Ode To My Microwave

Our microwave died a spectacular, flaming death yesterday. It spontaneously came on by itself – SPOOKY – and then refused to be turned off. I like to think it was making its own Stephen Harper protest – FIGHT THE MAN, microwave! Alas, I do care about not burning the house to ashes so we had to throw the breaker and shut that thing down.

I wouldn’t have said that having a microwave was so critical to my kitchen experience. This winter when Andrea was hosting the Shopping Embargo, Laura at The Mindful Merchant lost her dishwasher and decided to just suck it up and wash by hand until the embargo was over. So I thought maybe we should just see how it goes for a while with no microwave. Live old school! Just like the Ingalls did!

Plus, we are a little low on disposable income at the moment. Did you know that new houses are programmed to begin a self-destruct sequence when they hit six years old? Ours is just over that and it seems every time I turn around, something is breaking or falling off or turning to dust. Light switches no longer snap, doorknobs won’t turn, blinds have lost their ability to open and close. Paint is peeling, the driveway is sinking, the furnace is angry at us for some reason it won’t say, like, this is not GOSSIP GIRL, furnace, spit it out.

So this microwave thing is one pretty giant straw on that camel’s back.

But this morning, oh man, my kitchen mojo was off in Siberia. I keep a huge stash of muffins, cookies, and biscuits in the freezer for the kids’ breakfasts and it was all off limits – no one wanted cold, hard grains this morning. I couldn’t heat the leftovers from dinner and throw them in a thermos, as is my usual lunch-making plan, so instead I had to pull out pans and use the oven to heat things up. I had to get out a pot to warm up the kids’ milk – LIKE A HEATHEN.

I have to say, when you have a sink full of dirty pots and pans at 7 in the morning, it does not bode well for the rest of the day.

I didn’t realize before today how much of my morning routine is built on muscle memory. Apparently, I can pretty much go in the kitchen and be mostly asleep, and yet still make breakfasts and lunches on automatic mode. When you take away one piece of the process, everything goes to pot. I felt awkward and cumbersome, my little morning dance struggling to fit to a new song.

I’m sure I could get used to it, learn to make it work. But it would be a lot of effort to retrain. And I’d have to do all that retraining with no breakfast in my belly, because my robot-loaded daily breakfast involves thawing frozen blueberries in the microwave for my bran flakes, which is now off the table. Think of the poor, bare naked bran flakes! It’s so sad.

I’m guessing my microwave-free lifestyle isn’t going to last too long.

12 thoughts on “Ode To My Microwave

  1. I’m totally one of those morning-on-autopilot sort of people. I think I’d have a difficult time giving up any of our kitchen appliances for too long a time.

    I remember after Hana was born I was in a mom & baby group and one of the mom’s had us all over to her house for a visit. When we got there, another mom asked if she could pop something she’d brought for her child into the microwave to warm for a second, and the hosting mom replied that she didn’t have a microwave. The rest of us just could not fathom how she managed without one–especially at that stage of our lives, when we never managed to eat supper or drink coffee when it was still hot. Without my microwave I would’ve been stuck eating my dinner cold almost every night. I don’t want to feel so dependent on modern conveniences, yet I am.

  2. Don’t microwaves cost, like, ten bucks now? 🙂 We’re still using my husband’s microwave from grad school, which sometimes shuts down after making soup and needs a little break before firing up again, so it should probably be replaced too. I have frozen blueberries in my yogurt every morning, but I just throw them in frozen and leave them for a couple of minutes. Can’t help you with the rock-hard muffins though.

  3. I still have my old microwave that I got as a Christmas present in 1998. I sure hope it doesn’t spontaneously start up like yours…creeeeepy!

  4. Good thing you were home when the microwave went all poltergeist. No micro? You can do it Lynn!!! 🙂 Just think – what would Ma Ingalls have done in your situation? Well…come to think of it…she probably would have gone out and bought a microwave if she could, so she could focus more on her farm chores, raising her family and all. Best of luck. I feel your pain.

  5. My first thought was, ‘Brilliant! She flipped the breaker!’ I would have stared at the thing in panic for twenty minutes trying to figure out how to get behind the oven’s built in self to turn it off. Now I know. But yeah, I do think they cost like $10, and you NEED one and um, it’s Mother’s Day….

  6. We don’t have a microwave, and while I miss microwave popcorn, I really don’t mind it. We have a toaster oven and use the stove to heat things up. But don’t even joke about not having a dishwasher. That would break me.

  7. Once you have something, it is hard to imagine life without it. I would struggle with not being able to quickly reheat leftovers and coffee cups that have stood waiting for too long. I say go shopping and soon 🙂

  8. I know people who manage quite well heating food like heathens, but I am firmly placed in the pro-microwaving camp and can no longer function without one. That’s how I heat the foam for my coffee in the morning!

    If I was ever lost in the woods – or stranded in a faraway cabin in a pioneer village somewhere – it’s clear to me that I would die a slow and horrible death.

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