We’ve flirted with the cult that is Thermomix before. Two years ago, we sampled the whiz-bang kitchen appliance for ourselves and on our last visit to New Zealand, we were privileged to house-sit a place with a Thermomix. But never before have I seen how completely a Thermomix can revolutionise a way of cooking — and eating — until we lived alongside Sophie Wicksteed at Mundo Perdido.

Sophie Wicksteed, the Thermomix queen of Perth, WA, July 2013
Sophie is so comfortable with her Thermomix that she uses it several times a day to make everything from flour to chai.

The Wicksteeds’ home south of Perth is one of those special locations where we have lived alongside another family completely. We share chores together, talk over the shopping list, plan joint meals, manage the children — most of whom end up sleeping together because they can’t bear to be separated at the end of the day — and learn what each other is like in normal circumstances, under stress and when we’re tired. We’ve met the Wicksteeds’ friends, watched their slideshows of global travels, learned all their animals’ names and would have probably been converted to the Thermomix cult except that there’s no room or power for it in our bus!

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve sampled many different recipes that Sophie has made in the Thermomix. She’s passionate about good food — her produce is 90% organic and her pantry contains superfoods I’ve never seen before. The ingredients in Thermomix recipes are whole foods, the preparation minimal (chop roughly, the book says), the cooking is painless and the washing-up is simple.

During this stay, I’ve learned how to use the Thermomix as an alternative to microwaving — great for those families who prefer not to use a microwave to heat their food! Sophie showed me that simply steaming in the varoma (the top-hat platter that sits on top of the device) heats up a dish of food — without removing its moisture — an easy way to make left-overs palatable again!

I’ve also heard about Sophie’s Thermomix business. Over three years ago, she bought her machine with $2000 left-over from a pay-out after a protracted environmental-hazard battle over a bitumen plant located illegally close to their residence. Once she had her own Thermomix, Sophie’s time in the kitchen was so radically changed that she couldn’t help sharing the news with her friends.

The next logical step for her was to become a Thermomix rep. Thermomix machines aren’t sold in shops — only through demonstrators, in a similar way to Tupperware. A business review explains the benefits of joining Thermomix as a rep — the most basic one being that you can pay off your own Thermomix machine with just six sales. Commission payments go up with the number of sales completed every month, and a passionate Thermomix rep can make a tidy income while working from home, juggling family responsibilities and promoting a healthy lifestyle choice.

Sophie Wicksteed, the Thermomix queen of Perth, WA, July 2013
Sophie is so passionate about how the Thermomix makes food preparation easier in her own home and takes that enthusiasm with her when she gives demonstrations.

It’s been interesting for me to live alongside a Thermomix for these past weeks. In this household, it’s used for every meal. I’ve seen how easy it has been for Sophie to whip up a vegan treat for Brioni — immediately after making something for the rest of us.

Although I was initially reluctant, I’ve started doing more of our food preparation with the machine. I’ve learned how to decipher the Thermomix recipes, how to reset the scales (clean the rubber feet on the bottom of the machine), the best way to clean the blades (use a small bottle/pipe-cleaning brush) and that you can make non-food products like candles, fizzy bath-bombs and hand-cream in the Thermomix.

If I was in a house, I’d love to have a Thermomix. Adopting one properly means abandoning all the favourite recipes I keep in my head and learning a new set from the Thermomix recipe books, but I’ve seen the way Sophie has done this and how her repertoire of meals includes new favourites for our family like quinoa jambalaya.

Sophie is friends with many of the people she’s already sold machines to, and I’d love to help her grow her business by recommending her wholeheartedly! Those who are in Australia can buy a Thermomix through our friend Sophie by calling her on 0419 197 044. Perth locals will get to meet this wonderful woman for themselves, and those further afield will still benefit from her helpfulness and passion.