More shocking developments

On February 1, 2013 by Eden M. Kennedy

We have a new microwave oven, after having spent the last year without one. Heating our tea water in a kettle on the stove like savages.

Yesterday afternoon Jack walked in on me heating soup for lunch, on the stove, like you do when you forget you now own a microwave oven.

Jack: “What are you doing?!”

Me: “Uh . . . not using the microwave?”

Jack: “Don’t hesitate — irradiate!”

I had been perfectly happy without a microwave, but our son mounted an extremely determined offensive to change my mind. Three days ago we were walking past a movie theater and Jackson was all, “Oh my God, that popcorn smells so good. I wish we could have some popcorn.”

My response was to take him to the grocery store and show him bag after bag full of Jolly Time popcorn ready to be popped in a pan on someone’s stove. Our stove, perhaps!

Nooooooooo,” he said, looking longingly at the individually-expensive, cellophane-wrapped packages of extra cheesy microwave popcorn waiting to be plucked off the shelf and taken home to explode into life within a microwave. A microwave that, sadly, did not belong to us.

It’s just that we left our old, cranky one in the condo when we moved out, and there wasn’t one already installed in this house when we moved in. And for the last twelve months I haven’t particularly felt like spending a hundred bucks on a metal box whose main purpose is to make it easier for my son to eat junk food.

So I have no good reason to explain why I finally gave in after a year of being asked every day, “When are we going to get a microwave?” Apparently my goal was to teach my son that if he behaves as gently and persistently as water, he can carve a Grand Canyon through the microwave-resistant portion of my heart. Just like Lao Tzu prophesied in his deathless work, How to Succeed by Being a Really Stubborn Eleven-year-old. And honestly, though I may not be up on the current literature, I don’t think microwaves are causing a lot of extra cancers, or damaging the brains of our nation.

Why haven’t I been posting drawings? New excuse! My camera battery died and I couldn’t find my camera battery charger, so I had to order another one online, where they’re cheaper, and it finally came yesterday, and then my website was over quota on disk space usage. The whole thing was just tragic.

Anyway, I was feeling bad about the drawing I did for the person who asked for a fat old lady talking about sex, I felt it was too depressing and could be interpreted as the fat lady in the drawing was sad that she’d never fully explored her sexuality because she was fat. I might be overly fat-sensitive, but in order to correct an imbalance that may only exist in my own mind, I drew another picture, this time of a fat young (whoops) lady quoting Mae West (love her) talking about sex:


The lettering, sadly, isn’t that great, but at some point you just have to let go and move on, even though I seem to be allergic to doing that. (Just ask Alice how I wanted to rewrite Let’s Panic! when it was in final proofs. I win at being both fun and insufferable at the same time.)

This next one was for a friend who wanted me to draw of a cup of coffee saving the world. Coffee has naked arms and legs! I hope you’re not shocked by this development.


Lastly, I have two Popcorn Whisperer posts you should see:

Sesame Street Does Downton, where you get to see the Muppetized versions of the Dowager Countess and Mr. Carson, and

Goodbye, Lurz, where I speculate wildly on what would happen in the not-happening eighth season of 30 Rock.



22 Responses to “More shocking developments”

  • I can certainly live without a microwave in terms of cutting down on junk foods, but I reheat leftovers in mine daily! I am terrible at warming them up on the stove or oven.

  • We lived without one for a couple of years as well, with inertia as the main value we were espousing.

    I do use my microwave for popcorn but NOT for that bag stuff (oh, I don’t remember now which is the greatest sin of it all, I think it puts chemicals in your air that are bad for your lungs? or…insert some other reason here).

    I make my very own bag stuff for piles less money. Just pour some regular old kernels into a brown lunch bag. Fold the top over two tight folds and pop in microwave. Set for 2 minutes, take out if, you know, popping slows.

    Pour on melted butter and toss on some salt.

    Done. I like it because I can put on real butter (melted in microwave!) and feel sort of virtuous about it, but really I just like it better than the powder stuff.

  • My husband gave our microwave away to one of our neighbors. Wait, let me add an exclamation point to that: The gave it away! To the neighbors!

    I gotta say, I don’t miss it much, except for that magic way it would make days-old bread seem not so many days old. Plus I have one at work, so I can irradiate lunch to my hearts’ content.

  • Um, I meant he gave it away, not ‘the’. Also, my heart is not plural. No Time Lords here. Nope nope.

  • When I realized I was using my microwave mainly to defrost stuff, occasionally to warm up milk for cocoa, and like yours, it was on its last legs, we left it behind when we moved. Luckily we don’t have an 11 year old convincing us to get another one……

  • I got my microwave oven for free and I’d never had one. I’d never live without one now. Defrosting. Nicely soft red bliss potatoes in 10 minutes. Trader Joe’s chicken sausages.

    I admire your stoic fortitude though. I am secretly proud yet also miserable about the fact I’ve never had a dishwasher and can’t afford one.

    I am waging a lifelong campaign against microwave popcorn. You can make popcorn on the stove in a pan. It’s sooo much better. You can use olive oil. You need an all clad or whatever stainless steel pot without any teflon. Popcorn has to be 1 kernel deep everywhere. The oil has to be only very slightly over the popcorn. (Like the popcorn kernel should still be sticking out part way.)

    For cheesy popcorn you can buy this:

    I suspect this comment is very annoying so let me go all the way and say that the bag for microwaving popcorn has some toxic stuff on it. You can actually use a regular paper sandwich bag although it might catch on fire and burn your house down. That hasn’t happened to us yet but someone I know burned most of their kitchen by microwaving tortillas and catching them on fire.

  • Oh, I forgot to mention you have to shake the pan and monitor it to avoid burning–so basically turn it off when the popcorn is about 2/3 of the way to the top of the pot. Eventually you’ll get the timing right.

  • I tried to not be one of *those* people, but lo, I was unable. Microwave popcorn is not so good (truly, how could something that smells like that not be poison?):
    We are whirley-pop fans. I also agree heartily with the coconut oil views already expressed.

  • I was that kid! My mom and i made cookies, cakes, treats galore, and all i wanted was the marketed stuff. Once in awhile, ya give in. I had a pretty severe kettle corn addiction a few years ago. I will testify to its awesomeness. However, we have a stir crazy popcorn machine that we use almost daily. Coconut oil, and some bbq seasoning that contains a little sugar = life changing. (where life changing = you need to meal plan around your nightly popcorn intake. I eat a lot of salad to save room for popcorn)

  • The only thing I ever convinced my parents to buy was a new dryer – and this was after I moved out of the house but I was still doing laundry there. They had an old, old dryer that wouldn’t dry more than about 1/5 of a washer load at a time. My mother was happy with the new dryer once they finally got it though.

  • Mine lives in the basement now. I never use it–and I don’t miss it. I prefer food reheated on the stovetop, and I use an electric kettle for hot water. Plus I really dislike frozen processed food. So…
    I do have coconut oil, but haven’t cracked it open yet. Maybe I’ll pop some corn tonight.

  • I haven’t had a microwave since we moved to KC two years ago. I’m fine with this, but it drives my Mom insane when she comes to visit. Some times it’s all she can talk about, getting me a new microwave. I’d just rather spend that money on something else.

    So far, that coffee mug is my favorite. Really…they all have been my favorite, but there’s just something about that mug saving the planet.

  • So, I was lurking creepily in your archives earlier this week when I ran across the poem Vaquero, by Edward Dorn. Since comments are closed on that post, I thought I’d let you know here that I went and illustrated it as part of my yearlong project/compulsion to memorize and illustrate a poem a week. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! Inadvertently!

  • Having not grown up with a microwave, the first time I used one was in college. It’s not entirely intuitive. I had assumed it would dry my underwear the rest of the way so I wouldn’t have to pay for a second full dryer cycle. Instead, the elastic caught fire. That was fun to explain. So perhaps think of it as a life skill?

  • are we the only household that still has an air popcorn popper (probably an artifact from college)? you avoid the weird microwave popcorn chemicals and plus it’s a show.

    • I love my air popcorn popper! It’s one of the few kitchen gadgets we brought with us when we moved onto our boat.