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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Journey of a Microwave-less Kitchen

April and the microwave died again… I am thinking that the universe doesn’t want me to use a microwave anymore.

In the last year we have burned through three microwaves. They weren’t new and that was the problem I am sure. When our old microwave bit the dust I found one on freecycle that was too small so I passed it on to another person and took another rejected old (but working at the time) microwave. Since that one has also gone to a better place I have been considering what life would be like without a microwave.

Since reading up on the food effects of cooking in themicrowave not to mention the uncertainties I have with my microwaveableplastic-ware, I have resorted to using my microwave only when necessary. I try to heat up leftovers in my oven or on the stove. I boil hot dogs rather than nuke them. I have gone from a 98% microwave cooking machine to an almost-everything-from-scratch and 8% microwaver in the last year. Baby steps! That is quite an accomplishment for me.

I consider my microwaves demise an interesting challenge for myself. Can I live without it? Look at all the counter space I gained! Instead of taking up my prep space to make bread, my bread maker fits great there when I need it and it is conveniently next to a plug.

In 2 weeks, my only problem: butter. How was I going to get melted butter without a microwave?! I didn’t really feel like cleaning a pan, so I stuck it in my toaster oven (I love this appliance!). This worked out fine. It took a little longer than a microwave and the jar got super hot, but it did the job just fine.

Can a babysitter handle it? I must admit I was a little worried since everyone I know has one. We left a babysitter one night with a box of Mac & cheese and hot dogs to make. Luckily our nephew didn’t have any problem using the stovetop since he prefers hot dogs boiled anyway.

4 weeks after it's death - Our next challenge came with reheating some chicken and spaghetti when my husband came home late. He was hungry and realized (after the food was on a plate) that there was no microwave. I thought it was a little funny – but he did not. My quick fix: heat up the toaster oven the bake setting and put the contents of his plate into a pie tin. Nice! The pie tin fit in there perfectly and it only took about 10 minutes to heat it up. I will have to get some more pie tins – preferably ceramic ones.

My husband isn’t too keen on the idea of living without a microwave so I will probably have to replace it someday. Too bad…

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