that times 1.62 for the bad news.  And what is worse, they are now farming out manufacturing to - you guessed it - China!

I tried eBay US again, and lo and behold! there was a Kenwood, only $99 opening bid.  Missing a dough hook, but with a little research, I knew my hook would work.  The copy said wife used it once, thought it took up too much space (her junk), so it had sat in the back of a closet for years.  Then, with bated breath, I asked the seller the magic question - was it built in China or the UK.  The UK!  I started bidding and won at $153 (my treasure!).  

One can use many attachments on this machine, which I never bought for my old one.  Another piece of my equipment that is not going to last much longer is my grain mill.  It has two granite wheels, and perhaps I could get it fixed, but I decided to check out the grain mill attachment for this machine.  Alas, it is now obsolete.  eBay to the rescue!  I found one, built in 1970.  Ah, perfect!  I checked out what part numbers it would work on, and mine was on the list.  I noticed that this mill had been listed before, so I thought I would take a chance and bid a little under his low bid, since it said "best offer."  An hour later, I got an email saying it was mine!  Now I can hope it works.  I used the new mixer this morning, made four loaves of bread, and it worked like a charm!

UPDATE!  Alas, the grain mill did not fit on my machine.  I thought I did my research, but it was listed for more machines than it would actually work with.  It's back to the PO with it right now.  :(  I wonder how many other people have bought it and sent it back.  Sigh . . .

Isn't she beautiful?

First batch - beautiful dough!
Broken down and weighed into four loaves

First baguettes from new mixer.