Monday, January 19, 2015

In Suburbia

There are a number of things I never imagined myself doing before my return to the suburbs nearly 7 years ago and that includes attending party plan demonstrations and gardening - both of which I have got into since being here.

I seem to have got myself invited to all sorts of events for things like Tupperware, lingerie, linen, cards, cosmetics, cleaning products, jewellery and aromatherapy to name but a few over the time I've been in Rosanna.  However, Friday night may have been the pinnacle event as Mr Rosanna and I attended a Thermomix party at one of his work colleague's houses.
Image via Thermomix website
For those of you who haven't heard of a Thermomix - they are the very expensive all-in-one home appliances previously used by professional chefs in commercial kitchens yet have somehow made their entry into the world of domestic appliances by those who can afford to drop a lazy $2000 on a machine.  

I have to say it was an interesting night, both in terms of people who were there - Mr Rosanna's work colleague Andrew also moonlights as a writer, and he had bought the Thermomix as a Christmas present for his yoga teacher wife Gabrielle, who has wanted one for a number of years, attending no less than four demonstration parties in that time - as well as finding out more about the Thermomix itself.

I initially thought it was just a tricked up food processor and mixer but it turns out it's a whole lot more than that - you can basically create most things from scratch amazingly quickly using guided recipes that leave no margin for error i.e. it's foolproof.  There was a demonstrator who had pre-prepared ingredients but we got to try sorbet, bread, dip, risotto and chocolate custard made right in front of us over the course of the evening.  It is a completely different way of cooking and a bit revolutionary in that regard.

While we don't currently have the budget or space for a Thermomix, I do feel a bit conflicted about them.  What I liked about it was the ease, time and cost savings (over time), plus the fact that it makes healthy eating a no brainer as you can cook and create just about anything from scratch - sauces, curry pastes, marinades, soups, dips, dried stock, butter, cakes, desserts, bread, rice, porridge, ice-cream etc using fresh ingredients and no additives.  Basically anything that you now buy in a bottle, jar or container can be made in a Thermomix.  It also has built in scales and a steamer.  It doesn't replace conventional cooking in an oven, barbecue or slow cooker but is complementary to them.  I also think my children would enjoy using one because it's so easy to just throw in the ingredients and let the machine do its thing.  I think it's also good for people who aren't confident cooks or don't enjoy the actual process of cooking.
What I'm not so sure about is that I think it takes the creativity out of cooking - one of the things I enjoy when I have the time is standing over a pot or pan and adding different ingredients not always to a recipe.  I also think whether you are male or female, being able to conventionally cook using pots and pans is a basic life skill, one that I want my boys to learn, not using a $2000 appliance that takes the thinking out of the equation.

I do think as the price drops, Thermomixes may become more widely used, in a similar way to capsule coffee machines (which I don't like for environmental reasons).  It does raise a lot of interesting questions about the impact of technology on our lifestyle.

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