Yesterday was a very strange day indeed.
It started with a plan to have a Vietnamese lunch in Cabramata with my sister and ended with a Thermomix in my kitchen and another major disaster in the world.
Next week is my birthday, the twenty second anniversary of the my twenty first birthday. My wonderful family (who only very occasionally drive me crazy) got brave this year and arranged a SURPRISE for me. Before I go on, it is necessary to say how difficult a task this was and how highly I rate this achievement. Surprising me is not an easy task for various reasons so I understand how much effort and stress it took to not only organise it but pull it off.
So yesterday I drove out to Warwick Farm to have my car valued for a possible trade-in and, after a couple of rather strange conversations with my sister, arrived home to find her and a strange lady and a large box waiting for me. I would have been less surprised had the box contained a naked Robbie Williams (a gift idea for next year...) but, in fact, it contained a brand spanking-new Thermomix, the kitchen machine of my dreams.
You may remember me coming across this masterpiece of kitchen engineering at the Tetsuya cooking masterclass I attended almost 18 months ago. It blew my mind then and I've been coveting it ever since. The price tag put it in the must have/can't have category and it has remained the glittering pinnacle on my wishlist.
And now it's here, in my kitchen, twinkling at me across the kitchen as I write; sitting smugly on my benchtop as if it's always been there. It is occupying the space where my KitchenAid lived until two weeks ago when it had to go to the KitchenAid doctor for a strange alignment problem it had developed. I very much feel like I'm cheating on my husband with Robbie Williams (at least I imagine what that must feel like, I'm willing to put the feeling to the test should the opportunity ever arise...). The KA will hopefully come home soon and my two best kitchen buddies will need to learn to share my love and the bench space.
However, I can now turf my kitchen scales (the TM weighs, you can reset it after each ingredient and then measure the new ingredient - i.e. 200g flour, reset, measure 100g sugar), my blender, my brand new ice cream machine, my stick blender.
The slightly manic Thermomix lady, the gorgeous Lynette, swooped into my kitchen, unloaded the TM onto my bench and within half an hour had produced a yummy soft serve style dessert called a Berry Dream, or some such, a bread dough, a cereal/crumble mix/topping type thing with coconut, apple, dates and nuts (yum!) and a risotto. She then swooped out again leaving me shell shocked (in the best way) and totally bewildered.
There are no sensible words to describe how excited and happy I feel to own such a wonderful piece of kitchen gadgetry. So lucky to have a husband who actually listens to me (who knew?!) and a family who steps up financially and logistically to make my Thermomix dream come true. Well done Big Jay, Jules, mum, dad, linesmen, ballboys.
But then I turn on the evening news and watch the horror unfolding in Japan and my excitement subsides somewhat. Watching the giant tide of water sweep over the landscape, smashing everything in its path, made me put our tiny human lives into proper perspective. Our little, busy ant lives are so important to us but so insignificant to Mother Nature and the march of time. I was overwhelmed with a monsterous tiredness as I watched and went to bed early, heavy with the knowledge that everything doesn't mean anything.
This morning the cloud has cleared. I awoke early, saying goodbye to Big Jay who left for his annual Coffs Harbour golf trip. Turning on the news momentarily brought back the depression (there should be a public service announcement if they're going to make you listen to JGull's dulcet tones at 5:30 am) but the realisation that Hawaii was still above water cheered me up somewhat. A cup of tea and a slice of the freshly baked Thermomix bread (toasted with avocado) brought up my spirits some more.
I've spent a couple of hours surfing the www in search of Thermomix recipes, blogs and communities and have found many. My TM, in future to be known as Theo (in honour of a very cool Mod I knew circa 1984), is smiling at me. A new culinary adventure begins.