Anvil, my favorite mixer, had a nifty feature. She gave out a warning beep and then stopped cold if she was having a hard time and ready to implode. Like if a bread dough was too tough because you'd forgotten to add enough water. She'd take a break and give you a minute to think about what you'd screwed up. And she was the perfect size, considerably larger than our traditional table mixers but smaller than Big Bertha who lives on the floor. Even when her guts started to leak out, electrical bits jerry-rigged and held tight by rubber bands and duct tape, she performed her culinary duties with vim and vigor.
I was in the back of the shop when I heard Anvil dying. My human helper was working on a batch of bread. I'd given her the ratios, walked her through the process a few times. And then I heard what I can only describe as a gopher trapped in a taffy puller. High pitched squeals, followed by pained low growls and then that little beep giving everyone the heads up that Anvil was having a bit of trouble and needed a rest. But the mixer wasn't stopping. My sadistic helper wouldn't let her. She kept jabbing the start button whenever poor Anvil wound down. By the time I ran to her aid, my trusty metal compatriot was gone. Her gears and innards twisted beyond repair.
I'm coping without her. Just barely but I'm taking it day-by-day. I use Bertha for large batches of bread and croissant now. And the smaller mixers, they work for more delicate batters and whipping meringue. But it's just not the same without the elegant ease of my Anvil. So today, take some time to tell your favorite appliances that you appreciate them. You never know when they'll be gone for good. As for me, I'm off to give Big Bertha a hug.