Tuesday, January 16, 2007

just nuke it!

photo: smecc.org

beep, beep, beep. dinner's ready!

i can't begin to say how much i love and appreciate my microwave oven.

it's one of those things that never lets me down. it rewarms my coffee in an instant, melts butter and chocolate for me, reheats my meals and performs other non foodie things like melting wax out of candle stick holders.

i have certain friends though who won't touch food that is microwaved because they have beliefs that it makes things taste "funny" or it degrades food in harmful ways. i don't know whether or not i believe it. i don't know if i even really care. i do know i can't live without this convenience in my life.

two cool [short] articles are the history of the microwave oven and how microwave cooking actually works. did you know microwaves are actually radio waves and it was invented by chance in 1946?!? not so new, after all. check out the twisted history of the microwave, too.

a funny story: i know someone who went out and bought a big *ssed, state of the art, sexy stainless steel microwave. big cash item. guess what she uses it for? to boil water for instant coffee! gasp. better yet — after she found out the water could potentially [combust] explode and cause third degree burns [phenomenon called superheating], she doesn't use it anymore. now it's a decoration.

do you use your microwave? do you have one? love them? hate them? boil water in yours?

do tell.

crazy things people do with their microwaves! doing these things are at your own risk [or should i say peril?]. more experiments here and here.


Ostara said...

oooh, I do like my microwave! It's a shiny new one with a turntable and many power levels and sensor cooking and an inverter (which I haven't figured out yet)...Christmas gift. My old microwave worked perfectly well, I thought, but eldest son wouldn't let his children into the kitchen when it was on...he said equipment "that old" was probably slowly cooking all our insides every time I turned it on. (Guess who gave me the new one?)

Melting butter, warming up leftovers, cooking frozen veggies, baked potatos once in a while...but my favourite thing is oatmeal. It turns out so perfectly creamy every time.

The other night I tried concocting microwave scalloped potatos (from scratch) and...what a mess that was. Tasted okay, but I had to clean up the interior three times during the process. Never again!

Thanks for the interesting reading!

burekaboy — said...

hi ostara - thanks for your comment!

i, too, got myself a nice big one which has all the same things you mention. i love it. did i say that already? ooh, i forgot to mention how it defrosts things also!! LOL.

no, no, no!! scalloped potatoes a la microwave can't be compared to oven baked. you need the regular oven to get that crisp and bubbling browned top!! funny you mention it, cause i was thinking of making them the other night. i looked at the container of whipping cream and then at the potatoes and said to myself: how do you say fattening?!? a zillion calories of fat and carbs rolled into one little pyrex!! sigh.

hope you enjoyed the readings. i liked the historical ones. who'd have thought its history went back that far? i guess i just associate it with the 80s? though i do remember my friend's family got a GIGANTIC one when they first hit the market and it cost a true fortune. they were the talk of the street! LOL.

The TriniGourmet said...

cooking in microwaves is th3 evil
reheating and melting and popcorn is cool tho.
we love ours.

burekaboy — said...

sarina - :)) microwaves = REAL hott. lol wonder if paris loves hers, too?

i never "cook" in mine really. if i do, it's very rare. basically, it's a reheating and melting station.

Lisa said...

I use my microwave a lot, for the regular, boring stuff like heating tea and coffee, reheating meals, melting stuff. Probably the only weird thing I do in it is warm up the cats' canned food!

aja said...

Hey BB,
I do the usual defrosting, reheating, boiling etc, but I also steam veggies and use it to heat a pad filled with buckwheat {instead of a hotwater bottle} - works really well and the house smells like hot cereal immediately afterwards - comforting in more ways than one 8^}

ML said...

I love my microwave! It's a great invention!

burekaboy — said...

hi lisa - lol ... never did the catfood thing but i know others who do. cold catfood is prolly nasty, cat-wise, i mean :o

aja - i have one but it's made of rice and it gets wicked hot if i nuke it too long. i can't take the smell though. really reminds of cream of wheat which always made me gag. LOL. at least you have kasha. bet that pad has gotten alot of mileage lately :( with the aches and pains of the flu.

ml - i put it up there with the telephone and computer! :)) it really is a brilliant invention when you think about it. thanks for your comment :]

Ostara said...

You make scalloped potatos with whipping cream? Wow...bet they taste amazing. I've always just used regular milk but now that you mention whipping cream, I'll bet they'd taste delicious made with buttermilk - and yet low fat. I'm going to give it a try this weekend and I'll let you know. (Definitely NOT in the microwave, though!)

burekaboy — said...

ostara - yes, the classic way is to use heavy cream :)) that gives it a very smooth and silky sauce, of course greatly fortified by copious amounts of butter [how do you spell heartattack on a plate?! hehe]. i've never tried it with buttermilk. maybe a mixture of half cream - half buttermilk may make for a better sauce. not sure how the sauce will fare with buttermilk alone (sourness factor there). it could however be very good! as a sidenote, scalloped potatoes sometimes have the chance to curdle which is why i'd be wary of the buttermilk alone thing. i suggest you read this and maybe this or this

in terms of the buttermilk ones, i think adding cheese will help stabalize it (from curdling) but then again, i saw that some of them do use only buttermilk. i will experiment also and see how it goes.

canadian living has a lowfat buttermilk one, if you want to experiment again with the microwave (uses the oven to finish it off) here.

Ostara said...

I'll check those out. Thanks! (Still haven't tried your marble cake...we forgot to buy the cocoa. But it's on the list.)

burekaboy — said...

ostara - looking forward to hearing about your results.

TopChamp said...

I'm not a microwave fan really although I did a chocolate cake once when I was at uni which was amazing. Can't remember how we did it though and can't find the recipe now. It came out with a squidgy chocolate sauce when you tipped it out.

Otherwise it's just for defrosting or heating tortillas.

Ostara said...

Scalloped potato report: Too busy to bother with new recipes, I used my mom's *never-fail* method this weekend and for the first time I can ever remember ... the milk curdled! My theory: it's because in the past I didn't know there was a risk of curdling. Now that I know, the curdle gremlins have been awakened! (Still tasted good, though.) Next time, I'll try the buttermilk version.

burekaboy — said...

ostara - OH NO!! :**(

i can't believe it!!! how weird is that?! i've heard of it happening which is why i mentioned it and in hindsight, shoulda zipped "la bouche". in yiddish, there is an expression *kaynahorah* which is said when embarking on something precarious or giving a compliment (in certain situations where there'd be a chance of the opposite happening); it means, in english, no evil eye/no harm come your way. LOL, i somehow feel at fault for the disaster!!

be damned, evil curdle-gremlins!

actually, it would make for a fun little short story. especially, since it involves some intersting characters and quite the plot and climax.

glad to hear the results were edible, at the very least (resolution?). that is so very odd that a no-fail, trusted (cherished, handed down) recipe flops! there MUST BE something to the idea of the power of suggestion, after all :( hoping the next attempt is more successful.