Thursday, May 19, 2011

Why I don't own a microwave...

When friends walk into my kitchen for the first time they usually take a look around and say, "Oh, you don't have a microwave?", "Don't you want one?", "How do you survive?"

Well, people have lived for thousands of years without one and have survived just fine.  And, no, I don't want one.  The funny thing is that all the microwaves that we have owned over the years were given to us by friends who saw that we didn't have one, felt sorry for us, and showed up with one at our doorstep.

As a child of the 80's, microwaves were just a normal part of life.  My grandparents lived with us and had their own kitchenette in their side of the house, so we actually had 2 of them.

So what has caused my micro-rebellion?

It first started during my pregnancies.  I found that I would push the start button and run for cover.  I felt that somehow if I stood too close to it I would hard-boil my baby.  Of course, I haven't found any scientific research to back that up (yet).

Then I thought about quality.  Has anyone ever really had a wonderful and memorable meal from a microwave?  No.  It's usually half-frozen, half-hot-as-lava.  Or, if you do get it cooked through it has turned to rubber.  What are we sacrificing for the sake of convenience?

And...it takes up space.  We didn't have one in our first apartment because there just wasn't any room.  Our next rental house came with one, but it took up half the counter space.  We had the option to hang one over our stove top in this kitchen, but then that just goes back to my fears that I will be microwaving my brain if I stand too close.  Plus, I would much rather look at something beautiful and inspiring while I cook.

"But it makes life so much easier!"  Does it really?  I have found that I can cook just about everything just as easily with my oven or stove top.  I want to simplify my life and no microwave means one less thing to clean.  there have been very few times where I have missed having one.  Like reheating my coffee, since it seems like I never get to sit still long enough to finish it before it's cold.

But I can live with that.

What is so wrong with our culture that we are afraid to slow down?  It used to be that if you had a question you had to drive to the library, dig through the card catalog, throw open the encyclopedia and search for the answer.  Now we just google it on our smart phones. 

I'm not saying that all our modern conveniences are wrong, but what are we missing because we are in such a hurry?

I could feed my family microwaved TV dinners every night and they would still be fed, but I would miss the process.  Cooking is an experience.  The aromas and sounds, all the colors and flavors...the chopping and stirring, the patience and anticipation.  The memories.  It's all part of the experience.  I'm nourishing my family and throwing in a little love into every dish.  Now doesn't that sound more appetizing?

10 comments:

  1. Yeah! I've "met" someone else who doesn't use a microwave! We have a built-in microwave, which we bought with our home. It gets used as either a storage space for my kitchen knives, which I want to keep out of reach of my littles. People always seem so dumbfounded when they open my microwave to use it for some reason and are met with Cuisinart knives. Or people will say, "Why don't you just heat up those green beans in the microwave?" Obviously, if I wanted to do so, I would. My answer is always simple and honest: I feel uncertain of the safety of microwaves and find it just as easy to heat my beans in a pan on the stove.

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  2. Found you at Raising Homemakers. Inspiring! We do have a microwave, it was given to us when we got married, but I've promised myself that if/when it dies we aren't getting another one. It started during pregnancy for me too... I would turn on the microwave and then run out of the room! I also try to NEVER use it for cooking, only for reheating leftovers for lunch the next day. And it really does change the chemical structure of your food, killing a lot of nutrients. Good for you!

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  3. LOL! Thanks ladies! Good to know I'm not alone in my anti-microwave mission. :)

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  4. we haven't had one for about 6 yrs.I don't even think about it now. They are sooo bad for you, they actually change the molecular structure of your food to the point that your body doesn't recognize it as food! no thanks...

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  5. I only use my microwave for reheating tea and the odd leftover. I want to get rid of it but my husband thinks we need it.

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  6. Wow. I have actually been thinking about getting rid of mine, but just haven't done it. I think this post may have just pushed me into taking action! I live in a tiny studio apartment & have just been frustrated with the amount of space it eats up. I really don't eat anything I can't make in the oven or on the stove...

    Thanks for the motivation! :)

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  7. i took your button! now to figure out how to make my own!

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  8. How about running really hot tap water (or boiling some, if you're that invested) in a bowl and letting your cup of coffee sit in it for a little while? We still have a microwave, still use it lots (fast chicken nuggets are a must-have for us at the moment), but I'd be interested in experimenting with how much less I *could* use it. But warm coffee....yes, indeed.

    (Hehe, clearly I'm on a comment binge on your blog this morning. I'm enjoying spending my coffee-time with you!)

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  9. Carrie, I've loved all the comments! Thanks for having coffee with me! :)

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  10. So funny-our first apartment we had a small refrigerator, a microwave, and a hot plate. I made some awesome Delish 3 course meals-although I am sick so I shouldn't say anything! :)

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