How to live without a microwave

You don’t know what you have until it’s gone — especially when it’s one of the most useful devices of the 20th century.

That’s right. I’m talking about the microwave.

When I moved into my apartment on April 20, I thought I had everything. It was only when I visited the grocery story to buy food the next day that I realized I was microwave-less. What was I supposed to do without frozen peas? Or quick baked potatoes? Or popcorn?

For a 22-year-old living in 2013, this is like surviving without water. (OK, a little dramatic.)

My parents told me they would buy me a microwave as an apartment-warming gift, but I wouldn’t get it until the next weekend. That left me without a microwave for a week.

People have been doing the microwave for years. The first microwave was commercially available in 1947. In 1971, fewer than 1 percent of U.S. households owned a microwave, but by 1986, 25 percent had one. Today, I’m sure close to 100 percent of households own a microwave as its price has decreased markedly over the years.

First world problem jokes aside, eating without a microwave wasn’t as burdensome as I thought. I ran into hurdles such as when I wanted to warm up frozen broccoli for a chicken stir-fry. But because I don’t eat a lot of microwave meals in general, I probably wasn’t as lost as a lot of other people in my age group.

I got around not having a microwave by using the stove a lot more than I would have, and I learned to appreciate the convenience of having a microwave unlike my 70’s-era 20-somethings. (Really, what did they eat?)

But relief washed over me when I finally set my shiny, new microwave on the counter and cooked a baked potato in eight minutes.

Instant bliss. I can’t wait to get my hands on some popcorn.


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