We decided recently – or rather, John generously decided – that for our 40th wedding anniversary later this year, we’d give ourselves what we call The Machine, but what its German manufacturers have named Thermomix.

This machine, which is slightly bigger than a Kenwood mixer, does every component part of cooking, except that it does not bake. You cannot buy it (in the UK anyway) over the counter. You have to attend a demonstration. My friend Anne had attended the wedding of her cousin in Australia and had come across this machine and she arranged for a few of us to see it. I was impressed.

Initially (for someone as useless with technology as I am) it is quite daunting, but John painstakingly went through the (long) manual, and I began tentatively to try it out. You receive a cookbook as part of your package, and I decided I would work my way through all the recipes as a way of learning the techniques. You can follow a preprogrammed recipe which will tell you step by step what to do, but this doesn’t suit me at all and I aim to understand the processes and proceed with matters under my own control.

You can get in a rut with your cooking, though I hope I am not as bad as what a newspaper article I recently read proclaimed as the average – ie nine dishes which the cook repeated. I fine that hard to believe, but then I found it hard to believe that some people had a seven day repeating menu – so if it was Thursday it would be macaroni. You’d die of boredom, if not of malnutrition.

The machine can cook an entire meal within its own resources – so I have experimented and made fish with potatoes, vegetables and hollandaise sauce, steaming the fish and vegetables, and it worked quite well although personally I do not like the taste of steamed vegetables.

Now that I am familiar with it, I enjoy using it. I have made hollandaise sauce, bechamel sauce and caramel. It makes quite difficult puddings (and great favourites of mine) zabaglione, and ills flottant, a doddle. You just put the ingredients in, set it for time, heat and speed, and then you come back in nine minutes and it’s ready. Its tirami su is so good that even I, who have disliked all coffee flavoured puddings since my flatmate in London used to make wagonloads of bread pudding made with coffee instead milk, have been converted to a devotee. John was feeling queasy the other day and fancied fish cakes, which of course I didn’t have, so I made them; and they were good. It also makes refreshing smoothies and a kind of squashy sorbet (which would become an ice if you froze it, but we always eat it first.) Recently I’ve made some cleaning creams and hand creams using only natural products. Another advantage is that we know exactly what we are eating,

I find we waste less fruit and vegetables, because fruit can become a smoothie, and you can quickly pop in vegetables that need using, chop them small, boil then, and return them to the Thermomix to chop again until it’s a smooth tasty soup. You can very easily rustle up some bread to enjoy with the soup.

The few disadvantages are that it is quite heavy to hold in one hand while spooning out the contents with the other, and if you get the timing wrong, out by just a few seconds, your fricassee of vegetables has degenerated into mush.

I bought an extra jug, which is extremely handy.

I would recommend it. There’s no doubt it’s prodigiously expensive, but since I’ve got it, I use it several times a day,

So, a lovely present for our 4oth. You can keep your rubies. What use are they anyway?


About adhocannie
I am a good natured woman with a long memory and a swift tongue. I like loooking at things and thinking about them. Also food, clothes, travel, reading, sewing. I try to see the ridiculous in things, but sobriety of reflection keeps edgting in. I have husband, children, grandchildren, friends... I feel rich in things that matter. I am a happy exile. I like writing. I do not like talking about me (though I do.). You willl be much more interesting.


  1. Sheena says:

    Sounds like quite a machine! I’ll bet it compliments you on your outfit, too!

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