Domestic Goddess


When I married I wanted a well-outfitted kitchen like my Mom’s. It needed things like springform pans, ramekins, and various sizes of cake pans. But number one on my list of ‘mest-haves’ was a KitchenAid mixer. I was quite sure that every good Mormon woman had one of those in her kitchen. I knew it could mix up a batch of cookies or brownies in a breeze, not to mention the ubiquitous attachments that would allow wheat (and meat) grinding, pasta rolling, bread kneading, and even ice cream making!

So even though I wanted one of these mixers for 15 years, I just received one today as a gift. I love it–I’m having fun mixing up my first batch of cookies even as I type (the dough is chilling in the fridge for 15 min). But in a way, it was also a bit anticlimactic to get my mixer. After so many years of expecting it, of thinking that I would finally be vaulted into domestic goddess-hood once I had one, well, I imagine that life will go on pretty unchanged from here on out except that I’ll have one more appliance on my kitchen counter.

What do you all think? Did you have dreams about what your kitchen/home would be like when you were married that have been unfulfilled? Or when they do come to pass, are they all that you expected them to be?

Note: The image is Vermeer’s KitchenMaid (not KichenAid)

Jana

Jana is university administrator and History professor. Her soloblog is http://janaremy.com/pilgrimsteps/

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19 Responses

  1. Proud Daughter of Eve says:

    I can live without my mom’s wheat grinder (I always hated the sound it made) but someday I want a dehydrator so I can make my own jerky and apple rings like she did.

    I was so pleased with myself last year when I made my own applesauce. It seemed ridiculously easy. It’s been years since my mom did any of the “Domestic Goddess” stuff she once did, so I have no idea if it tasted like her applesauce but I don’t care. Look, mommy! I did it myself!

  2. Sally says:

    I, too, had such dreams. I have a wheat grinder and a beautiful Bosch mixer that does everything. They both sit quietly in my closet while I mix up a batch of cookies from a ready-made mix – just add water and eggs. I still fantasize about baking fresh bread. Alas, my children are nearly out of the house and I am still trying to make peace with my domestic goddess shortcomings. But I have taken them on humanitarian trips to Honduras and Mexico. Not being able to do it all still leaves a bit of an empty spot in my heart. Maybe next year, I’ll get the wheat grinder out…

  3. Caroline says:

    Jana, what’s a springform pan and a ramekins? 🙂

    Well, that question probably is revealing about my domestic aspirations.

    I actually like to cook now way more than I ever thought I would when I got married at 23, but I’m still not in the league of wanting/having a KitchenAid mixer.

    I would say that my unfulfilled dreams regarding my kitchen are focused more on looks than appliances. I lust after a granite countertop.

  4. amelia says:

    who needs to marry to have such dreams?

    about six years ago, i decided to hell with waiting to get married before i outfitted a kitchen. i love cooking and baking. and i was sick of working with hand-me-down items my mom had sent me off to college with. so i took some of my hard-earned money and set myself up. two different sets of dishes. calphalon cookware (which i asked for as a christmas present one year). glasses. flatware. casseroles. a kitchenaid. all kinds of treasures.

    my outfitting my kitchen was not only all i thought it would be; it was better. and now that i’m back living with my parents while in grad school, i take advantage of my mama’s appliances (including her new vita-mix blender which grinds wheat as well as juices just about anything you can think of), too.

    the best part about domestic goddesshood? that it shocks people to discover that i not only have the qualities of an intellectual feminist, with many of the accompanying opinions one would expect, but i can bake, cook, sew, garden, and just generally domesticate, too. it’s always nice to force people to stop thinking in terms of mutually exclusive binary opposites.

  5. cchrissyy says:

    I didn’t know a kitchenaid mixer was something special! In my mind it’s as standard as a toaster or a blender.

    My domestic aspiration in the first 5 years of marriage was to never ever cook, no matter what you’re not going to make me be some housewife, I’m not my mom, make your own darn dinner! no, really 🙂

    I mean, I like cookies as much as anybody but it’s so much trouble to make them. and I hate cleaning up. I do make large batches of two personal favorites each year- pesto and strawberry jam.

    Very recently, things are changing. we’re sitting down for dinner some, and I’m doing my half of the cooking.

  6. jana says:

    cchrissyy:
    I think what made the KitchenAid mixer different for me is that they cost hundreds of dollars whereas a blender or a toaster cost $15 apiece.

  7. Tatiana says:

    I love my Kitchenaid! My cake batter fluffs up about 30% more with it than with any other mixer I’ve used. It’s just teh schtuff yo! 🙂

  8. AmyB says:

    During my senior year of high school I saved up my money and bought a Bosch in preparation to go away to college. When I got my list of assigned roommates, I called them and we worked out who had what so we knew what to bring. I very excitedly told them I had a Bosch. They all told me how great that was.

    A couple years later they admitted to me that not a one of them had had any idea what I was talking about, but since I was so excited about it they didn’t have the heart to say anything at the time.

    For my wedding, I asked my extended family to go in together and get me a wheat grinder. I was going to be the ultimate domestic goddess. Now I consider it a good day if I cook at all.

  9. Bored in Vernal says:

    Happy Birthday, Jana! What a great gift! It will be such fun to experiment with it. I just love the Vermeer.

  10. JennyW says:

    I ground my wheat in February, stuck it in the freezer, and finally got around to making that homemade bread last week … I dream about the day I have time to make a weekly batch of bread, not because I want to achieve domestic goddess-ness, but because I am in love with homemade whole wheat bread. Love it. So much.

    And my Kitchen Aid? It has “personality.” It belonged to my grandmother. When I started grad school we dug it out, had the grease repacked and the cord replaced, and I took it with me. The only hitch is that the threads on the bottom are worn a bit, so you have to hold the bowl in place while its mixing. Made for some interesting cookie adventures.

  11. bigbrownhouse says:

    I second the question “who needs to be married to have such dreams?”

    I bonded with a few best friends in college over the realization that we all knew how to cook real food from scratch. We may have been the only college students in town with a pressure cooker, but no microwave. Ahhh…imagine a 19 year old wowing the hungry masses with fantastic chili made from dried beans…

    My personal domestic goddess identity is more of the “I can hit up total strangers in the neighborhood for their unused apple trees and keep us in bottled applesauce for two years” type than “try my exquisite creme brulee” type. That’s what my husband is for. 🙂

    I admit I harbor an anti-fancyschmancy appliance bias. Give me a big pan and a sharp knife and get out of my way.

  12. ME says:

    I registered for a KitchenAid, but bought myself an apple green one on eBay. I figured if my girlfriends hadn’t gone in together to buy it, it wasn’t going to happen.

    Then another friend sent the KA I’d registered for. We exchanged it for the rest of our fancy silverware.

    I raved about my rice cooker to a singles ward friend years ago. She said she always wanted one but was waiting to see if she got one as a wedding present. If it’s something you’ll use, why wait? Go buy one yourself, I said. I hope she did.

    Mary Ellen

  13. Dora says:

    My roommate has bought virtually every cooking utensil known to man. Kitchen Aid, check. Food processor, check. Chinois, check. Meter tall cirus juicer, check.

    Personally, I hate using exotic kitchen toys because I loathe cleaning through all the intricate mesh, holes, wires and sharp edges. But it’s nice to know I have it to use if I want.

    Now, high-tec kitchen toy are another thing. My fancy-shmancy, programmable rice cooker is awesome. As is the electronic/programmable internal meat thermometer. Love them.

    I’ve never had the joy of picking out the presents my friends buy for me. However, in lieu of registry or shower gifts, I generally go on a “honeymmon” once a year. It keeps the magic alive!

    I think the biggest, “Ooo, I’m an adult!” moment will be when I buy (not rent) a condo or house.

  14. Ana says:

    Oh, have fun with that KitchenAid! I got mine (finally) about three years ago and it is just that … fun, for me. Don’t stress if you don’t end up using it as much as you planned. Just enjoy it when you do.

    By the way, you can get a wheat grinder attachment for your KitchenAid — a good space saver and not at all hard to pull out and use when you run out of whole wheat flour.

    I have a print of that Vermeer hanging in my kitchen. It used to hang in my grandma’s kitchen. She is the person who has most represented my dreams of domestic goddesshood … I think I may approach her in culinary skills in this lifetime, but my house will probably never be as lovely or as clean. Just to be honest!

    (But I thought the title of that Vermeer was the Milk Maid? Maybe I’m confused.)

  15. Deborah says:

    I am a decent cook, I suppose. I don’t mind my time spent in the kitchen, but I’ve never harbored a desire to excel — much lest become deified — in this area. My feelings are quite neutral actually. My husband is much more into cooking than I.

    But a surprise Christmas present brought an absolutely unexpected degree of joy to my culinary life: I got a crock pot. A fancy schmancy slow cooker. That I could dump a few fresh ingredients, walk away, and return hours later to tender tasty morsels — that is a dream come true.

  16. Lupita says:

    That is really funny. I have lusted after a Kitchen Aid for years–and finally got one just a week or so before you did (Mother’s Day). No weird gender statement in that gift as my husband knew how much I wanted one. Love to cook, love to eat.
    Weird thing is, I’m trying to convince myself that I can keep it. One, soooo pricey. Two, my MIL gave me a Bosch several years ago for Christmas (much to my disgust–I know, I’m horribly ungrateful but it wasn’t what I wanted and she’s not one of those here’s the reciept kind of women).
    So Jana, enjoy cooking up a storm. Did you mention which color??? Mine’s black 🙂

  17. Vada says:

    My in-laws bought us a KitchenAid as our wedding present. It was, after all, what all my sisters-in-law had wanted (both my husband’s sisters and his brother’s wife). I kept it on the counter in our first apartment in deference to my mother-in-law, and even used it a few times. It never came out of the closet in our second apartment (which had a seriously tiny kitchen). Then it was the only thing in the last move that got lost. I haven’t missed it, and I got a few hundred dollars because the movers lost it! I might buy one again someday, but I might not. I tend to be a sit in front of the TV and stir things by hand kind of baker.

    As far as needed kitchen appliances go, I bought myself a rice cooker when I went off to college — it was a definite must-have. I’m going to get a crock pot after our next move, and I’m very excited about that. And I’m very grateful I have a bread machine, since my son is allergic to soy and can’t eat any store-bought bread. His dietary needs are making me much more of a domestic goddess than I want to be.

  18. Johnna Cornett says:

    Congrats Jana! Have fun! I got my KitchenAid mixer ten years ago, and though I’m not turning out homemade bread on a regular basis I’ve really enjoyed having it.

    I love how this discussion is attaching kitchen dreams to adulthood, not marriage. I had great knives, a real wok, and the coolest Pottery Barn forks and spoons as a 1980s single gal, and it was good to have that be part of who I am before I got married.

  1. February 1, 2011

    […] of my kitchen and creating tasty food. Undoubtedly that’s why I was so thrilled to get a kitchenaid mixer as a birthday gift two years ago. It’s why I’ve found myself cursing or crying when I’m mid-recipe […]

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