Wednesday, January 30, 2013

To Nuke or Not to Nuke, That Is the Question

I have been going back and forth on this for a while.  I got this large powerful microwave from my brother about 14 years ago when we first bought the house, and it has been my friend ever since.  But I think that our time together is coming to an end.

I defended it loyally when my mother-in-law wanted to replace it because you could no longer see the numbers on the touch pad, and I wouldn't even let her put her shiny new red one in its dedicated space on the counter when the top started bowing up.  And it still cooks like a champ, and I can make my 30 minute chicken in just that...30 minutes with all the fixin's.

But we (I use that term has really been just me) have been trying to move toward healthier, more natural alternatives in our food consumption and lifestyle.  First, we got rid of plastics in the kitchen, then we moved on to change our diets so that we eat more salads and less starchy foods, and now, I feel that the next step is to get rid of the microwave.  I know that there are conflicting feelings and opinions about the microwave, but since ours seems to be compromised, I can't believe that it's good to have it hanging around brain height of the little kids and belly height of the rest of us.

I expected to meet much more resistance, but Jimmy has been mentioning that he thinks that we should get a new one since the old one is getting a bit old and worn out, so it's not been as hard as I first thought.

But I couldn't expect everyone to just go cold turkey, so I've been taking it in steps.

First, I cleaned all around it and unplugged it, but it's still on the counter.  That way, everyone still feels 'safe' that there's still one there if we 'absolutely need' it.  But it turns out that with a few changes in the way we do things, we haven't really needed it, although Jimmy did confess last night that he plugged it in to heat up some milk and then unplugged it again.  But the remorse that he felt and timidity with which he confessed along with the incredulity that he saw in Elizabeth and me will probably keep him from doing it again.

The biggest thing that we miss it for is heating up leftovers and milk.  Jimmy likes to make hot chocolate or coffee in the morning, and he feels that it's wasteful to dirty up a whole pan just to heat one mug of milk, although why this would bother him since he leaves it in the sink is beyond me.  As far as the other things, we have been using the toaster oven that we have, and that has been working ok, but the oven has some kind of problem and doesn't always turn off when you think that you have turned it off, so I think that we need to replace it to be safer.

But the very best thing that we have that has been most useful is this great little hot water maker that I have had for a few years.  I love it and we all use it all the time.

The only thing that I don't like about it is that I would like it to have a larger capacity, and it would also like it if the space where you put the cup was taller so that larger mugs could fit under there.  But it works for us.  One of the things that I do like about it is that the water doesn't come out after it's heated.  You have to push a lever to get it to release.  That's good if you put water in it right after you heat some up because otherwise it would just flow out the bottom because it doesn't register that it is new cold water.  Of course, that is a bad feature in one way if you travel because it seems that the hotel water warmers are the flow through kind so that means that if you don't remember to put your mug under it right away to catch the flow, it flows all over the top of the microwave that it's sitting on and onto the table and the floor.  I mean, not that I know this from experience, of course...I'm just surmising...

We have been using the water heater even more now that we have Baby B with us.  It works perfectly to heat up the water, put it in a cup and then float the milk that his mom leaves us, and I also found that one of my Pampered Chef Prep Bowls fits in my measuring cup perfectly, so I can float that with the frozen cubes of food that they send with him, too.  And everything comes out the perfect temperature!

So, our next step is to move the microwave out the door!  Yay!

And now, for today's dose of cuteness:

The weather was nice enough outside to pull out the bikes.  I was impressed that Jo and Gabriel did so well on them after having them packed away for so long!  

 Good morning, Baby B!

 Definitely double trouble both in her arms and at the table in the background!

Here, Izzy.  Let me help you with that Lit homework...

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