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Messages - MacGuffin

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News about Thermomix / Re: USA Thermomix
« on: November 01, 2014, 11:56:20 am »

I think the major obstacle is the measurement issue, ie metric versus imperial.

I see the hardest thing for Thermomix  getting into the US is the fact that Americans still use the imperial measuring system while the rest of the world is metric.
With the scales measuring in grams, some Americans will find that a stumbling block.

A model with ounces and fahrenheit and the 110v the Canadian version already has, is a necessary no brainer. The challenge would come with recipes on the Internet. So ideally, the new digital version can be configured for either or both and easily translate between them.

I haven't posted here in a VERY long time, so "Hi!" I'm excited about the new upgrade.

I'd first like to point out that we in the States are NOT on the imperial system. The names of the units and conversions are often the same but the actual amounts aren't. We can't use older British recipes without converting.
As to metric vs. our customary units, I don't think that the use of grams would be such a big deal because everything is done in the bowl--who cares what the units are called? I do, however, think there'd be resistance to Celsius, even though that's done in the bowl as well. As Gertbysea posted, kitchen scales can be programmed between units by the push of a button if need be but that's not the case with our ovens, not to mention that we're programmed to think in terms of ambient temperature in Fahrenheit as well. I think your idea of being able to configure is brilliant but might be an excuse to add significantly to the cost of an already expensive appliance.

I'd also add that the business about the TM5's not-quite-perfect chip would result in extreme indignation here. In the not-too-distant past, Vitamix (the poster child for responsive customer service) had concerns about the blade assembly in their newest container. They contacted everyone, arranged for the containers to be picked up and delivered at no charge to the owners, added an extra year (i.e. 8 instead of 7) to their warranties, plus included a free cookbook. Bear in mind that the list prices of both models involved in the recall is considerably less than half the cost of a Thermomix; Vorwerk can't recall a lousy chip?? Americans who want a Thermomix will find a way to buy one but you can bet that they'll expect a lot of bang for their buck in the way of reliability and customer support.

I haven't been here in quite a while but there's a lady on eBay who has really nice, INEXPENSIVE bags made from food-grade nylon; she's a little "different" but her bags are excellent value. They hold up and clean a lot better than muslin and you never have to worry about deterioration either. This is the link: . Be aware that she's into Wicca--this seemed to bother at least one person to whom I suggested her bags.

Isn't $1650 about what a new one would cost if it were ordered from Canada? And is that an adapter? We're all on the same grid, so an adapter isn't necessary with a machine built to Canadian specs.

Questions? Technical Issues? The Survival Guide / Re: Wheat grass shots?
« on: October 02, 2010, 02:37:14 pm »
I just stumbled on this and given that I juice and grow my own grass (Kamut, actually), I thought I'd respond.
Sim is quite right; grass fiber is a horror to the human digestive tract. Think about it--ruminants need to process it twice and their systems are actually designed to handle the stuff. I know of people who claim to consume cereal grass in its entirety but given how easy it is to get sick just by drinking too much of the juice, I'm skeptical.
That said, a wheatgrass juicer is absolutely the best way to go (mine's manual) but it's possible to blend it up with some water, after which you could either press is through a fine sieve or run it through a nut milk bag. Either way, you'll be discarding the pulp. As to freezing, it's not a great option if you're going to actually juice the grass (renders it very soggy) but it's fine for blending. Freezing kinda lyses the cell walls but other than that, the chlorophyll isn't altered and the enzymes should be in pretty good shape, too.
Karen3 is also correct that cutting the grass into smaller pieces is a good idea. People who process it in their Vitamixes do it for the very same reason. You don't want to deal with trying to remove grass that got wrapped around a blade shaft at high speed.

Chit Chat / Re: What improvements would you like to see in the next model?
« on: September 01, 2010, 02:31:01 am »
Thanks for the link! I'm not familiar with White Lily although I've heard of Dixie Lily grits; they were also sold recently but they claim to have kept the quality the same.

I happened to open the link for the Natural Way Mill on the mill page and noticed they have some pretty interesting flours but their minimum is 25 lbs. which is more than I'd ever use: . Their Gold n White comes in a pastry flour, too, which might be good for biscuits.

Sorry to everyone for going OT like this but at least y'all are getting a grits education.  :)

Chit Chat / Re: What improvements would you like to see in the next model?
« on: September 01, 2010, 12:01:33 am »
Thanks for the link. Do you think any of your other sources sell grits as good as Anson's? I seem to remember having placed at least one phone order with them some time back but I'm not sure if it was due to the fact that they didn't take online orders then or if I wanted to ask them something prior to placing an order.

Oh, my! Another corn afficionada!  :D
I buy my grits from Anson Mills--they're expensive and I know there are other mills that sell good grits that are cheaper but theirs are just wonderful (they've got some slammin' recipes as well). Grits are actually a byproduct of the milling process and are the result of various levels of sifting newly ground cornmeal, so they're really not something you can do authentically at home (unless you happen to run a grist mill). I also buy excellent white flint cornmeal from Gray's in Rhode Island; I use it for jonnycake and things like Boston brown bread and Indian pudding (gives it that authentic touch, doncha know). You can really tell the difference in the texture of your products and the flavor is unique to that variant. I HIGHLY recommend it and it keeps forever in the freezer, too (I'm starting to crave jonnycake now).

I don't bake enough to justify a home mill (plus I like to buy from grist mills to keep the old ways going) but if I did, I'd go for the KoMo Fibidus Classic. It's supposed to do an excellent job, is infinitely variable, AND it's gorgeous. However, it doesn't do legumes, popcorn, or oily seeds (not that I'd be doing those anyway; if I needed legume flour that I couldn't buy I'd invest in a dry container for my VM).

Keep us posted on the lupini beans. I have a friend who has been living in Italy and her boyfriend cooks. She's in town so I'll ask her if she knows anything.

For some recipes the TM 31 is perfect and I love the way it does risotto and I have eaten more of that dish, in its many variations, than I had in the past fifteen years.
I've been meaning to post that your comment sparked another possible use for the Thermomix--grits! I LOVE good grits and even though I now make them in a mini-slow cooker, I'd be willing to give this a shot. Grits (unless using a slow cooker) need to be stirred constantly and they splatter as well. I'll bet they'd be wonderful in the TMX.

Thank you, Gretchen.  :)
It'll happen some day--I'm quite confident! I should say, though, that I rather like throwing together my own meals. We have many restaurants and a number of them serve good, inexpensive (not to mention interesting) food. But there are many that are just average and not all that cheap, especially after tax and tip. I've never been able to justify spending for food that's no better (not to mention sometimes worse) than what I can make for myself. That's why I like clever appliances!

LOL I don't have the money, and all of my expenses are going up soon (unlike my income). I don't finance anything (it keeps me out of trouble).

Most cooks that I know, either men or women, work outside the home and as Peg Bracken so aptly said some fifty years ago, "when they get home they want to wrap their hands around a dry martini and not a wet flounder." 
Multiply that by about 100 and you'll have a good idea of the NYC attitude towards sales parties. I don't think it's so much that we're apt to be offended by a home demo (I understand it gives potential buyers a chance to touch, as well as see, the machine being put through its paces which I think is a big plus) but rather that we tend to be impatient and want to be alone (to get Garboesque). We're SO on top of each other here that we don't even smile at people on the street whom we don't know; I realize this sounds cold but I believe it's due to our trying to manufacture some privacy.
I think we in the US in general have gotten away from in-house sales which, to tell you the truth, I think is sad because I think selling's an honest and honorable profession (can you tell that I've done sales in the past?). Online availability really helped put the kibosh on direct-sales reps although the handwriting has been on the wall for a long time; people are also less apt to let people they don't know into their homes. Changing times, I guess.

Vitamix has actually had to take on more workers due to demand (in this economy, no less), and that's just domestic. They have a huge commercial division (the food service industry is well aware of how reliable their machines are) and I think one of the criteria that helps with household sales is their (well-founded) reputation for customer support--they absolutely coddle their customers (plus the machines are manufactured here; one of the things that attracted me to the TMX is that it's made in France, not Asia). One of my friends is a demonstrator and she told me that it's always expected that a percentage of those Costco machines will be returned. They end up being refurbished and sold as such at a considerable discount with the same 7-year warranty that the new ones carry.

One thing online purchasing has cured me of is instant gratification! You can sometimes save SO much money that it's worth it to just suck it up and wait. I now tend to be mildly contemptuous (let's just say "morally smug") when confronted with those who "have to have it NOW" (or better yet, yesterday). I've learned he virtue of patience! Good thing because it keeps my desire for a TMX in perspective: I'll get it when the time is right.  :)

I think one of the justifications for the Vitamix dry container is in fact that it won't cloud the everyday "wet" container (the other being that it's designed to do a better job with grains, etc.). But I hear ya about the TMX catching on here--there's just something about it that goes against the mainstream grain although I can't quite put my finger on it. I suspect you could have caught it with your observation about dedicated appliances--despite having a Vitamix (or in my case a Vita-Mix--they recently rebranded), I've held on to my old Cuisinart (and thanks for the heads-up re the Magimix!), not in the least because I have the beaters, all the slicing disks, etc. But I still want a Thermomix!  ;D I think I could have a lot of fun with it.
I really hope someone at Vorwerk reads these comments. An accurate scale and the elimination of hot spots (not to mention accurate temperature readings) are areas that really should be addressed come the next upgrade.

Faffa, you're SO cute! Your enthusiasm is infectious!
I see Thermosevers listed on Australia eBay and they always go for big bucks (and did I read that a 1 L model is in the works?). In fact, one of the Forum members has quite a lot of Thermomix stuff listed on eBay even as we type. The international shipping, however, is what's REALLY painful--at some point, I may bite the bullet and order Rawlicious and Festive Flavours from you just to be prepared for "T-day." But all those other goodies like aprons, bread mats, and towels aren't, to the best of my knowledge, available in North America at this point (bags, of course, are). This is a real drag because I LOVE that kind of stuff--if it actually has utility for me, that is. I have several Vita-Mix goodies--including one that's no longer available and two that have been relegated to gift-with-purchase status--that I cherish because they're not only really functional but brand me for the fatuous groupie that I am. I'm always happy to add more fabulous, useful appliances to my kitchen arsenal (I have no qualms about polygamy), despite having no room for them.
My juicer operates stainless-on-stainless (cutter on shaft) so I imagine it'd be okay but I'm not an engineer. Having never used a Thermomix, I can't comment on the cup other than to say that on visuals alone I find it appealing, but I did read that Alton Brown doesn't like it.

Oh, I have no doubt an upgrade is on the table; this is obviously a manufacturer that takes research & development VERY seriously. And by the time I can afford a Thermomix, it might have been released! This was the case with my juicer; by the time I was able to buy it, there'd been two (possibly three) upgrades...which turned out to be to my benefit.  ;D

I very much enjoyed reading the thoughts of those who actually own the machine. It's refreshing to discover devoted fans (of anything, not just the TMX) whose objectivity isn't clouded. Fanboys really annoy me.

I stumbled upon this thread and have been reading it with great interest because as I dream of the day I'll own my own Thermomix, my practical side insists that I evaluate such an expensive machine's functions and customer support, hence I've made up my own wish list of things that I'd like to see tweaked (I'm a tweaker by nature). Bear in mind that since I don't actually HAVE the machine, my dream list is based on a rather more superficial level than those of you who actually own and use it.

1) I'm glad I'm not the only one who'd like to see a more sensitive scale. I wouldn't mind its present incarnation as much if the manufacturer didn't list "kitchen scale" as being one of the appliances the Thermomix replaces. No kitchen scale worth its salt uses a minimum of 5 or 10 g increments.

2) The fact that it seems pretty difficult to obtain the "goodies," i.e., those oh-so-desirable accessories that seem to be obtainable only to those who host demos. I'm guessing that even if the Thermomix were to be readily available in the US that demo parties in NYC wouldn't take off in a big way. Not being able to get my hands on things like a Thermoserver and tea towel would be very frustrating. :'(

3) The LED display is rather too reminiscent of those on early cell phones. I realize this is very minor and has no bearing on performance but a more up-to-date display would better complement such an expensive machine. Other than that, I quite like the machine's appearance.

I also suspect that a stainless steel butterfly might be a good thing.
This is SUCH a nice forum and it's a pleasure to read such realistic evaluations--very informative thread!

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