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No nukes!

NonukesThis weekend marks our two-year anniversary in our place in Noe Valley. By extension it also marks our two-year anniversary without a microwave. Oddly, despite upgrading to a larger kitchen with a significant amount of counter space, we simply never reintroduced a microwave into our lives.

Our previous microwave I bought in 1989 off a coworker at the Santa Fe Opera at the end of the summer. She had gotten it just to use during the summer season, and didn’t need to truck a whole new microwave back home for the rest of the year. By the time we left our old place in 2004, that nuker owed us nothing.

When I tell people how long we’ve gone without, I inevitably get looks of shock, awe, even disgust. The thing is, I don’t miss the mike at all. As far as I’m concerned, microwaves are only good for a couple of things to begin with — melting butter, reheating coffee and making popcorn. But I am perfectly happy melting butter over the stove in a metal measuring cup; I drink espresso; and I don’t especially like popcorn. I’ve even become quite adept at reheating all manner of leftovers on the stovetop. It’s just not worth taking up the space.

Perhaps ironically, the one appliance I do see the potential use for is a toaster oven. Our oven is amazing, but it’s also 36" wide and cast iron. It takes upwards of 30 minutes, and probably about $30 of natural gas, to warm up. So I only really turn it on when I am actually cooking, not just warming up. Hmmm … who makes toaster ovens in red?

Related: I am not alone in nukelessness. According to Apartment Therapy: The Kitchen, approximately 15% of their readers don’t own microwaves, either.

  • I didn’t have one in London, and I don’t have one here. I agree with you, kitchen space is so valuable, and a microwave is hardly necessary for heating up leftovers. Although, I became quite good at tempering chocolate using one in the old pastry kitchen. Shocking!

  • anita

    Yay, another microwave-less kitchen. I do miss it for quick reheating (on plates, without the dirty pan or two necessary on the stove or in the oven) but otherwise, meh.
    Doesn’t KitchenAid make a red toasteroven?

  • Sure, once in a while I miss the simplicity of reheating, but I don’t miss the “nuke-warm” effect of cold spots intermittently adjacent to volcanic hot spots you get from the mike. Plus, I sort of like how reheating in a skillet or a pan can actually turn into rethinking the entire dish. Last week we had some leftover Indian food, and by recombining it differently, it was like a whole new meal.