Slow food – High tech entertaining

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Hands Raising Glasses for Toast

Entertaining accentuated with automation

You’ve no doubt have heard of slow food, the concept of entertaining mates, spending the afternoon cooking together, the actual meal just a part of the fun of the whole process.

We recently had a few friends around with their shiny new pasta machine, you know the ones, looking like a stainless steel office shredder on legs, crank handle sticking out one side…

There is basically no point in my setting foot in the kitchen, I actually have burnt water, thank god for Alex, but I make myself at least look useful by keeping the glasses filled and seeing to “the mood”, lights at the right level, good songs playing in the background, hooking out recipes or funny videos of drunk squirrels on the iPad, now we are back in familiar territory…

The music arrives courtesy of iTunes which I control from my iPhone or iPad whichever is closer.  One of the things apple has always done really badly and have thankfully just corrected in IOS5 is the ability to create playlists on the iPhone, passing your phone around and having your friends call up that long forgotten anthem from 7th form is a treat in itself and now you can save the playlist to use next time they are around.  Making playlists has stopped being a chore you “must get around to one day” (and never do) and started being the fun it always should have been.

Moving on, we have an RGB led strip behind the splash-back, we can set the colour to anything we like – our friends fight good naturedly at the touchscreen on the wall over pony pink or lurid green, 56 million colours and this is what it has come to…

As the households’ resident anal retentive – I keep our family photos organised by year then event, so I throw folders up on the TV of things we have done with the friends present, a constant source of hilarity and enough of a reason in itself to invest in a media PC (or apple TV if you are that way inclined).

Several hours in, it’s time to move from the kitchen to the table, I dim the kitchen lights down and switch from 90’s retro revival to the jazz channel on sky – I’m not a huge jazz fan by any means but there is something magical about entertaining good friends, warm close lighting and sky channel 404.

I have to point out that all these little atmosphere adjustments are subtle and done without getting up and breaking the conversation, home automation today is at the point where you can control it from just about anything, If I really want I can pop the vehicle gate from my kindle.

So, dessert is done and we are onto the obscure liqueurs from Purangi Estate that have been haunting the back of the booze cupboard since last summer and it’s time for a toast, iPhone surreptitiously under the table I drop the music a little and haul out my new favourite toast, “to nights we’ll never remember with friends we’ll never forget”

Go well.

Words by Brendon Reid

Automation Associates – specialists in entertaining, home automation, home theatre, lighting control, security and safety, multi-room audio, access control systems, TV displays and projectors, phone, data and electrical.