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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hand, medium rare

A while ago, I opened up our little decade-old microwave, put my hand in to take out a cup of hot milk for cocoa, and noticed I was cooking my hand.

The microwave, which should have shut off when I opened the door, was still on even with the door opened.

I shut the door quickly and contemplated my hand. It seemed fine but, ewwwwwwww.

That microwave was discarded, and we talked about getting another, but I wanted to try an experiment: Would I miss having a microwave?

That was at least a year ago, maybe two, and I guess my answer would be: no.

A kettle of water for tea takes just a few more minutes to boil. Same goes for warming milk for hot cocoa, or heating up leftovers. And popcorn is actually a little more fun to make in the hand-cranked popcorn maker I grabbed for under $20.

Sometimes I wish I still had a microwave, but then I think about cooking my hand and that wish goes away.

Can you tell I'm about to embark on a kitchen renovation this spring?

So, as I descend into kitchen-planning madness, what "typical" kitchen appliance or feature could you not live without? For me, it is the garbage disposal, the dishwasher and the trash compactor. And, if you try to take away my coffee maker, I'll bite you around the ankles until you let it go.

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Blogger Michelleybelle said...

Funny, I have never in my life had a garbage disposal, trash compactor, or dishwasher - my parents didn't have them when I was growing up, and I don't have them now. To tell you the truth, nobody in our area (rural Maine) has a garbage disposal or trash compactor. However, I can not imagine life with out a microwave!
(I do secretly dream of having a dishwasher some day!)

7:29 AM  
Blogger Mrs Catch said...

I would have to say a large oven. I bought the best I could afford and just love it. Cooking is just so much easier when everything fits in the oven and cooks evenly.

7:36 AM  
Blogger jenny said...

Definitely the dishwasher.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

No question, dishwasher. Before I had a baby I lived in a house with a dishwasher for years and never used it to wash dishes - it was a great drain for my hand washed dishes so I didn't have to give them counter space. But once I got pregnant, I tried it out and was instantly converted.

I moved into a new place last summer and my microwave was a casualty of the move. I still haven't gotten a new one and for the most part I don't miss it. The only thing I wish I had it for is heating up leftovers. I have an electric kettle that is really just as fast at boiling water as a microwave, and I got a hot air popper – lots more fun! And as you say, heating up milk is really just as easy – or almost – on the stove. But the leftovers… I would like to have one for that.

Oh, and those buckwheat pillow things that you heat up to put on sore muscles. I'd still use a microwave for those.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Suburb Sierra said...

Garbage disposal is key. And for us I enjoy the dual kitchen trash bins hidden in a cabinet. Not an appliance, but just as exciting to me.

8:10 AM  
Blogger kiwi gomes said...

My 2 uses for the microwave is the exhaust vent over the food when I'm cooking and bread cupboard ... definately an item I have and don't use! I won't even touch on what the studies show microwaves actually do to the food ... that's a whole nother topic! Glad you didn't eat your hand :D

8:22 AM  
Blogger Suburban Correspondent said...

Apparently, I can live without my dishwasher; but I'm not happy about it.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Suburban Correspondent said...

Newsflash! You can cook popcorn in a regular pot with a lid. No joke! And it tastes way better than the microwave stuff, that's for sure...

9:06 AM  
Blogger AnnetteK said...

My dishwasher and my crock pot. I mean, I COULD live without them, but then would life really be worth living? :)

11:01 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

We just redid our kitchen last summer! Here is the number one thing that makes me happy every time is use it - A trash can drawer. It's in the island and I just pull it open and scrape the crap right into it. There is even a special little space behind the can where I can store the bags. And I don't have to have the trash under the sink or in the middle of the floor. Yay!

Another tip - you can get backsplash tile and cabinet hardware WAY cheaper than you can from a brick and mortar store. Email me if you want links.

And we'll need Before and After pictures, please!

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Daily Cup of Jo said...

Now see, I too would kill the sad ass that took away my coffee maker, but I microwave the leftover cup later in the day. I'd hate to get out a pot and have to heat it that way, so I'm afraid I couldn't live without the microwave but could definitely live without the compactor. Never had one. I'm also super big on my toaster oven because I use it often for smaller meals and it heats up the kitchen far less than the oven. Oh, and I've got a kitchen witch that wards off evil cooking mistakes.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Q. said...

Ditto to what Deb said: Get the custom trash can drawer/pull-out cabinet. And ours has two compartments-- in front for trash, in back for recyclables. Awesome. And also an island. Sure, I've been looking for the perfect counter stools for 10 years, but it's great to have that extra counter space.

I have never had a trash compactor and haven't had or missed a garbage disposal in 15 years.

I'd love to know what others think about appliance colors. I HATE that my stainless fridge has dings all over it!! Our previous black plastic fridge lived through 10 years and three moves without a scratch.

If I have to speak for your son, I'd say get a water dispenser in the fridge. My kids drink a ton of water because they can get it themselves. Oh, and it's fun.

I'm also thinking of letting the microwave go-- I don't like the model we have over the stove, as every time it's on and I'm at the stove, I feel my brain start buzzing. Brain, well done.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Q. said...

Oh, and get slide-out drawers in the cabinets for pots and pans and stuff. I LOVE those. Two things that we thought were cool in our kitchen, but in reality NEVER use: the under-sink mini drawers for sponges and the pull-out cutting board. Waste.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

My microwave just started doing the exact same thing. And it IS probably the one I can't live without. Since we both work, we do a lot of re-heating of pre-cooked meals. Strangely, I get some weird sense of calm by hand-washing my dishes - even though I have a dishwasher (which is good, since it seems to be dying, too).

2:16 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Garbage disposal and dishwasher are huge here too.

And the microwave...I could definitely go without EXCEPT then I would have a mustache. Yup I have to heat the wax up in the microwave to wax my mustache. So we will keep a microwave just for that. Seriously.

2:41 PM  
Blogger said...

COFFEE POT. Without a doubt. And I miss my blender which died a few weeks ago... :(

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Audrey at Barking Mad! said...

I'm going to look at my microwave in an entirely new light after this. I suppose I could live without one. It's not like we "cook" with it...just reheat left overs pretty much.

The one thing I can NOT do without is my dishwasher. My hands (meaning my eczema) would never forgive me!

It's funny you posted this...I remember as Meg and I were driving down to VA after stopping at your place this past summer, she mentioned that she didn't see a microwave and to her, it just seemed really odd that someone would NOT have one. I told her I grew up without one and she was SHOCKED! I found that insanely funny that she can't imagine a world without microwaves. She swears she never would have been able to survive her freshman year in college without one!

10:23 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Shannon, your reason for needing a microwave made me LOL---yes! Great reason for keeping it!

Audrey, that is awesome that she noticed that we are without one! And, in college, I didn't have one either----I had one of those little plug in electric kettles that we used to make Mac & Cheese in (totally unsafe I'm sure). Somehow I had no problem gaining the Freshman 15 without one!

6:24 AM  
Anonymous One of The Guys said...

You know, this is good. I've been wanting to chuck our microwave for some time. The convenience is great, but it just seems wrong in some way.

When I cook for the kids I rarely use it. Tea tastes better the old fashioned way anyway.

I just have to slow down myself and start making real meals again.

I'm glad it's worked for you!

2:01 PM  
Blogger Magpie said...

The only reason we have a microwave is because it came with the house. We use it, but when it dies? I'm not replacing it.

I wish I had two ovens. There is a normal sized stove out there with two - a regular sized oven, and a small one (like a drawer). A girl can dream, right?

3:40 PM  

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