The other week I went to a demonstration dinner for a kitchen appliance called a Thermomix. A friend wanted to buy one and was hosting a dinner so we could all see the miracle machine in action.
I’ll admit it: I was impressed.
It could make bread dough and sorbet and steam veggies and make lump free cheese sauce. All quite quickly as well. It could crush ice and turn sugar into icing sugar. One of the selling points was that you could make a four course meal in an hour. Hot damn!
We don’t have many kitchen appliances here. No blender. No bread machine. No electric wok. My Kitchen Aid mixer and food processor are in storage in Canada. I could have brought them overseas and used them here with an electrical converter but I decided against it. I knew it wouldn’t be good for the machines and I’d probably burn out a few expensive converters along the way.
As I watched the demonstration of the Thermomix I started to get sucked in. Of course, this machine would do it all. Dinner would be on the table in no time flat. No more standing at the stove stirring risotto for half an hour.
And look at the savings. The demonstrator had a guide to show much money you could save making your own icing sugar and bread. Supposedly you could save the cost of the machine in the first year.
Oh, right. The cost.
Around £800/$1250 USD.
Hot damn is right.
The cost snapped me out of my revery. I also started to look at the list of things you could make. Smooth soups. I like mine chunky. Bread dough. We don’t eat a lot of bread. Sorbet and ice cream. We don’t keep either of those in our freezer (if we get ice cream it’s in the summer at the ice cream shop in town).
And, call me weird, I like making cheese sauce from scratch. I find cooking to be meditative. I find it to be relaxing. I like chopping and stirring. I usually have good ideas when I’m cooking. The other night I made a cake for my husband’s birthday in my post-child-going-to-bed leisure time. I enjoyed it.
Also, I realized I’m already getting dinner on the table with what I have. I’ve already got my short cuts. The biggest one being once or twice a week I make a double batch of whatever is for dinner and we eat it the next night.
My shortcut is leftovers. Not a machine that costs over a thousand dollars.
The friend that is buying a Thermomix is dabbling in Veganism and I can see that the machine would be useful for her. But I don’t need to turn carrots into pate. My kitchen works just fine with what we have. I seem to get dinner on the table without a Thermomix (including when we had a dozen people over for a casual meal).
We still have our own gadgets that some of you might find excessive. I have an apple slicer and quarterer. I use it quite a bit. I have a meat thermometer and it’s taken a lot of guess work out of roasting chicken and other meats. I have a julienne slicer that is really unnecessary but a lot of fun for cutting up carrots and cucumbers and zucchini for salads, stir frys and sandwiches. I’m on the brink of buying a blender because I really miss making smoothies.
While I’m not immune to the convenience and fun of kitchen tools (who is?) I just can’t believe that a machine will change my life.
My iPod didn’t change my life.
Neither did my Mac Book.
Oh, and the Garmin running watch that I bought as a birthday gift for my husband but that I now use (thanks honey)… it didn’t change my life either.
Has anyone been sucked into a ‘this will change my life’ tool or piece of electronics? Anyone with dusty bread makers, pizza ovens and crock pots ready to get rid of them this week?
PS. We have an air date for our House Hunters International Episode. It will be on at June 25th at 10:30pm and 1:30am EST on HGTV in the U.S. (no word on when it will air in Canada). From the episode synopsis it looks like they are focusing on my husband’s strange and wonderful career path. If you happen to see it let me know. We won’t get to see it ourselves for a while yet. I’ve been thinking about writing about the experience so keep your eyes peeled for a post on what has to be my favourite reality television show.