The Task: Get rid of the microwave.
The Why: Why-oh-why would anyone in their right mind (that's debatable) get rid of their microwave? We have a number of reasons!
- We rarely use it. With the exception of frozen veggies (which I've always cooked on the stove anyways), I can count on my fingers the number of times we've bought something with "microwave directions" printed on the package. I want to get away from the notion that we have to have something just because everybody else seems to. We don't.
- I read once that you will use more energy in the life of your microwave powering the clock than actually heating things. It doesn't really make sense to us to have an appliance that is sucking energy in standby mode for 23 hours and 58 minutes every day. Especially since our kitchen doesn't need another clock.
- There are some serious reasons to be concerned about the health consequences of using a microwave oven. My friend Beth has a post on her blog listing a bunch of articles that swayed her, and eventually our, opinion of microwave ovens.
- And finally, food is not supposed to be fast. Part of simplifying for us is to see food for what it is and appreciate it in it's natural forms and to take the time to prepare it correctly and healthfully. The microwave oven just doesn't seem to mesh with our goals anymore.
Here are some of the things we formerly used our microwave for and how we are getting by without one:
- Melting butter or chocolate for a recipe: We will often use a small pot for this instead, and it isn't difficult or time consuming. My oven is electric and has a heat vent under one of the back burners, so if I have the oven on for another reason I can melt or soften butter in a bowl placed on that back burner without using any extra electricity at all!
- Reheating coffee: Reheated coffee really isn't stellar anyways. I'm trying to just drink my coffee while it's still hot, which with 5 kids demanding my attention isn't always successful. Sometimes, if our french press still has quite a bit of cooled coffee in it we will put it in a pitcher in the fridge and later make iced coffee with it. Yumm!
- Making microwave s'mores when nobody is looking: Don't judge me, I know you've done this too! But I've concluded that the inability to do this is probably a good development for my overall health.
- Heating leftovers: For things like soups I've discovered that it is actually much faster to reheat it in a pot than the microwave. Thicker things like casseroles I heat up in the oven, often alongside whatever I am making to accompany the left overs.
The Verdict: In retrospect, I'm not certain that the microwave was ever actually adding any convenience to our lives at all. And I really, really like the look of my kitchen without one!