04/11/13

Thanksgiving dinner from that new-fangled device…the microwave

Today we have a great story by hautemealz.com Facebook friend, Colleen Anderson.

Any funny microwave stories in your family?

Thanks for the chuckle, Colleen!

-Chef Perry

Thanksgiving dinner from that new-fangled device…the microwave
By Colleen Anderson

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I was born in the 60’s and grew up with a 1950’s style Mom. Except that she HATED to cook. To say that she was a bad cook is a disservice to bad cooks all over the planet. If it did not come in a box, package or a can, she did not cook it.

I was 10 years old before I realized that the fruits and vegetables in the produce aisle could actually be purchased and eaten. I thought they were just there to show you what was in the cans. The first time I was even in that aisle was with a friend’s Mom.

So I learned to cook at a very young age for self-preservation. I joined 4-H just to learn how to cook.

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In 1981, my Mother got a new way to cook…the microwave. The early models were big. This one resembled a mini fridge and took up the entire counter space above the dishwasher.

She decided that this was the wave of the future and she planned to make the entire Thanksgiving dinner in the microwave. She had some cookbook and used them as a guide. By guide I mean, not as much something to follow, but as suggestions on what to do. 


Ingredients were purchased, special microwave dishes and utensils were acquired, and the big day approached.

turkeyThe cookbook indicated that the turkey should be put in the regular oven to brown for an hour or so. My Mom decided that using the regular oven at all was too old fashioned and she instead microwaved the bird for longer.

Vegetables could be heard making popping sounds from the depths of the microwave and straining against the plastic wrap to escape the cooking vessel. Rolls seemed to not brown but almost wrinkle as they cooked.

Worst of all there was no turkey smell throughout the house.

When the dinner was set out on the table it resembled a traditional turkey dinner, kind of. But something was off. The skin was raw looking but cooked at the same time. Then, as the bird was carved, it was pink all the way through.

It was disgusting. It turns out that putting it in the real oven was not just for the skin to brown but to change the color of the whole bird.

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The rolls resembled small cannon balls waiting to be used as weapons. The stuffing would not come out of the casserole dish except in the center. All the vegetables looked like they had exploded from the inside.

My Mom, not one to be dismayed by this unappetizing meal, declared it a success and the new way to cook. Somehow my siblings and I muddled though the meal.

Leftovers abounded.

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A few hours after dinner, I declared that I needed to put gas in my car so I would not have to do it in the morning. I looked at my youngest sister, with whom I did not get along very well,. and with pity, I asked her if she wanted to come with me. She looked at me quizzically as I mouthed the word “pizza”. She jumped up from the couch and the two of us were out the door before anyone could question the trip.

The pizza place was crowed. I wondered if others had been at the mercy of microwaves.