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Without a Microwave, How Does a Kitchen Run?

Without a Microwave, How Does a Kitchen Run?
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How does a kitchen work without a microwave? A microwave has become a ubiquitous piece of kitchen equipment. We’re no different from most. We had one, so we used it. Reheating mostly: left-over meals in a hurry, late-night snacks, left-over cups of coffee that had gone cold. And then it quit.

We all took turns for the next 2 days, blindly walking over to the dead hulking box in the corner with our cold coffee cups. Grabbing soup out of the fridge; only to put it back when we realized the microwave had died and a peanut butter sandwich was easier. We mourned its demise.

How Do You Re-Heat Leftovers Without a Microwave?

There is a right way to reheat each type of food without a microwave.

Really? Has it come this far? I was born before microwaves were an everyday kitchen item. Has my brain deleted the file that knows how to re-heat food conventionally? For goodness’ sake! My daughter, SIL, and I cook the food from scratch. Why is re-heating so difficult!

I know how completely silly this sounds, but I promised to show you our real process–failures and all! So here it is; our journey to run our kitchen without a microwave.

Re-Learning: The Skill of the Left-Over

Re-learning ‘lost’ skills is a very ‘homestead’ thing to do!

There are different methods of re-heating depending upon the food type. Yes, all of these processes are going to take longer without a microwave. What can you do with those few minutes of waiting time? Breathe. Meditate. Read a few pages of a novel. Water your houseplants. Mend something. Slow, . . . down, . . . You get the idea!

  • ‘Wet’ food such as soups and saucy casserole-type dishes (and left-over cold coffee) can simply be re-heated on the stove-top. You may need to add a bit of liquid to get the original consistency back. If you plan ahead, you could also use a crockpot set on low.
  • Baked foods, pizza, and casseroles can be re-heated in the oven or toaster oven. You may need to cover them to keep them from drying out.
  • Rice and pasta needs to be steamed. Just an inexpensive adjustable steamer insert over a pot of boiling water.
  • Create a whole new dish with the left-overs! Rice can be turned into an ingredient in a stir-fry. Left-over veggies or meat can be added to your next soup or stew.

More specific re-heating advice can be found here.

Side-Effects of a Broken Microwave

Another side-effect of our deceased microwave; we get to get rid of all of those mismatched plastic storage containers! You know the ones. You have them too; 9 rectangular bowls and 3 round lids. How does that even happen?

Anyway, we’ve been talking for some time about investing in glass storage containers–you know, the freezer to oven to table type. Now we have a legitimate reason to do so. And I’m sure we’ll spend less on those than the purchase price of a new microwave.

And what about the newly discovered counter-space? What can we do with that? Don’t you just love a long stretch of empty counter-space? So many possibilities! Lots of room for cooling baked goods and hot jars fresh out of the canning bath.

Tell us your experience of going without a microwave!

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