Original photograph courtesy HomeSpot HQ.
How often do you use your microwave?
If it stopped working, or you decided to skip it over health concerns, or you wanted more counter space, could you manage?
I think most of us think that we don’t use it *that often* – especially if we enjoy cooking from scratch. But how do you reheat your amazing homemade leftovers? Your coffee that has gone cold for the third time while you chase your kiddos?
I can officially say that I can live without a microwave! It has been almost a year since I’ve touched one, even! I’m pretty shocked by how much I don’t miss it considering that before this year I probably used mine at least once a day, every day. I can’t imagine ever owning one again!
How We Manage
When we were newly married I thought it was pretty awesome to find new ways to cook foods in the microwave – one push of a button and you can forget about it until it beeps at you! And mine even had a reminder beep a minute later if you didn’t open the door! I even cooked our breakfast eggs in the microwave (when you are fresh out of college your taste buds are so out of whack you don’t notice, I guess)!
These days, we are loving the flavor-enhancing methods we’ve adapted to, and there isn’t anything I’ve run into that I *needed* a microwave for except one frozen meal (enchiladas) that I thought was oven safe but wasn’t. I plopped that baby into a casserole dish and baked it anyway!
You’d probably do fine preparing dishes without your microwave, right? You want to know about reheating.
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In brief, these are some of our favorite methods:
For thawing, think ahead a bit and lay it out on the counter. If you have less time, place frozen food in a bowl of luke warm or even cold water large enough to cover (assuming the packaging is water proof. If you no time at all, some things are just fine going straight from the freezer to the skillet/oven/soup pot! If food is frozen to the sides of your packing or glass container, just run warm water over the container until enough has thawed to free it from the sides.
We regularly cook frozen meat (just make sure it all gets cooked to a safe temperature), add frozen stock to a soup pot to thaw, and reheat baked goods from frozen.
For leftovers, get thyself to the store and buy a toaster oven!!! It won’t heat the house the way your big oven does (not that we mind here in Alaska!), and you can use oven-safe glass storage containers straight from the fridge! This is how I get my husband’s lunch ready most days!!
We do use the oven for larger portions, or we use a pot/skillet on the stovetop. You may find that some dishes benefit from adding a bit more liquid or oil/fat for reheating – oatmeal, for instance, thickens up in the fridge.
Does it NEED to be hot?
I’d be lying if I said that I pour my coffee into a pot to re-warm it every time. Coffee is one of many things that we’ve just acquired a taste for consuming cold! Be safe with meats and the like, of course, but oatmeal, drinks, cooked veggies, pancakes, and lots of other things taste just fine without being warmed at all. :)
Have you ditched your microwave? Or could you? What would be the thing you’d miss most?
PS. Is your microwave built in? Use it for storage!!!
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Collage photo credits are all Amazon.com except the iced coffee.