The Weasel: The ultimate boy's toy

Share
Related Topics

Are you racking the noggin for an answer to the perennial problem of what to buy the man in your life for Christmas? Well, rack no longer. The object on the table before me will get the testosterone surging in any gent. The sleek shape of its motorhead owes somethin to Raymond Loewy’s streamlined design for the 1938 Broadway Limited loco. Its double row of cooling vents is like the radiator grill of an early John Deere tractor. Its raked motorhead support column suggests the soaring tailfin of a ’59 Caddy. In short, it is the ultimate boy’s toy.





It must be admitted, however, that this hunky bit of mid-century Americana has for most of its existence been utilised by women. The pheromone-firing Nigella Lawson is a prominent devotee. As its name suggests, the KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer is intended for use in the kitchen. It’s not just the stylish looks and rugged build of the thing that will appeal to chaps, but also its attachments. What red-blooded male could resist the dough hook? “Har, har,” bellowed Capt Weasel in the unintelligible manner of the late Robert Newton.“Splice the top gallants and raise the mainbrace!”

“Very manly,” said Mrs W, rescuing the dough hook from my sleeve. It was required for our first test run of the gizmo.

For the initial stages of pasta-making, you use the flat beater (a device lacking in piratical potential) to combine flour and eggs at speed 1. Thrillingly, a further nine speed levels lay in store. Peering into the bowl, I was astonished to discover that the beater went in two directions at once. What man would not be entranced by the Planetary Mixing Action”? The elucidation by KitchenAid might appear in a NASA manual: “During operation, the flat beater moves around the stationary bowl, at the same time turning in the opposite direction on its own axis.”

“Quite simple, you see,”I said in my fine, manly way. After inserting the hook, you have to “gradually increase the speed to 4, kneading for 5-8 minutes”. The motorhead joggled as the hook and mixture madly whirled round the bowl. Transported by the planetary mixing action, I gasped: “It’s kneading Jim, but not as we know it.” “It’s a relationship between you and the dough when you do it by hand,”mused MrsW.“This is more of a punchup.” But five minutes later, the mixture achieved the requisite transformation into “smooth, elastic pasta dough”.

After an hour chilling in the fridge (the dough not me), it was time to attach my first accessory. Just like a tractor, you can use a power take-off from the mixer to work a range of gadgets. Obviously, attachment of the pasta-sheet roller was man’s work: “Insert attachment shaft housing (C) into attachment hub (D), making certain that power shaft fits into square hub socket”. Though KitchenAid recommended “speed 2 or 4” for rolling the pasta, speed 1 seemed to be quite fast enough at first. After a few minutes, we bravely moved into second gear. Since the gap between the pasta-sheet rollers also requires adjustment from 1 (kneading) to 5 tagliatelle), there was a danger of overloading my cerebral circuitry. I was obliged to hand over operations to Mrs W. As we repeatedly fed the yellow dough through the ever-closer rollers, then folded it and rolled again, it resembled first a shirt collar, then a Sixties kipper tie.

Occasionally, the dough released a bubblegum-style pop, befitting the mixer’s American origin. When it became a silk evening scarf, it was time to swap attachments. The blonde tresses emerging from the tagliatelle cutter were rapturously greeted by the Weasel household. “The mixer is worth getting for pasta alone,” exclaimed Mrs W. Since it retails at £329 (plus £65 for the pasta attachments), owners may wish to make a few cakes as well. I envisage my fine, manly Orange Chiffon Cake becoming the stuff of legend in south London.

But we were not finished with pasta attachments. The ravioli maker (£72) presented an intriguing problem. Even at speed 1 the mixer was pretty brisk, so how the dickens were we going to fill the ravioli as it raced through the machine? A lightning-fast spoon-action was required.“No, it isn’t,”said Mrs W, who had the foresight to read the instruction booklet.“The first instruction is ‘Unplug unit’. After attaching the ravioli maker to the mixer, you turn it by hand.”KitchenAid went even further. In the booklet, pasta greenhorns are told to produce unstuffed ravioli: “If using ravioli maker for first time, practise feeding pasta without filling through the attachment to perfect your technique.”After a few practice spins,we managed to produce 10 ricotta-stuffed ravioli. Or, to be precise, Mrs W did.My contribution was to test the results (excellent). The ravioli maker may have defeated me, but I am an undoubted master of the dough hook. “Belay, ye swabs!”

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Etch, a Sketch

Jane Merrick
 

Something wrong with the Conservative Party’s game plan

John Rentoul
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing