At the end of 2014, I purchased a Thermomix after having an in home demonstration. The concept of a Thermomix was not new to me, a few years earlier when researching different food processors on the market, I came across the term Thermomix. At the time I couldn’t conceive how anyone would spend such a huge amount on what I considered a soup maker, but the seed had been planted in my brain, “Is it really that amazing?” Two years later, I had friends who owned Thermomixes who had spoken of their obsession with their machine. Distracted by the price I ignored the little seed which had begun growing.
Then in September 2014 the new Thermomix TM5 model was released. They say any publicity is good publicity, and whoa was the TM5 great bad publicity for Thermomix Australia. The manner in which the latest model was released had caused a bit of upset for anyone who had recently purchased a superseded TM31 model Thermomix, and the sounds of angry customers was loud. If someone didn’t know what a Thermomix was previously, they did now.
I took the release of the new model as a sign that it was maybe time to give the Thermomix some serious consideration. I had already done some research into the product, and the concept of making things from scratch, knowing what was going into my food appealed to me. I grew up in a family that tried to be somewhat self-sustainable. We always had a chook shed for fresh eggs, which when I was younger we would also trade for fresh milk, from a neighbour who had their own dairy cow, my mother to this day still has her butter paddles. All our vegetables and some of our fruit was home grown. Mum would bake fresh bread regularly, which I would devour whilst still warm, spread with her homemade jams. And to this day she still has her ‘tomato sauce’ day(s), where she cooks up huge batches of tomato sauce to last the entire year out. So despite the fact that I have a black thumb, no room for a chook pen and have no desire to make jams or preserves , the idea of creating food like my mum’s appealed to me.
“Thermomix, from failure to full swing”
So I had my first Thermomix demonstration, and I was almost sold on the spot. The magical whirring, chiming machine seemed to be able to conquer any challenge. This all in one kitchen gadget was promising me that it would save time, dishes and make me a healthier person in the process. At last I had found a way in which I could possibly be a super mum like my own mother. So later that night, hiding in my bedroom wardrobe to avoid my partner hearing me make a two thousand dollar purchase without consulting him, I phoned my consultant to confirm the sale, and I immediately regretted it… Yes I had just forked out two thousand dollars on a very expensive kitchen appliance, and I was panicking. “What if I don’t use it”, “What if I hate the food it makes?”, “What if my partner finds out how much they are worth?” I was really beginning to worry I had made a mistake, it wasn’t until later the next day when I began to search YouTube for videos of it in use, that my panic turned to a mild rumbling, but I still had the annoying sound of “Are you sure you need this” running through my head.
Two weeks later my Thermomix arrived. I had announced to my partner that I was having a ‘cooking lesson’ later that night, so he may want to make himself scarce. I didn’t want Chris around for the initial hand over, this was not because I thought he would be bored, but I was worried my consultant my say within earshot how much I had just spent. So my machine had arrived, I made the standard vegetable stock all consultants make at hand over, and then there was nothing else. It was late, too late at night to cook any of the super fabulous things I had read about or watched on YouTube, too late to cry out “I’ve made a big mistake” and too late to hide the damn thing from Chris.
So the next day I start my journey of learning how to cook in a different method. I had a few recipes picked out and my shopping list ready. I was going to crush this thing and win over my hesitant brain. My first meal was an epic failure, it was boring, bland and had a bizarre texture, but I wasn’t going to give up. I had heard Jo Whitton from Quirky Cooking talk about other owners who complained about the same issues, her feedback was that people had to become more confident with cooking in a Thermomix, and add to the recipes their own twists by flavouring it according to their own taste buds. But then my second meal failed too. In fact it was so bad I had to throw it out into the bin outside, as the smell of it was so strong, the whole house reeked. I was defeated… It was then that I realised that my partner is a steak and three veg man, and he was never going to like anything I cook in the Thermomix.
I was gutted. It was only one week in and I felt as though I now owned a two thousand dollar machine that I knew wasn’t going to live up to my expectations. But I still refused to give up. The following week I had planned on cooking lasagne for my toddlers, who despite being fussy eaters, would almost inhale a lasagne. That day it turned out to be a nasty 43 degrees (109 Fahrenheit), I persevered. Normally I wouldn’t make a lasagne on such a hot day. The idea of frying, cooking and stirring sauces over a hot stove on such a day would usually have me cancel my dinner plans in place of a salad. But funnily enough this is where I found my feet with the Thermomix. On a 43 degree day, I managed to complete an entire lasagne, without a drip of sweat. Having the Thermomix chop, cook and stir the sauces meant that I didn’t have to stand in the kitchen for hours sweltering. In fact the ideal location that I had placed my Thermomix meant that the entire house stayed cool. What’s more, the kids devoured the lasagne, they loved it to the same level they would have if I had made the sauces myself.
Success! I had won over the hardest consumer of all; fussy toddlers! What’s more Chris enjoyed the lasagne! I had found my confidence with the damn thing, suddenly I was cooking, baking, stirring, whipping and joining online communities galore, reading stories somewhat similar to my initial experience. I was hooked, in love and enthusiastic about cooking again; what’s more, our waistlines were increasing, including the kids. My kids have always been slightly underweight due to their preference to go hungry, rather than eat what was put in front of them. Finally they were trying new things, and getting involved in the cooking process.
To this day, I still love my Thermomix. Chris still gets his steak and three veg, our kids are eating more and there isn’t a day that goes by where we eat something prepared from the Thermomix. Even if it’s just something as simple as butter, or the dinner bread rolls we have each night. If you’re hesitant about purchasing a Thermomix, I always say to have a demonstration and then wait. Look at the diets that your family have, and see what it is you can provide in the Thermomix that they will enjoy, rather than the way I fell into it. The Thermomix isn’t a machine that suits everyone, I was lucky enough to be able to find a balance between what it could do, and what my family wanted.