The Mixmaster — Still Going Strong After Sixty Years

by Linda Williams

I love to bake, and one of my favorite desserts is Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte, a complicated exercise in following steps from The Cake Bible. It’s everything you ever wanted on a dessert plate, plus roughly a million times more.

 To make this torte correctly, you need two things: high quality chocolate that is no more than 62% cacao, and an ability to whip the eggs into a frothy, aerated mass.

 Many years ago, my mother’s workmates at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police office in Nova Scotia, Canada, presented her with a wedding gift: a Mixmaster. It came with two clear glass bowls — one large, one small — and two beaters. 

 As a little girl, I loved sitting on the counter as it whirred around (Mum is a fabulous baker and great cook in general), carefully pouring the sugar in as instructed, keeping my hands away from the interlocking blades, and hoping to edge out my other two siblings to lick the beaters clean.

 Many a speckled cake, lemon cheesecake, and pan after pan of chocolate chip bars were whizzed up in that Mixmaster. It traveled with us to kitchens in new houses when our family relocated from Canada to Sweden and then Switzerland, always producing the same masterpieces.

 Twenty-five years ago, my mother decided to replace it. It was dated, and the new Kitchen Aid mixers were wowing home chefs coast to coast. At that point I used a food processor and a small handheld mixer for all my baking and cooking needs, but in a burst of sentimentality about the Mixmaster and its treasured place in my childhood, I asked if I could have it. Mum happily passed it on.

 My research tells me that Sunbeam introduced the Mixmaster in 1930. It was the first mechanical mixer with detachable, interlocking beaters. I gather it could be fitted with many other attachments, among them a juicer, a “drink mixer” — is that what we call a blender today?? — and a shredder. Mum tells me her gift was simply the main mixer and bowls; no bells and whistles. Although Sunbeam made toasters, coffee makers, and electric shavers, the Mixmaster was its flagship product well into the 1970s.

 My parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary a few weeks ago, and I am proud to report that the Mixmaster is continuing in lockstep alongside them, whipping up eggs with the best of them. I made a pavlova for my daughter’s 23rd birthday the other night, and it performed all its duties humbly and without the slightest trace of fatigue. 

 The bottom line at Deep Cryogenics International is making things last longer™, as our trademark suggests. There’s something extremely satisfying about pulling that machine out from its shelf, setting it up for a baking exercise, and knowing it will do its thing just as perfectly as it did the first time my mother made a cake for hew new husband more than 60 years ago. That’s especially meaningful because at DCI, we care about not giving in to a throwaway culture and, instead, extending the life and wearability of things as long as is safe and relevant. 

 For now, I have no plans to do anything with my Mixmaster other than further its long history of successful service. But maybe down the road, I will pass it on to my daughter on her wedding day.