I’m traveling for business and I haven’t had a kitchen tool in my hand for over a week now. I’m suffering from whisk withdrawal.

Fortunately, I work for an internationally-based American high school (we’re in five cities across the globe) and while I am not cooking for three weeks, I am indulging in local culinary cuisine.

My first week was spent in Viterbo, a medieval-walled city just outside of Rome. It’s one of my favorite places to visit, and eat. It was a hectic time at school and I didn’t accomplish everything I set out to do. One of my biggest regrets is not being able to spend time with my adopted host family – the Magginis. The second is seeing a Thermomix Bimby in action. I could have accomplished both those goals in one visit. My host mom Barbara is a Bimby distributor. I’ve seen her photos of finished dishes and I can’t comprehend how this machine works.

The Bimby is the rage. It’s a magic machine. It’s a food-processor-crock-pot-oven-and-the-kitchen-sink appliance. It cooks, chops, crushes, emulsifies, whips, mixes, steams, blends, kneads, grinds, simmers, grates, [and practically] cleans itself. It’s the best thing since sliced bread, except that it doesn’t slide the bread you make. This seems too good to be true. It feels like an “I Love Lucy” episode.

You can make soup, bread, pasta, rice, yogurt, butter, gelato, sorbet, meatballs, custards, sauces, baby foods, soaps, lotions, cheese (think mozzarella, mascarpone), sauces, juice, and condiments. You can even make play dough to keep the kids busy while you cook, chop, crush, emulsify, whip, mix, steam, blend, knead, grind, simmer and grates, [and practically] cleans itself.

It takes the place of an oven, ice cream maker, crock pot and the various pots and pans. It saves space too. Maybe I don’t need a bigger kitchen … I just need a Bimby.

Some of the students I spent time with took a cooking class with the Bimby. Some of the faculty and staff have a Bimby and they squeal with delight over what it can do. They all described it like a magician’s hat – you throw in all the ingredients and you pull out bread.

The cost? Think new oven. It costs nearly 1,000 euros. Don’t bother calculating the exchange rate; it’s not sold in the U.S. yet. It’s not available online either.

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