Monday, June 10, 2013


Talking about cooking and eating reminds me that there was never a microwave in my house before I moved here. I don’t even remember when I bought one, but I know I’ve had several. Today I have two?
A microwave oven passes (non-ionizing) microwave radiation (at a frequency near 2.45 GHz) through food, causing dielectric heating primarily by absorption of the energy in water. Microwave ovens became common kitchen appliances in Western countries in the late 1970s, following development of inexpensive cavity magnetrons. Water in the liquid state possesses many molecular interactions that broaden the absorption peak. In the vapor phase, isolated water molecules absorb at around 22 GHz, almost ten times the frequency of the microwave oven.
Growing up with had a regular gas oven then a toaster oven. Our family probably burnt up three or four toaster ovens and I’m still not sure how we didn’t burn the house down. Even though someone was always in the kitchen, no one ever paid much attention at that time to cooking.
So when I moved into this house there was a gas stove. I bought some pots and pans at the local home store and cooked for one. Much like my cooking in college, it was soups or sandwiches and the occasional fancy dinner for one. I probably spent as much time at my mother’s eating than I did cooking. I also bought fast food a lot.
When she moved in, the kitchen started to change. The gas stove was replaced with an electric stove; the small refrigerator was replaced with a side by door gigantic refrigerator with icemaker that was never hooked up. The sink was moved to the other side of the room and all the cabinets were removed. I think this was the time I bought my first microwave.
At the time there just wasn’t that much to microwave. Boiling water as I recall was faster. Popcorn was one of the first “microwave” products. The microwave was mostly used to reheat leftovers.
Today everything can be micro waved. Soup, canned veggies, steamed veggies, meats, potatoes, pizza…. The list goes on and on.
There are tons of other appliances that can fill your kitchen but the microwave changed how we thought about cooking. Everything had to be made fast. It didn’t matter if we lost some of that “home cooking” taste. With schedules constantly changing we did not hear the bell that called us to dinner.
So it is hard to follow a recipe of cutting ingredients, throwing away the waste, putting pieces and parts into pans and pots with constant stirring and flipping and seasoning and tasting, then placing everything on a plate for consuming. Then there is the cleaning up.
Or just open the box or package and pop it into the microwave.

1 comment:

TripleG said...

Not hot water for tea or coffee, though. The microwave does a bad job of that.