Saturday, August 6, 2011

On Microwaves; Or, Microwaved Food Tastes Like Hot Garbage

As I waited for my mug of hot water to heat up in the microwave, I felt a wave of shame brought on by conscious laziness. Let me explain.
When one wants hot water for tea, one usually uses a teapot. After the teapot screeches its announcement that the water's done, you remove it from the hot burner and allow it to cool a little. Scorching hot water burns tea leaves, which is a huge reason why I hate how Starbucks makes tea. Totally wrong! Anyway, you pour the hot water into a clean mug and steep the tea bag or tea leaves for a few minutes, depending on your preferred potency of tea. Sip and enjoy with your favorite Eliza Haywood novel.
So here I am, heating up tea in the microwave. But my toddler's napping and I don't want to make noise by dragging the teapot out of the depths of the upper (key: upper) cabinet in the kitchen. That means I'd have to do all that while balancing unsteadily on a rickety stool with the loose screw that I've been meaning to tighten.
Here I am, sipping tea that feels like radioactive goblins brewed it from a moldy pit in a hole in a tree stump. There's just something that happens to food when it's microwaved. I'm not sure if there's any scientific basis for this claim, or if it's truly some mental neurosis of mine, but food tastes different after its carousel ride around that plastic box. Softening butter in microwaves is impossible. It either entirely melts or the middle section is completely frozen while the edges have drooped into an oily mass. Defrosting food in the microwave is unforgivable - unless half cooked-half frozen meat is the desired effect. "Cooking" vegetables in the microwave is just gross. I will reheat leftovers from time to time, but I do it with begrudged resignation.
Obviously, I'm a microwavist. There is not one thing in my pantry that requires microwaving as the primary cooking process. Absolutely not. Wait - that's a lie, I have a box of popcorn somewhere.
Don't you dare cook that meatloaf in that! 

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