Tuesday, 20 July 2010

How did I ever live without you?

It has to be said……..Rita’s Thermomix reigns supreme!

I collected my precious baby on Friday night, dragging along friend Kim (who had eaten with me at Henry Jones on Wednesday night) and her mum, to check it out too. I knew with certainty that the minute they saw my little TM in action (being avid food lovers) they wouldn’t be able to resist buying one too – and they did!

So Saturday rolls round, and Rita hits the shops, buying up the required goodies for her weekend of experimentation with TM.

First thing produced (as per Fee Hoskin’s instruction) on Saturday was a concentrated vegetable stock mix. Yes – TM owners make their own stock concentrates, and toss away all those dubious-content commercial stock cubes and make their own base for flavouring soups, casseroles, risottos etc. Very simple and straightforward, but it made me feel good to have this in my fridge. I have never felt happy about using commercial stock cubes, but have resorted to them occasionally, whilst feeling that the chicken or beef varieties have been no closer to those animals than a spaceship has!

After that, I decided a Mushroom Risotto was the meal of choice, so precisely 20 minutes later, there it was – all ready to devour, and all I had had to do was put the ingredients into the bowl of my TM, then take the cooked risotto out of the bowl at the finish of cooking. The machine did the rest (chopping, sauté-ing, stirring and cooking).

Sunday was Butter Chicken day – beautiful, then Monday night after work, TM made me a perfect Chilli Con Carne. It minced my steak, then proceeded to cook the meal.

Tonight we have a Cauliflower Soup and fresh bread rolls on the menu. Yes – TM does the dough for the bread rolls too. It mixes and kneads the dough. All you have to do is take it out of the machine to prove in a warm place for 20 minutes, then place in the oven to cook, while the cauliflower is being chopped and the soup cooked in TM.

My friend P, who collected his TM a week before me (and who I forced to buy one, knowing he would benefit SO much from owning one – and he has!) invited his fellow retired mate Geoffrey for lunch last Thursday. Lunch commenced at 11 am with daiquiris made in the TM – and continued till 7 pm that night – pausing occasionally for various courses (all made in the TM), like a fresh herb dip, then a Spag Bol, then pears in red wine accompanied by a kaffir lime custard, all courses interspersed with another daiquiri, or two or three! Hic! Geoffrey’s partner had to collect Geoffrey at 7 pm or he would still be there!

Yes – the TM is definitely a most welcome addition to the Rita household. Long may she reign!


Mary Estcourt said...

Oooh Rita sounds like you're hooked! It's an amazzzzing machine. Must try a risotto - Diane Caney made one for our demo & it was yummmm. Our Chilli con carne was ok but we used minced meat - your method would be better...

Rita said...

For the first time in my life (pretty well) I am following recipes, as I work my way through the TM's repertoire. When I am more confident I will vary things to more suit my tastes, but so far am loving the experimentation.

ut si said...

Yay for you! You'll loooove it! Makes the most beautiful Anglaise but today I almost covered Matthew Evans's figgy pud in cauliflower soup instead...someone had mislabeled the container!

steve said...

Glad you are enjoying your new toy Rita. You really sound like a Hillsong convert!

lemon curd said...

Amen Rita, amen. Check out www.forumthermomix.com (sure you have already found it!) - heaps of ideas...
I made a delicious tuna pasta bake (I know, hardly haute cusine but hey) with it the other night. Tip: freeze a few slices of bread to make bread crumbs, then blitz them at 9 to make the crumbs :)

Welcome aboard!

bri said...

Lovely! I really want one of these - they are amazing - but it's going to have to wait a while. I'm saving up for a Kitchenaid first :)

Rita said...

Bri - A year ago I had finally attained my long-awaited and highly anticipated purchase of a Kitchen Aid (red). I used it exactly twice, then saw a TM demo - and actually never used it again, despite also having invested in the attachments as well!
I sold it last week (in an 'as new' condition) and used the $500 I got for it to put towards my TM which does most of the things I wanted my KA for anyway.

Rita said...

Thanks Colette - believe it that if anyone in the world was going to make that particular stuff-up with the cauli soup, it would be ME, not you!
Steve - am enjoying it but if I'm starting to sound like a hillsong convert, then I promise never to mention it ever again!! (Well, maybe not ever, but not so often!)
LC - thanks for that link. I did explore online ages ago but had forgotten that site so will revisit. And I love a Tuna Bake, so am happy with your suggestion! Thanks for the tip.

bri said...

Thanks Rita, that is definitely food for thought(!). The problem is that I'd like a Kitchenaid because, as well as being an excellent machine, I also think it is a thing of beauty. I've been in love with them for ages!

Unfortunately a Thermomix won't be an option for me for quite a while, but I am patient! I'll give my soon-to-be-acquired Kitchenaid a good workout in the meantime :)

Tassiegal said...

But doesnt the thermo mix take all the fun out of cooking? For me half the fun is making a mess in the kitchen while I chop and peel and whisk and stir and taste (and ocassionally burn!). For what I understand of the thermomix it does all of that and spits out perfect food at the other end. But does the food have soul and life? or is it just food?

Nick said...

Glad to see you are so happy with your new purchase Rita, but I agree with TG - doesn't this machine remove the 'enjoyable process' of cooking food. Much of the joy of cooking for me comes from the prep, the kneading, the chopping etc. Sure, the result might be the same (possibly better) but it definitely seems that some of the pleasurable journey has been handed over to a machine.
But, then, I have never used one so maybe I am missing something...

Rita said...

Hi TG and Nick - both with extremely valid questions (and comments), which I'm delighted you asked.
I totally agree. For me, too, half the pleasure in cooking is in the 'playing around' - the planning, the prep, the cooking and eating. Using the TM is no different. It's just providing you with a tool to extend your powers of experimentation. It challenges your previously-held set ideas and concepts with your cooking. If you allow it, it can enhance your skills and enthusiasm for the activity, not restrict it.
That's why I am currently following each recipe to the letter, as I did 40 years ago when I first started cooking. You quickly learn to adapt your circumstances to what you have in front of you, and that's a great challenge to give yourself.
With the TM, I am currently learning how it works and what it can do, then I will happily relegate it to being MY servant, not the other way round as it currently is.
I will use it to achieve what I personally want and need in the food I eat and enjoy.
I will not blindly follow the proscribed recipes, and do as directed.
I am the boss in my kitchen. TM is my second chef, and right hand woman!

Tassiegal said...

Fair enough! Though I still look suspiciously at anything that can apparently multi task better than me! I want to make some euridite Monty Python "I'm not dead yet" type comment, but am coming up blank. Oh well.

sir grumpy said...

So, you've bought the vending machine then!
I bought a humble juicer two weeks ago and am sick of it already.
Does anyone know if a moulinex food processor would grind spices, blend and juice for me?
I am not going to pay for a TM (transcendental machination?).

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Masterchef fan.... The people on the dramatised, OTT show aren't even learning to be Chef's - They are learning how to cook.

Just wait until they need to plate up 40 meals at once in the real world, etc and then we will see if they are "Masters"?

The difference between being a chef and knowing how to cook food is pretty big.

lemon curd said...


Check that one out as well :)

sir grumpy said...

Rita, the next generation of the machine will be like Capt Picard's computer on Star Trek.
You'll just say: ``Computer, tea Earl Grey hot'' and out she'll come.
``Computer, flake and chips, greasy, hot...''

``Computer, degustation meal Dear Friends, circa....''

I'll buy it then.