We've got a new addition to our household - it was given to us, or otherwise we would still be in the minority of American households without one. Its been over 4 years since we've had one of these machines, and I haven't really missed it. In fact, I've enjoyed smugly saying, "we don't have a microwave..." and watching the reaction. My friend Lora said, "how do you LIIIIIIIIIVE?!" My mom just shakes her head.
As it turns out, it was donated at an opportune time - I've burnt up three saucepans beyond serviceable use in the past four months and I'd begun to dig into our camping supplies for stove top cooking appliances. I haven't planned ahead enough to stockpile saucepans, so my cooking resources were limited to the crock pot, cast iron skillet and toaster.
Although my dad informs me that an electric stove uses more energy than a microwave, heating up milk for bedtime drinks and cooking macaroni and cheese on the range top wasn't too much of an inconvenience. I timed it, of course, and it only takes about 25% more time to heat things up on the stove top than in the mike, but then there is the extra pot to wash. Stove top cooking lends itself to a bit of patience, too, in that it is a wholly interactive experience. Witness my failure to "interact" with the cooking process by the blackened bottoms of my cookware....
Without a microwave, we're excluded from a surprising amount of convenience foods at Wal-Mart - foods that are high in fat, calories and added salt, low in fiber, freshness and health. I use my teapot more to heat water for hot tea, hot chocolate and cream of wheat. The whistle is satisfying and familiar. But with a microwave comes ease in steaming vegetables, microwave popcorn and fewer dishes to wash.....(because you know if we didn't have a microwave oven, we certainly don't have a dishwasher!)
There was no real reason for not having a microwave oven in the first place. We had one at our former house and used it regularly for defrosting and reheating. I've never been one to cook a roast or a chicken in them. When we moved here, we just never got around to getting one because there didn't seem to be a place for the bulky, cumbersome machines that we thought we needed. This one is small - it probably is not too much taller than a soda can inside.
The girls are, for some reason, pretty excited about it. It doesn't have a rotating glass inside or anything, but they are fascinated that it can cook without really getting "hot." I've explained "hot spots" and "uneven heating," and hopefully it will be an easy lesson for them.
Anyways, I just thought I'd share with you why I'm not looking so smug these days....