I recently acquired two vintage small appliances — this Sunbeam Mixmaster…
…and this 1940s White rotary sewing machine, 77 series.
Well, I’ve had the sewing machine for over a decade now, but it’s been folded in its cabinet and used as a TV stand at my parents’ house while I’ve moved around the world. It belonged to my mother’s mother, and I remember her letting us learn to sew on it as kids. Now that I’m living in Texas long term for the first time in recent history, I moved the machine to my place and opened up the cabinet to check it out. It’s a bit dusty and probably needs to be oiled, and I have no idea if it still works — but as my mom says, “I don’t know why it wouldn’t.” Here’s hoping it does, because I’d love to start on some sewing projects soon.
Now, the Sunbeam stand mixer, on the other hand…I had such great hopes for it, but yesterday it broke my heart.
Oftentimes I’m just as happy with gently used items as I am with something brand shiny new. My boyfriend was given this stand mixer and has kept it unused under his sink for who knows how long. I pulled it out to test it a couple of weeks ago. For years I’ve wanted a stand mixer, a KitchenAid preferably, but a Sunbeam could be just as handy, right? I cleaned up the body of the mixer, washed out the bowls and the beaters, plugged it in, and tested the speeds. It appeared to work just fine. I was pleased — a stand mixer, for free, and a vintage one that looks super cool. A nice find.
Until I used it to beat something other than air. I decided to try it out with a batch of chocolate chip cookies yesterday morning. It looked like I had the perfect set-up for cookies — a small bowl for the flour, salt, and baking soda, a large bowl for the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. But when I started to cream the butter and sugar, the mixer sent chunks of butter and grains of sugar flying across the table. I chalked it up to the butter not being soft enough, and I persevered, thinking I would just clean up the mess and not repeat that mistake next time. Eventually the butter softened enough to make a nice mixture, and I was ready to add the eggs.
When the mixer flung strings of egg white into the air, I decided the experiment was over. The beaters work just fine, but the shape of the bowl is too shallow to keep the ingredients from making a huge mess. I gave it a shot. I wanted it to work, but it just isn’t going to happen for me and the vintage Sunbeam.
So I’m back in the market for a new KitchenAid, but hopefully the White rotary sewing machine can be more for me than a TV stand.