|The frosting, almost done.|
Over the years, I have learned a lot about cooking and baking and do enjoy doing it. Semi-settled into our Dunedin, New Zealand home, now with far more than I could fit in a backpack, I started looking for a Kitchen Aid. They didn't seem to be available in New Zealand at all, but then I did find some. For the bargain basement price of about $1000. Just $850 on sale!!! I thought about bringing one back from America (where they are about $250) but they, 1-weigh a ton and 2-can't be plugged in here. Over time, I became a bit devastated about the stupid Kitchen Aid. I quietly, steadily over-reacted, internalizing this as a sign that my life was never going to look quite like I imagined; it was going to be different in a million little ways just like this -- and sometimes it's the little things that seem to matter so much.
|Same ingredients, but the packaging will look quite different to non-New Zealanders!|
|This recipe calls for Dutch chocolate, which I could also find here in the International foods aisle. This is a different brand than the one I used to find in the states. It wasn't quite as dark. But still very yummy and not overly sweet.|
|Butter comes in one big block - 500 grams. So when the recipe calls for 1/2 pound of butter, I get out the scales!|
|A cup is not a cup, nor a teaspoon a teaspoon! The words are the same but the amounts are slightly different. When baking from an American recipe, I use American measuring cups and spoons.|
And then one day I came home and there was a Kitchen Aid on my counter top. I gasped and ran out back to the garage where James (or course) was. He was with my sister-in-law who is also American and was living with us for a short stint. I asked her quickly, "Is that your Kitchen Aid?" She looked confused. "What's a Kitchen Aid?" (Obviously a Kitchen Aid is not part of every American's image of domestic bliss.) So I looked at James. And he just smiled and looked at the ground. "How did you do it?" I asked. "Is it mine? Can I have it, can I use it? Can we keep it?"
So the story unfolded... He saw an ad in the paper when looking for something else: "American Kitchen Aid for sale with power transformer - $50." My husband thought 2 things at once: "I have to get that for Molly" and "Wow, that transformer is worth more than $50!" (He is an electrician after all). So he called immediately and raced to get the Kitchen Aid from the person's home, apparently just barely beating another interested person out of it. I have eternally felt sorry for that other person who, I imagine, is a slightly homesick and somewhat shell-shocked American baker-type. The person selling it was an American man. His family brought a Kitchen Aid and transformer over to his Kiwi wife. It had sat unused on their countertop for years and now they just wanted it out of the way.
|The Kitchen Aid, plugged into its transformer.|
This weekend I used my American Kitchen Aid to make an Alaskan recipe for chocolate cake for my Kiwi husband's birthday. My Kitchen Aid symbolizes that with a little luck, and help from my husband, I can combine both my worlds and both my homes and always have a little bit of here when I'm there and there when I'm here.
And I can make a serious chocolate cake.
Now, one question... Do other women's husbands do things like this to get attention when you are baking?