Thursday, 30 August 2012

Thermomix Diary - What you need to know before you start using it

As you may have read in my previous posts, we had a Thermomix demo at home two Saturdays ago and, after much consideration, we decided to order it the Wednesday after that and had it at home last Friday. The day it arrived I washed it, put it all together and got on with reading the user manual and the recipe books.

I didn't actually switch it on until the next day, I may have been a tad petrified by it but the next day it was a Saturday and husband was home so I didn't have to worry as much about toddler interruptions. I did still have the mother of all headaches though. In my case a headache starts at shoulder level and grabs the whole head, when I start feeling like I want to chop my head off, it's time for painkillers and a lie-down and secretly wanting to go back in time to punch the guy who ran me over in a pedestrian crossing 21 years ago.

I learnt a few lessons while cooking my first soup (recipe to come up next) and my first dessert in the Thermomix that day:
  • Always remember to put the measuring cup in place before turning it on.
  • I will never be able to follow a recipe to the letter, apparently it is against my cooking nature. I have to admit that I don't like to be told what to do so may be that is the reason. If you're like me, don't panic when you realise you missed a step or an ingredient, your common sense and a quick Google search can be your best friends.
  • Always ALWAYS remember to put the measuring cup in place immediately after locking the lid in. You know, covering that hole where everything otherwise can splatter my nice new kitchen walls.
  • The blade is scary for someone as clumsy as me but I quickly found my own method of installing and removing it for cleaning. So, read the instructions and then safely play with it until you find your own method. You will probably find a few videos online with hints and tips too.
  • ALWAYS remember to put the measuring cup back where it belongs. You would think that I would have learnt that by now, the measuring cup has sat in the same spot of the Thermomix for the last 30 years, that bit of the design hasn't changed so it's not like I'm unfamiliar with it!
  • Don't panic if the control doesn't turn and is totally locked even if you think you've prepared the machine and all ingredients correctly. When turning the bowl lid to lock it into place you will hear a click and a beep (the beep is important!), sometimes (do remember I am clumsy) you can think you heard the click and beep, sometimes you may hear the click but the lid may come back with you slightly when removing your hands so you may think it's all ready to go and get a shock when the control knob won't turn in the middle of, for instance (totally hypothetical of course, I wish) in the middle of making your chocolate custard to place on top of the layer of vanilla custard that you have already made and placed in individual pots. Then you will panic, let it rest for a few minutes just in case your constant cooking has overheated the engine. Then you may panic a bit further and call your demonstrator/consultant for advice and learn your lesson FOREVER. ALWAYS ALWAYS make sure you have locked the lid properly before panicking.  
  • Do of course remember to programme the temperature setting when temperature is required, otherwise it is called blending, whisking... it's not called simmering, steaming, heating unless there is a hot temperature. You have no idea how glad I was to find out the other day in the Thermomix Tick of Yum Facebook page that I am not the only thermically forgetful Thermomix user.
  • Help is always at hand, your demonstrator/consultant will prove a great source of support but also online forums, Facebook pages and a whole multitude of recipes available any time from fantastic websites and blogs (I particularly like blog ones because they are tried-and-tested by the users who leave comments too...)
Lesley's (from Me and my Thermie) advice was spot-on. A few times over the first few days she had to tell me: don't be shy with it, don't be too gentle with it, use it with confidence... It's true, the Thermomix can take it and your confidence will actually grow if you bear these words in mind. It is difficult at first as it is a lot of machine and it is a bit daunting when you start using it but this simple advice goes a long way.
So, next time you use your Thermomix or, if you're going to order one, the day you start using it: always always remember this post, put that measuring cup in place and be confident with your Thermomix. Should you forget, just laugh like I did after the initial panic. You can also put the measuring cup in place as soon as you realise it's missing and/or call your demonstrator/consultant for advice. I have to say Lesley has provided the best after-sales support.

Do you have a Thermomix? What was your first experience with it like?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...