Wednesday, June 09, 2010

And now for something completely trivial

In contrast, anyway. But it's my all-consuming decision at the moment.

See, I have a Bosch mixer. I bought it after Iyyar was born and while it would be an exaggeration to say I've used it every day since, I do use it an awful lot--a couple of times a week for sure, often more than that. I have the bread bowl and the slicer/shredder attachments, and between those I can make bread and bagels and kugels and potato pancakes and whatever else, really really fast. It saves me time and it also saves me money; a $3.99 bag of flour makes 40 bagels. Try buying bagels for 10 cents each at the store. They won't be anything like as good, either. I can also turn out pizza dough very quickly, which is both dinner and Project with Kids. And, of course, there's the homemade challah, which I make whole-wheat; it's a nightmare to knead by hand and in the Bosch you just dump it all in and turn the machine off after ten minutes. Amazing.

I've been looking at my Bosch for months now, trying to imagine cooking without it. I'm also thinking about, of all things, peanut butter. We go through two jars a week, easy. A kilo of PB in Israel is NIS 24. Shelled peanuts and other shelled nuts cost a lot less per pound. I could get the food processor attachment and make my own. And my own pesto. And baby food, without also needing a hand blender.

Except, of course, that my mixer doesn't run on 220 current.

So, I could a) pack up the whole thing in boxes and live without a mixer. Buy my bagels and my peanut butter, grate vegetables and knead dough by hand. I did it for years. Although I only had one baby then.

Or, I could 2) buy a new base, that runs on 220 volts. It costs $270. That's a lot. Not as much as a complete new mixer, since I already have the bowl. And I won't have to pay tax because the cheapest place to get it is out of state. Still. It's a lot.

Or! I could 3) buy the new base and the food processor attachment. This would be $370 for both. This is also a LOT of money.

However: we will eventually recoup all of that money in savings on food costs. If we stay.

And we'd need to bring it. It's heavy.

Compounding all of this is that I can't just say, well, we'll wait a year and buy it when we see what our eating patterns really are; the reason I can't do this is that my current Bosch mixer is the "old style" which has now been replaced by the "new style" and the parts are not interchangeable. (Don't get me started.) I already have two bowls and a slicer/shredder for my old-style base.

I am pretty sure I could sell my current Bosch mixer here. That would subsidize the purchase substantially. I'm unaccountably reluctant to do that, though. Which is dumb. What, I'd rather store it than sell it and get a new one? It's probably because I'm thinking, "But what if we come back? Come back and HAVE NO BOSCH?! That would be a catastrophe!"

(You don't need to comment on that. I know.)

What to do? Suggestions?


Karen B said...

I'd say get the attachments you want for your Bosch. I suspect deep in your gut that's what you want to do.


Yasmin said...

Get the attachments and a power converter. (My friend took her favorite ice cream maker to Europe this way.)

uberimma said...

Jasmin, I'm told that running things off a converter dramatically shortens their lifespan. With a Bosch, which is pricey and generally lasts a good 20 years (and mine is only 4 years old), it's a consideration. Also, the converter weighs a ton. However, if I got one I could then bring my hand blenders too... decisions decisions.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest looking on/Posting on:

- Ebay
- Craigslist Israel
- Janglo
- Any other board in Israel which lists items for sale second hand

I'll bet you can at least get the base second hand, and since the base never touches food there's no kashrus issue. But the attachments I agree you should buy new.


Deborah said...

Anon. has a point. Buy a second hand base there (or here) for the current Bosch. Buy all the attachments you need. Or want.

I agree that you will have better quality food for much less using one.

Cyndy said...

If my plan was to stay in Israel (and it was a likely plan), I would sell the old one and buy what is needed. Perhaps that is too optimistic? By the way, what bagel recipe are you using?

uberimma said...

Deb and AM, the trouble is that there are not often secondhand bases to be had. Bosches last a really really really long time. People don't often sell them. And I want something very specific--the discontinued type of base, in 220. You would not find one used here, because you can't use them in this country--they're just in electronics stores that cater to people who are going abroad. And while it's possible I could find one in Israel, I probably would pay a lot more than I would here because of the taxes. I might not find one at all. The new model was introduced a year or so ago so it's just whatever a particular store happens to have in stock.

SuperM said...

It is a lot of money, but you will recoup the cost fairly quickly I would imagine (probably in PB alone!). On top of that, it's the kind of thing that makes your life so much easier and gives you more time to spend doing other things that you want to do. Or even possibly more time to work, which which help the new base and attachment pay for themselves.

The two kitchen appliances we use most here and truly couldn't live without are the mixer and the food processor. And we totally notice the difference during Pesach using the less expensive versions we have for then.

I think you'll be so much happier in the long-term if you have your Bosch with you.

miriamp said...

Sounds like you need to get it now, then, while the old ones still exist.

I'd say go for it. The expense pales in comparison to moving in general, and knowing the use I get out of my stand mixer (which is sadly not big enough for challah and still manages to get almost daily use) you DO NOT WANT to be without it. And you bake more than I do, I think.

And please do share the bagel recipe. Currently I have my parents bring up bagels from NY, which while big and absolutely yummy, cost 95cents each. I have made my own before, but they were only okay. Since I'm from NY, I'm kind of a bagel snob, and I won't eat the pre-packaged kind from the grocery store.

OneTiredEma said...

I sold my Cuisinart before we left. I had intended to replace it either with a stand mixer or another food processor, but the search for that was trumped by the need for a fridge and a washer and an oven.

Now I don't know which one I want, but I don't have room for either in my current kitchen. I'm sure I would get use out of them, but in the meantime I use an immersion blender and a hand mixer, grate by hand, and make challah by hand (this, admittedly, can be a huge pain).

Another thing to think about re: converters, I've also heard it takes a lot of power--if you are going to be doing it on a daily basis it might negatively impact your electric bill.

shanna said...

Another vote for buy a new one.

trn said...

Lend your current mixer to someone whose kashrut you trust, whom you trust, who could make good use of it, and for whom you'd like to do something nice. (Your amazing Pesach host?) Let the understanding be that if you come back, you take it back, but if you find yourself no longer reluctant to let it go, you sell it to the friend who has been using it or have the friend sell it to someone else on your behalf.

Spend the money on the completely new mixer for Israel. Don't wait. Find out the cost and trouble of shipping it directly to Israel as compared to the cost and trouble of having it shipped to you in the States and schlepping it with you to Israel.