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?