|A microwave is not the only way to be energy efficient
hot soup below, leftovers warming above
"We didn't always have a microwave", Linda pointed out. We wondered if we needed one now. It is true that microwave ovens are a more energy efficient method of cooking, but then so is a crock pot, and we still have one of those.
"But what will I do without a microwave?", I thought in a moment of semi-hysterical kitchen nightmare panic. It passed quickly and I got down to some more rational thinking. Was it time to banish 'Mike" from my kitchen?
What microwaves are really for is speed and convenience. A microwave takes 15 minutes to do the same job as an hour of cooking in an electric oven. But at this point in our lives, we are more into a slower pace, and don't want to sacrifice quality for convenience. I enjoy cooking, and there is no need for me to rush.
I gathered my courage and suggested to my sous chef that we try living without this 'essential' appliance and see how things go. It was my Chef Ramsay moment, and Linda was fully supportive of our move toward slow cookery.
We didn't really cook in our microwave anyway. Reheating/thawing - yes. Cooking - no. But it is taking a while to adjust from the instant, on-demand heating of the old magnetron exciting the molecules in our food. It feels like camping, and for me that is a good thing.
I have to think differently now, and adopt a more purposeful approach to heating food. My local electricity utility estimated that, "using a microwave instead of your oven four times a week could save you more than $20 per year on your electricity bill."
What about the energy required to mine minerals, process the raw materials, manufacture the different components, assemble the product, ship it to me from overseas manufacturers, then dispose of it at the end of its life?
For a hundred dollar microwave it would take five years just to break even on the energy savings. For us it doesn't make a lot of sense.
Shopping trip averted - balance restored. We are living without a microwave. What's next - living without a fridge?