Friday, February 15, 2013

Where's our microwave? ...In the attic...

I have come to not notice my home's lack of a microwave. It's not until we have a guest and I spot them surveying the kitchen in confusion.

"What do you need?"
I expect an answer like: "A fork." "A cup." "The salt."
Instead I get: "Where's your microwave?"

That's when I remember we're weird and it's in the attic because we put it there shortly after moving in.

I actually had gone over a year without a microwave prior to my husband and I living together. When Jo and I lived together in Louisville neither of us brought a microwave. She said she had one at her parent's house (or had access to one) and would bring it, but it was never a big deal to the two of us. Our apartment kitchen was small with limited counter space so eventually we got used to not having one and were fine without it. We ate things cold or heated them by stove top or oven. Both of us were gone often on weekends due to our significant others living over an hour away so besides dinner on week nights, we didn't eat at the apartment a ton anyway.

When Mingus and I moved to The Loft in The Valley, family had furnished the living space with lots of furniture and kitchen supplies. We packed much of it away, especially after the wedding, since we had our own furnishings.

Ironically, there were actually two microwaves when me moved in. We put one away immediately for obvious reasons. The other we sent to the attic a month or two later after beginning to learn more about the negatives of a microwave.

I do still use a microwave from time to time, like at my work office. I don't hate them, but I figure the more I can cut the use of it on my food out of my life, the better. 

In addition to the health benefits, I find not having a microwave is just a healthy habit in general. We are such a rushed society. The reality is, I can heat soup or water pretty quickly on the stove top. Maybe not in 60 seconds, but in a matter of minutes. We also have a toaster oven when we want to reheat leftovers. Again it takes a little longer than a microwave, but it can still be done in a matter of minutes.

One of the harder things to get used to was thawing foods--meats to be specific. As mentioned in my last post, we've cut out most freezer meals anyway, so quick lunches or dinner done in the microwave aren't common. However, if it's Tuesday afternoon and I realize we have no thawed meat, I better start deciding what we'll fix for dinner. If I need to thaw something, I better get it out now and possibly set it in a warm spot to speed along the process. 

Again, though, having done it for nearly two years now, it's just the way it is and no longer an inconvenience. It actually helps with our eating and cooking style to have another reason to plan ahead. Since we don't fix pre-prepared meals, it's good to decide the day before or early in the day what we'll have for dinner. Not only do I then make sure we have things thawed as needed, but that the pantry holds whatever else we need. If it doesn't it gives me a chance to have Mingus stop on his way home from work.

Here's a blog post that goes a little more in depth on their decision to do without a microwave and how they adjusted by replacing the toaster and the microwave with a toaster oven. As this contributing writer to The Humbled Homemaker says:
"Sometimes convenience leads to bad habits and bad food."


Peaceful Reader said...

I can easily live without a microwave but my husband would be lost. Even though we make meals from scratch he loves to heat things up in the microwave. The home we live in now has one built in so it's not taking up counter space but when it dies I don't plan to replace it. Hopefully he'll learn to live without it. I'll have him read your article!

RitaPeat said...

I bet you can break him of it :) It's true that some things just aren't as good cold...I can't argue that. My parents just keep theirs in a back room where it's not as accessible to use but there if they really need it.