It was somewhere in the Reagan era that my mother brought home our first microwave. Roughly the size of a tractor tire, it hummed ominously as it cooked our food. We were on the cusp of a culinary future!
My mother bought into the microwave craze with typical gusto. She owned several Sunset cookbooks which detailed how to make pot roast, brownies, and yes, even lobster, microwave-style. The fact that it was rubbery, gummy, and the color of a used band aid was besides the point.
True story...I was twenty five before I learned that most people did not make bacon in the microwave.
Eventually, the microwave settled into its true purpose of reheating leftovers and making carcinogenic bags of popcorn. Like most Americans, it was a part of my kitchen landscape, along with Tupperware and Mr. Coffee.
I acquired my first microwave when I went to college. It heated up popcorn and pizza. My brother used it next for his own college experience.
I strongly suggest that he attempted to use it as a bong. Allegedly.
I regained custody of the microwave when I moved into my first apartment, and kept it until two years ago. Sick of its ugly white exterior and the missing popcorn sensor button, Paul and I took the leap and bought this wall-mounted wonder:
It also is a convection oven, although we have not used that feature once.
On Sunday morning, I was warming up leftover chicken burritos for breakfast, as one does. No matter how long they rotated around, they were bone cold.
Alas. The microwave was dead. It now serves as the largest kitchen timer ever.
To provide a bit of context, Paul and I are both of Lutheran Germanic/Nordic stock. This means that we are stoic, resourceful, and really, really cheap. After a quick review of the fiances, we determined that we would not repair or replace the microwave until the new year, so we would have more money for Christmas.
I am now on day one of Microwave Free Living. I did not know, until yesterday, that this is a movement. There are websites and support groups, all of which I am too lazy to link at the moment, who decry the evil of said machines. They have helpful tips and ideas, which basically boil down to....cook your food.
Yeah, it sucks as much as you can imagine.
For a minute, I played with the idea of living more purposefully, of not rushing for the sake of rushing, and for being more thoughtful about the foods I eat. This lasted until my kids wanted Easy Mac. IMMEDIATELY.
Luckily, though, I have my toaster oven to heat up leftovers.
You may notice that our toaster oven has no handle. That's okay. Paul and I figured that we could just pry it open with a spatula. After all, it's a waste of money to buy a new one when this one is perfectly functional---if you don't mind the occasional burned digit.
So, I ask you--How long do you think I am going to maintain this new lifestyle? Should I set up a PayPal account to get the microwave replaced? Or, should I just go full force and set up a fire pit in the backyard?
Perhaps I shall make fire-roasted bacon.