This 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?