I don’t know where you stand on microwave ovens (not that standing on them anywhere is recommended) but for me they are one of those things I have as a required necessity, but hardly ever use. Yes, I know they cook things quickly and are very energy efficient, but somehow the idea of cooking my dinner in something resembling a television set doesn’t really appeal.
Of course, I’m a little too old to be a fully paid up member of the ping-and-ding generation. If I had my way we’d probably be cooking on open fires built into our fireplaces, and when it comes to food I really do believe that slow and steady catchy monkey. Not that I am recommending that you cook a monkey you understand, that would be cruel and probably illegal.
I have tried cooking in a microwave. Once I even made a microwaved ‘steamed’ pudding from scratch. Unfortunately it resembled and had almost the same texture as a lump of cement. Since then microwave ovens have been a tool to defrost and reheat precooked vegetables, rather than a cooking device.
This brings me to my point. We recently purchased a brand new and extremely shiny microwave as the old one had begun to, as they all seem to do, rust inside. The old one was old in microwave years, one of those microwaves where you set the heat setting, moved the time to the number of minutes you required, closed the door with a clunk, and sat back to wait for that ‘I’m ready’ ding. But at least I could use it.
The new one isn’t like that at all. The new one has programmes and requires a degree in electronics to make it do anything. I can’t work the timer, I can’t set it to defrost, and as for the automatic programmes – why would I want a programme to heat a fish finger? I have a perfectly good frying pan and don’t even eat fish fingers.
Today I needed to defrost some beef for a beef Bourguignon (that’s posh for stew in French). Do you think I could do it? Do you think I could work out how to set the bloody thing to defrost? Well, in words on one syllable: No I blood ee could not. In the end I had to put the meat on the defrost tray and wait, and wait, and wait.
It might be able to bake a potato in 4 minutes, cook a hamburger in 60 seconds, it might even be able to boil a 5-lb roast in 35 minutes, but the greatest discovery since fire?
I don’t blood ee think so.