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Recently, my kids received a small glimpse of what it would be like to live back in the dark ages – more specifically, the ‘70’s: “Pre-microwave days“.
Three weeks ago our microwave blew up. My girls and I were cooking bacon when suddenly, light saber-like sounds emitted from said source. I glanced over and, to my horror, large sparks of cross-fire accompanied the saber sounds. I glanced at Kylie ( her eyes bulging), ducked across the kitchen just underneath the microwave (in case the sparks somehow broke loose upon my head), and pushed “stop”. All saber sparks ceased, I opened the door – bacon was ready. Even if it wasn’t, I declared we were NOT using that microwave until dad came home.
Upon Jim’s return a few days later, he became suspicious of my nuking tactics. “You didn’t have a fork in there, did you?” DUUUUUHHHHHH. I’ve only operated my own microwave for 25 years. He decided to pop some corn just to be sure. Two seconds in and the saber sparks were back. He became a believer.
We went to purchase a new microwave. I told the story, the salesmen flocking to hear of the great light display. “Did you have any metal in there?“ (MEN!!! Do I really look like I’m that stupid?!? Come ON!!!) We ordered a new one – which is another story altogether…
Meanwhile, the fam suffered for two weeks while we waited for it to be shipped. “How are we going to warm up leftovers for lunch?” My daughter whined. “Yeah, mom, we’ll have to eat our stuff cold!” pitched in another. With a sweeping gesture, I directed them to the white elephant in the middle of the kitchen. “See this?” I began, pointing towards the stove, “This is how we used to warm our leftovers in the olden days – the original microwave – only slower.” The room erupted in laughter at the irony. It was quite an adjustment – waiting 30 minutes for one’s food to warm compared to – oh, say a minute and thirty seconds. This required scheduling and forward thinking -it was not for the faint of heart.
One of my girls (we’ll call her #1) decided to fix microwave pizza bread one day. She was not patient enough to wait the allotted 15 minutes oven cooking time (plus preheating) so she decided to go for the toaster oven. Only she forgot one minor detail…the cardboard wrapper intended for microwave purposes needed removing. I guess it was one of those brain sucking homeschool days…
Ten minutes later, her sister (#2) detects a strange burning smell and runs into the kitchen, where #1 is exclaiming how LONG it is taking this stupid toaster oven and something is not right. #2 screams and pulls the browned (previously white) cardboard container from the toaster oven.
Mom steps out of the shower and immediately smells smoke. “SOMETHING’S BURNING…” before I can finish my sentence, #2 explains the whole comical situation. By this time, #1 pops the pizza bread back in the toaster oven (minus the cardboard)…where it proceeds to burn the outside of the bread. She takes it out and eats it (grumbling and complaining), icy cold innards and all.
In the midst of a cookie baking flurry one day, Kylie realized the recipe called for softened butter. She ran down to my mom’s to use her microwave and returned, lamenting the fact that mamaw’s microwave was more powerful than ours, the butter now completely melted. We considered sticking it in the freezer for a bit to firm it up – my eldest declaring once again her inventive idea: a “fridge-awave”- to cool things quickly (she‘s hoping to make millions someday). Amazing all the crazy episodes that stemmed from our temporary “loss”. The cookies came out just fine, albeit a little flatter than usual.
The day we got that new microwave it was employed as soon as the plug hit the outlet. We were popping our beloved corn and warming leftovers like we‘d just returned from the land of bell bottoms and afros. The whole family was rejoicing over one stupid microwave.
Twenty-first century hardships are tough to endure, but we made it through and lived to tell the story (thankfully, without catching the house on fire)! And as a side note: Kylie declared “lightening bacon” to be quite tasty!