I remember dad making lemonade in it when I was in primary school, and mum making cheese scones and grinding granulated sugar into icing sugar when she ran out during the Pope's visit and was making hundreds of yellow-and-white Pope-themed fairy cakes for some church event.
I love using it. It's no heirloom, too precious to use and consequently useless. I make bread, scones, pastry and cakes in the big bowl, I grind cooked chickpeas down to hummus using the mincer, and I blend soups and smoothies in the liquidiser. Because of its history it's much more satisfying to use than the cheap mixer I bought in Curry's. It's a pity there aren't more things like that in our lives - objects we inherit and use every day which carry a wealth of meaning and emotion.
I wrote to dad and asked him if he had any more information about it, and this is his reply:
Yes, I well remember buying the Braun. I was a young Boy Telegraphist on board HMS Birmingham and we were visiting Aden, late 1956. The food processor, liquidiser, mincing attachment and coffee grinder cost me the princely sum of £30. My Mum used it for mixing dough to make stotty cakes (twice, thrice, weekly), she made cakes with it, and scones (plain, fruit and cheese) she mixed pastry for pies, both sweet and savoury. She, like your Mum, made mincemeat with cheap offcuts of mutton and lamb. God, she used it for all sorts until, in 1970 when your Mum and I married, she gave it to us. I well remember spending hours paring meat off skirt of lamb to mince to make curries, lamb burgers, spicy lamb pies, etc. It was invaluable on a student's grant as we were then.
Some twelve to fifteen years ago, I remember writing to Braun in Germany, telling them the story of our family food processor and asking if they could help with the replacement of the bowls. They were so impressed with the longevity of the machine, and our fond feelings for it that they sent us the replacements free of charge and wished us many more useful years out of it. It does me old heart good to know that a new generation on it is still going strong and still loved.
Surely it is a good example of well made products give good service over a long life, not the light-weight, throw-away technology of today. Just because it is electronic, it doesn't have to be cheap and nasty, does it?
I really liked dad's point about electronic goods not needing to be cheap and nasty. So many electronic goods we buy are flimsy and short-lived that it is easy to imagine they are somehow inherently fragile. The 50-year-old Braun workhorse in my kitchen proves that isn't true, they're deliberately made that way now so we have to replace them more often.