Lifestyle: baking: mixing by hand vs using an electric mixer

For me, lifestyle means constant self-tutoring. The tutor reflects about why he mixes by hand.

I don’t use an electric mixer when baking; rather, I do so by hand, typically with a wooden spoon. My wife always uses an electric mixer, and often suggests, in a very helpful, encouraging way, that I might do the same.

I understand, of course, that mixing with the electric device saves labour with the actual mixing. However, it needs to be retrieved from its resting place and set up. Then, there is cleaning afterwards that results from its use.

What I like about mixing by hand is its spontaneity. It takes no planning, nor any set up. It’s mobile: I can walk around the kitchen while doing it, and leave the bowl somewhere else if counter space is limited, for instance. The only clean-up is the bowl and the wooden spoon, which is simple.

I often listen to videos on the computer while mixing. Hand-mixing doesn’t make noise, of course, so the videos are easy to hear.

So far, I haven’t encountered a mixing job that wasn’t easy and quick by hand. Last Friday I made icing, which involved incorporating icing sugar into margarine. Even I wondered if it was feasible to do so by hand, but it turned out much easier than I expected: I had it “whipped up” in a few quick minutes. Its ease reconfirmed, for me, that hand-mixing is practical.

I understand, of course, that for a professional, electric mixing probably makes much more sense than doing so by hand. However, in my context, hand mixing seems better.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.