People freak out when they go in my kitchen and realize I don't have a microwave. Nobody can understand how it is possible to reheat leftovers in the oven, or melt butter on the actual stove. I don't like microwaves. I think they are bad.
My parents, on the other hand, are masters of microwave cooking.
They got their first one in the 70's, before anybody else on the block. In fact, they still had the same one until my mom remodeled the kitchen last year. It was big and heavy and harvest gold and had a dial on it that you had to crank around. It occupied an honored spot on the counter near the built-in microwave that actually came with our tract home. It was better. The other microwave served as a place to keep things like muffins and coffee cake warm on Sunday mornings, and sometimes as a place to forget about muffins and coffee cake until they became so stale they were like petrified baked goods fossils.
When my parents got their microwave, my great grandmother kept sticking cups of water in, over and over, amazed at the magic device that boiled water instantly without actually getting hot. My dad became master of the microwaved corn dog, and demonstrated to anyone who would pay attention. My mom, however, merely realized her chance at becoming a modern mom, liberated from the drudgery of conventional cooking. Our whole family could be fed in mere minutes, using no more than some glass dishes and a good portion of plastic wrap!
We used to eat microwave meatloaf at least once a week. Recipe: put one pound of ground beef in glass dish. Microwave for 15 minutes. Cover gray mass in ketchup, serve with frozen vegetables. I was 15 before I realized vegetables are not supposed to be identically-sized mushy cubes (with peas, of course, for variety). Breakfast was a concoction my dad optimistically dubbed "Super Eggs". Take one coffee mug. Break one egg into mug, add margarine, salt, and pepper, scramble and microwave. Yields one coffee mug sized column of yellow substance. Feed to kids. The sound of Super Eggs sliding, fully formed, out of a coffee mug, is etched permanently into my memory. My brother still refuses to eat eggs in any form.
Usually, though, we'd get a Swanson's dinner, or maybe a Lean Cuisine lasagna, which when microwaved formed a hard, bubbly cheeselike substance around the edges which could probably cut glass. If we were really lucky, though, we'd get one of those microwave pizzas that came with a "crisping sheet", a strange and mysterious substance that looked suspiciously like the silvery stuff on scratch-off lottery tickets. On days that our neighbor, who claimed to be a nutritionist, took us to school with her kids, we got microwaved Eggo waffles, floating limply in a sea of syrup. I don't know what happened to their toaster.
In fact, I ate so many microwaved meals as a child that now, when I go to the supermarket, I can't even venture past the ice cream in the frozen foods aisle. I get post traumatic stress flashbacks.
People still wonder why I don't have a microwave.
Two words: Salisbury steak.Posted by kia at July 30, 2002 10:59 AM