4th August 2015
I had a Thermomix party on Thursday. Which means I’m now going to be transformed into a Domestic Goddess, the likes of which Nigella Lawson would be proud of.
The Grumpster is less convinced. Possibly on the basis of his long-term acquaintance with my delinquency in the kitchen, he believes any acquisition would be a one pot wonder, an expensive adornment to gather dust on the side in the kitchen. It would be in good company: it can sit alongside my ever-growing collection of cookbooks that rarely get opened.
Having never seen a Thermomix in action prior to the demonstration, I was firmly of the opinion that you present it with some ingredients, go and chat to peeps on Facebook, then come back to find that it has produced a delicious nutritious meal, free from any processed nasties, announced gustily with a little fanfare of beeping. (I suppose it’s not far removed from my reality now: present the hubstacle with some ingredients, go and chat to my peeps on Facebook and reappear when he announces with less beeping and possibly more grumping that dinner is served.)
Actually, I have several firmly held beliefs, all based on substantiated
fact fantasy thoughts: like breastfeeding will melt away all the baby weight, pretty much overnight and, that looking at motivational memes on Pinterest is the equivalent to actually going out for a run.
You can imagine my surprise, then, at the demonstration, when it turned out we had to interface with the machine during the whole cooking process. There appeared to have been prepping of ingredients, including peeling of veg. (I HATE peeling veg). I thought the Thermomix did that! And it didn’t have a robotic arm that picked things up off the work bench. Nope, you had to actually place the ingredients in the machine! $2089 and no freaking robotic arm. What a swizz!!
But, being openminded, at least to my mind – (I heard about boyfriend/girlfriend sleepovers this week from 2 separate sources, and nearly fainted. I thought it was just a wind up at first, but I’m sure that doesn’t stop me being openminded) – I got over the initial setback.
And it did make tasty food, and it did make it quickly. Except for the soup and steamed chicken. But that might have had something to do with missing the step where you add water. And even with my limited cooking know-how, I realise that water is fairly fundamental to a soup and the steaming process. So we had to do that bit again. But it was worth it, because the soup was delicious and the steamed chicken and the sauce (even though I don’t like sauce normally) were both great.
The bit I liked most was probably making the custard at the end. I liked it because Herbert made it. The fact that he added an extra 50g of sugar was neither here nor there. (Apparently his hand shook accidentally). Not a great step towards quitting sugar, but a small step towards the kids getting involved in meal prep. (Slaves in the making, I hope).
So the demo ended and the demonstrator thermomix was packed away and I could tell the Hubstacle was secretly more impressed than he wanted to be, but no order was placed. We were still a little undecided. 🙁
I dreamt about it overnight (and so did Herbert!) In fact, he was wondering where his thermomixed breakfast pancakes were… But as I drank my cuppa, I opened an email from Lee at Brightside Coaching that really resonated: about busyness. I hate being busy. It makes me a mean mum. When things get fraught, I don’t like the person that I become, and the kids certainly don’t appreciate it. But with a full time job, the kids and all their activities, the dogs (including cat-dog) and a husband who seems to be spending an ever increasing amount of time travelling with work, it made me pause for thought.
I think, on the whole, I do a pretty fine job of failing to conform to society’s idea of wife and mother. I stand firm in the face of domestic goddessry. Some might think this is simply ineptitude, but I prefer to think of it as unflinching willpower in the face of pressure to comply. I have taken a perverse delight in forgetting mealtimes over the years and having to be nudged by the offspring to feed their hungry bellies. But sometimes, I do catch myself thinking it might be nice to be less chaotic. I see the beautiful homes paraded in magazines, that look serene and ordered. (I’ll be able to see Dexter, peripherally, when I’m flicking through mags like this, and he’ll be dragging his blanket behind him and trying to hump the cat: a show he put on during the thermomix demonstration, actually), and think maybe, just maybe, there could be another way.
And I am persuaded by the sugar quittery arguments. Possibly because Sarah Wilson says it’s not my fault that I crave sugar and go crazy and have no willpower to resist yet another piece of liquorice or a snake (unless it’s purple or yellow because they taste foul), because our caveman selves were pre-programmed that way. I like it when it’s not my fault.
And I do recognise that my busy schedule makes me wasteful. We shop at the beginning of the week, high on high expectations of a week of good living, only to be thwarted by pressure and too many things to fit in, and end up substituting a take-away for a meal we bought ingredients for. Wilted veggies are exhumed from the fridge at the end of the week, and I guiltily transfer them to the green waste bin.
There is a little piece of me that yearns for simplicity and to jump off the merry-go-round of busyness. To wrest back the time to make good food choices and eliminate waste. To have the energy to do simple things well. Instead of rushing manically through life just trying to keep up: Keep up with the kids? Keep up with the Jones? Stop the world, I want to get off!!!
So I am taking the plunge despite the TM5’s obvious robotic arm shortcomings. It might not be able to pick up the ingredients or be able to stop the world, but I do think it will provide a modicum of relief through the week and help us whip up healthier meals.
Apparently they release a new model every 10 years, so I’m optimistic that this one will see it’s decade out and I’ll be ready to buy a new one when they release the TMRAL (Robotic Arm & Laundry). The laundry chip feature is the one where you replace the recipe chip with a laundry one, then the thermomix hops down from the bench and sorts, washes and folds the laundry before giving it a quick press.
Excuse me, I have to go now; I have a unicorn I need to brush.