Please note, the following events are real and not intended for the faint of heart.

There has been a casualty at seven spoons.

A stalwart ally, a reliable provider and an invaluable assistant has been lost. After serving valiantly for seven long years, my KitchenAid Stand Mixer may have beaten its last batter.

This is the story of our last moments together.

It was a busy afternoon when I came to the idea of some impromptu, yet slightly complicated, baking. Usually when undertaking such an endeavour I set aside a bit of time, counter space and attention to the work at hand. However on this day while I already had a full schedule, I felt compelled to take on the project as it was a gesture of thanks to a dear friend. I thought it was only one more thing to do; surely I could multitask my way through the my to-do list.

I should have known better.

I was considering dinner, amusing a toddler in his highchair, then amusing a toddler as he perched on my hip as I prepped my ingredients. Sifting flour with overly impatient vigour sent a powdery cloud over my cookbook, the floor and the aforementioned toddler. With military precision and brisk pace, I measured, scooped, poured and set out the rest of my mise. With my little battalion lined up and ready to jump into the fray, I began.

Cream together butter and sugar. Such simple words of action, the mantra of any seasoned baker, little did I know that they would spell such tragedy.

I moved to set the Mixer to medium-high. After four clicks along the left lever, I was greeted by the familiar whir of the paddle attachment making its way around the gleaming stainless bowl. Benjamin and I watched as the Mixer made quick work of smoothing out the softened butter; after only a few moments dandelion colour turned to straw, pliant and yielding under the blade. The lever was switched back to its first position, and the Mixer slowed for a momentary rest. After attentively scraping down the sides, I added the granulated sugar and firm-packed brown to the bowl.

With a deft flick of the finger, such a trifling gesture really, the Mixer was woken once more; it moved from its slumber back to four-notch action. It was then that I turned my back to attend to the peek-a-boo demands of my other kitchen help. Caught in mid peek, I heard the Mixer gasp, then strain. I whipped around, immediately reaching for the suddenly-elusive lever; but it was too late. As I lunged, the straining turned to a rattle and the Mixer seized.

I peered inside the bowl - in the midst of a silken cream of sweetened butter there was something else; something now firmly wedged between the paddle and the edge of the bowl.

In my military precision, I evidently lapsed in my military attention to detail. While scooping the brown sugar, I missed a hard lump. About the size of a ping-pong ball, what by all accounts seems a inconsequential size, it was able to take down my steely workhorse.

The Mixer had seen me through countless celebrations; holidays, birthdays, consoler of battles lost and hearalder of battles won. It has stood by me from university to career changes, through relationships to marriage and motherhood and followed me on four moves. A constant presence in a blur of activity.

The estimated time of death was 3:21 p.m.

Epilogue: My dear Sean, fan of the Mixer, has promised to find a specialist to assess the situation. In the meantime, its brother, one Mr. Burr Coffee Grinder is holding vigil on the counter. The Mixer is also survived by Food Processor and Artisan Blender. We still have hopes to one day expand our family to include Ice Cream Attachment.

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