Life without a Microwave: a look back at the transition

“Wait! You don’t have a microwave?”

If I only had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that explanation in my kitchen. It seems the concept is shocking to people. It’s not that I’m anti-microwave or that I believe that I will be radiated by them. The predicament came about almost by accident. When Brian and I got out of college and moved in together finally after 5 months of being married but living separately we ended up with two microwaves. Identical cheap models both originally purchased from Wal-Mart during the “back to school” sale several years before. We promptly did what any self respecting pair of college graduates would do when faced with duplicate stuff. We inspected both and kept the cleanest of the two (mine by the way) and donated the other to Goodwill. We moved out to California three weeks after consolidating our stuff. We found an apartment that came with a fancy new microwave built in and once again had two microwaves. The duplicate was sold at a multifamily yard sale. When we moved up to Northern California, we ended up in a rental house without any microwave. The plan was we would replace it shortly. The first couple of weeks were tough. You don’t realize how much you use one until you are forced to live without it. I was constantly cursing the empty counter every time I wanted popcorn or we had leftovers. After a while though, I didn’t miss it anymore. We ate less frozen meals and cooked more often using fresh food. We learned how to make popcorn on the stovetop which was less junky for us than the fake butter coated micro wave kind. I began to enjoy heating soup up on the stove (no more super hot bowls and only lukewarm soup!). Even leftovers work well in the oven on oven-safe dinnerware. Overall, we are forced to plan our meals and actually cook, not just thaw and reheat. This leads to a healthier diet overall. I would challenge people to try it. Just move it off the counter. You’ll appreciate the counter space. Once you get through the initial withdrawal, you might just enjoy it.

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