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Old 04-30-2005, 09:51 PM   #1
 
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Microwave uses

Ok, I'll admit it ... I'm a dinosaur. I don't own a microwave; I will never own a microwave. Now it appears some frozen foods can only be heated in a microwave. When did that happen?

I'm not big on processed foods, but since my dh is out of town a lot I occasionally grab a frozen food product for my dinner. Apparently it's been a while since I've done that because now Lean Cuisine (or at least the LC product I bought) can only be cooked in a microwave. That didn't stop me from taking it out of it's plastic container and putting it in one of my own to cook in the toaster oven, but it will stop me from purchasing the product in the future.

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Old 04-30-2005, 10:21 PM   #2
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It is too bad that you are so dead set against ever owning a microwave. They can be a very valuable tool in the kitchen if used right. There are some people who use it to cook everything and I think that is a bad idea (JMHO), but when used right they can be great. For instance they are excellent for melting chocolate. They are also fantastic for steaming veggies. When used right they are a very valuable tool. Plus you would be able to eat Lean Cuisine and other things like it. I also love my microwave for reheating leftovers.
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Old 04-30-2005, 11:11 PM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
It is too bad that you are so dead set against ever owning a microwave. They can be a very valuable tool in the kitchen if used right. There are some people who use it to cook everything and I think that is a bad idea (JMHO), but when used right they can be great. For instance they are excellent for melting chocolate. They are also fantastic for steaming veggies. When used right they are a very valuable tool. Plus you would be able to eat Lean Cuisine and other things like it. I also love my microwave for reheating leftovers.
It's so easy to melt chocolate over hot water. I steam veggies using a vegetable steamer ... have a couple. And I really don't need all the sodium in Lean Cuisine products. The toaster oven or gas cooktop heat leftovers just as easily. And don't even mention microwave popcorn ... that stuff is nasty!!!
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Old 04-30-2005, 11:20 PM   #4
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Yes it is easy to melt chocolate over hot water, but it is easier and requires less bowls and cookware to do in the microwave, plus the micro does it faster. Same is true for steaming veggies.

I agree that microwave popcorn is nasty. I will not let anyone make that stuff in my house. Regular popcorn made in a microwave however is another story. This is actually my preferred way to make popcorn. Take a brown paper lunch bag and cover the bottom of the bag with regular popcorn kernels. Fold the top of the bag over and secure with 2 staples. microwave on high until the popping slows to a second or two between pops (try it a few times and you will be able to get the timing perfect). You can add flavorings before you start to pop it or after. A lot of times I put a few shakes of Tabasco in before I pop it, or sometime I put in popcorn salt or chilie powder or any number of other things.

As for reheating, it is hard to heat soup or stews in a toaster oven (I am just kidding of course, I saw you also mentioned gas cook tops LOL). With the microwave you can put your cold soup or stew in the bowl you are going to eat out of and two minutes later you have hot food without pots and pans to clean up. Try heating soup for two minutes on the cook top. You will be eating cold soup.
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Old 04-30-2005, 11:40 PM   #5
 
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Well, considering I don't even use a dishwasher, a microwave is gonna be a really hard sell.

I just find it unnecessary. Now, my 88-year-old mother is a different story. She loves zapping stuff. To each his own.

BTW, I can't imagine popcorn in a paper bag tasting as good as popped in peanut oil in a pan. I gave those Whirly-pop poppers as Christmas gifts last year to my 3 BIL/SIL and they were major hits. Never tried one myself, but it's on my "want" list. ;)

Have you ever tried popcorn from Amish County Popcorn? It's become my favorite. http://www.amishcountrypopcorn.com/
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Old 04-30-2005, 11:49 PM   #6
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You can add some peanut oil to the popcorn before you nuke it although I tend to pop it dry (I am lazy that way sometimes). Next time you find yourself with access to a microwave, give my popcorn method a try (actually it is Alton Browns method so I really can't take credit). I think you will be surprised at how good it is.

Yes the microwave can be considered unnecessary just as a dishwasher, food processor, garbage disposal, immersion blender, and many many other kitchen tools could be as well. No one needs any of these things, but when used correctly they can be a big benefit in the kitchen. I am not trying to convert you, just pointing out that the microwave has gotten a bad rap in the past because a lot of people used it incorrectly and had bad results (defrosting frozen meat comes to mind right away), but when used properly can be as valuable as any other kitchen tool.

I have not tried Amish County Popcorn, but will have to give it a shot. I always love to try new things!
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Old 04-30-2005, 11:52 PM   #7
 
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Ok, I don't use a garbage disposal either. Had dh unhook that puppy right off the bat. It all goes in the compost (except for meat and bones). Guess I really am the last of a dying breed. ;)
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Old 05-01-2005, 01:57 AM   #8
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microwaves and i are not friends, but you do kinda need one.
i use mine to re-heat meals, to cook frozen dinners (but yoiu can bake the stouffer's i buy, and i usually bake the macaroni and cheese. stouffers makes lean cuisine. are you sure it was microwave only?)
i prefer stovetop/oven, but hey, sometimes my belly wants food NOW, lol!
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Old 05-01-2005, 05:20 AM   #9
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I use my microwave a lot for reheating, steaming vegetables and dh uses it to heat his coffee instead of keeping the pot on. My dil makes wonderful rice in hers, but I haven't done that. It is good for many other things too, but I don't use it for cooking much. Some veggies I like better cooked on the stove, but agree you can't beat it for reheating. I don't have a garbage disposal but I do have the most wonderful compost pile as a result of composting for years. I even have a wonderful pecan tree about 25 feet tall as a result of my first compost pile. I put everything except meat, bones, fat in my pile. One year we harvested over 40 lbs of sweet potatoes from our compost pile and several years we've had tomato plants, pepper plants, squashes, melons, etc that we have transplanted from the pile. It is always such a nice surprise to see live plants from what we've tossed out. I've also had several types of flowers pop up. I just repot these things and enjoy tomatoes and other stuff. It may be my imagination, but it seems they taste better than others.
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Old 05-01-2005, 08:44 AM   #10
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Well I'll have to try the bag popcorn once. I know the 'back to basics' Whirleygig type popper is the best popcorn we've ever ate. Never tried peanut oil, but I use clarified butter to pop it in. Hubby refers to it as real popcorn as opposed to microwave. I really like frozen foods that can be boiled instead of microwaved. I've even vacuumed some things so I can do it that way. Reheated meat in the microwave is gross, but with frozen veggies it's the only way. I have several steamer inserts, but I never think to use them. Save them for tamales.

Now that I've rambled, I have a couple friends that don't have microwaves!
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