I'm so excited about my latest purchase! It's the Little Dutch Maid Mixer, a hand-cranked beauty made by an Amish outfit in Ohio. I bought it online from Cottage Craftworks, out of Texas. Paul, the owner, is one of the few people who sells the Little Dutch Maid, and his price is good--although make no mistake--the Little Dutch Maid mixer is spendy. But I've wanted one for years, and I finally took the plunge.
Am I happy I did? Most definitely. Does it work well? Absolutely!
I have used it a lot since I got it. On purpose. I wanted to get a good feel for just how useful this mixer is for daily use. I am not disappointed!
As soon as I unboxed it, I washed and dried everything, and then I thought I'd try something easy. I whipped up some sweetened cream, and was impressed. It was so easy and efficient that I had whipped cream way sooner than I wanted because I was enjoying the effortless turning. Easy peasy.
Next, I decided to try whipping up mashed potatoes. According to the one page "manual" (I use that term loosely, mind you!), I could mash potatoes using the whips and the low cranking speed. It totally worked and my potatoes were lovely. (I'll never go back to using my old potato masher. And I know my kids will be thrilled because they don't like it when there are lumps of potato in the "mashies.") The Little Dutch Maid did a thorough job of it.
|Chocolate Cookie Dough|
|Note the Cookie Paddles|
I. Am. In. Love. :)
Here are some thoughts about the Little Dutch Maid mixer:
1) It's simple to use. Everything fits together well and getting it put together and ready to use is minimal.
2) Unlike most stand mixers, the top is open. (No head to come down over the bowl.) This makes for easy additions of ingredients, such as flour, etc. If you notice my first photo above, the Little Dutch Maid comes with a two-piece plastic top. The outer part is called a splash ring, so you can add ingredients by simply taking off the inner part. However, I don't use either. I just keep the bowl completely uncovered while using it. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that when you add something powdery (such as flour or cocoa powder), you want to make sure that you crank slowly at first so the flour doesn't fly out. And once it's been partially mixed in, you can crank faster.
3) Using the Little Dutch Maid--even for stiff doughs--doesn't require muscles. It's surprisingly easy to turn. I did find, however, that I used one of my hands to sort of press down on the base while cranking so it wouldn't move around. But it's also true that mostly I didn't need to do that. (I experimented!) The base part of the mixer probably weighs close to 20 pounds. Which brings up my next point:
4) The mixer is heavy duty, but it's still easy to move around if you need to do so. Also, it doesn't take up all that much counter space. I'd say no more than an electric stand mixer would.
5) It's quick. I was really amazed at just how little time it took to mix things. In my opinion, it doesn't seem to take any longer to mix than an electric mixer.
6) Cleanup is a breeze. I do wash everything by hand, but I don't think that's really necessary. Obviously you don't want to submerge the base into water, even though there are no electric parts to worry about, because you don't want things to rust inside. You can submerge the bowl in water when cleaning it.
Would I recommend buying a Little Dutch Maid hand-crank mixer? You bet I would! Yes, I know that spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $489 is steep, but to my way of thinking, it's totally worth it. If you, like me, enjoy the thought of using non-electric gadgets in the kitchen and around the house, the Little Dutch Maid mixer is right at the top of the list for useful tools to own.