Sanding. Microwave.

Spent all day behind the wheel of a Bona ProSand 8, a highly efficient, surprisingly graceful, 115-lb floor-sanding beast. Almost zero dust – the built-in vacuum is voracious. The work is tedious, meditative, exhausting. Coarse grades today and tomorrow, finer grades Sunday. We have not yet upgraded the electrical system, but the sander draws a heap of juice. Every time I strain the motor on a bump, a 15 amp fuse blows. Learning to finesse it, but going through fuses like no tomorrow. Better than burning down the house.

Amy painting shelves and cupboards with Miles on her back. It’s a family thing.

The new place has a cubby in the kitchen clearly designed to house a microwave oven. I’ve never lived with a microwave (astonishing but true!), though my grandmother had one of the first — the Amana Radarange — in the early 70s (my mother always insisted we play in another room when it was running, lest we become sterile from the radiation). Amy grew up with one but hasn’t had one since high school. No real reason for either of us, other than habit and stubborn-ness. I think a part of us likes resisting all the mod cons. But now I’m sort of interested in getting one, though it would be tantamount to an act of resignation at this point in life. Amy remains staunchly opposed.

Do you have a microwave?

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Music: Cab Calloway :: Foo A Little Bally-Hoo

10 Replies to “Sanding. Microwave.”

  1. I had a microwave once. Didn’t use it for anything except reheating food and making microwave popcorn. I resented the loss of counterspace, so I got rid of it.

    Now I make popcorn on the stove in a dutch oven. It tastes better and has less fat.

    Also, I frickin’ hate the beeping that a microwave makes when the timer runs down.

  2. Microwaves are great!

    I use mine to reheat coffee and leftovers, and to cook vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli and cauliflower quickly and without water.

  3. Microwaves kick butt at reheating certain foods, like pieces of chicken or mashed potatoes or casserole, where you don’t wanna add water or there’s no sauce to carry the heat to the food. But ever try reheating pizza in a microwave? Soggy sloppy YUK! There’s one true way to reheat pizza, and that’s on a really hot ungreased frying pan.

  4. I recommend a very small microwave, the smallest you can find. I found one at Best Buy recently, a nice aluminium sexy model, for $50.

    I find it terribly useful for melting butter, making popcorn, prepping ingredients, and of course, reheating leftovers.

    As far as cooking in a microwave, however, I tend to never use it for actually preparing food…

  5. Microwave ovens, minivans, etc… may be middle class, suburban icons to some – but who cares. They’re tools. If you need a tool, use it. It doesn’t make you a better or worse person to do so.

    People who object to a good tool from a basis of some sort of cultural elitism are just silly :) (of course, people who *don’t* need a particular tool *cough* SUV *cough* but get one anyway are also silly – in a wasteful, inefficient sort of way)

  6. Some tools are tackier than others. Some things are well designed, some things just exist. Some things enhance the landscape and the living environment, some things detract….

  7. I don’t have a microwave oven, never had one and don’t intend to buy one ever. Nobody has ever succeeded in convincing me they’re any good by using one to do anything I can’t do in some simple, “traditional” way.

    I object to them just as I object to GM or gamma ray treated food, or chemical additives. I’m not a complete caveman, I do have plenty of ready-to-eat food in the freezer.

    Just give me a source of heat; fire, oven, hob, and a simple utensil; pan, pot, couscousiere, or whatever and I’ll pop your corn, heat your milk or your leftovers almost as quickly as it takes to say “ping!” ;^)

  8. It’s always amusing to me to hear the pseudo-luddite arguments against microwave ovens as if this is some issue that is the moral equivalent to abortion, deforestation or cloning. But people can be very superstitious (and quite irrational) when it comes to food or anything they ingest (i.e. medicine). If you really care about energy use and the environment it would seem that you would use a tool that wastes as little energy as possible to accomplish a task. You can’t convince me that reheating leftovers in a 350 degree conventional oven is a good use of energy. If microwaves so bad for our health why are they still around? And how about the known carcinigens that burnt food creates? Technology isn’t always good, but the invisible speed of the microwave seems to occupy a space in many minds as a kind of “evil magic” since it appears to defy time-worn, visible ways of doing things. I guess it will take a generation born to it to rid the association. :)

  9. Pre-baby, our microwave was used primarily for reheating leftovers. Post-baby (now that she is off baby food), it sees a lot more use. There are more leftovers to reheat. Cooking a gardenburger or other handy lunchtime veggie product takes a minute or less. Sure, it is not as tasty as frying up a gardenburger with some onions and melted blue cheese, but guess which one the kid prefers at this point? :)

    When your kid decides not to try “your” dinner and is still to young to really reason with, having an alternative ready in a minute keeps dinnertime sane :)

  10. More power to the microwave haters! Or less power as the case may be. I agree with those who say food doesn’t taste the same when cooked in a microwave. You can’t beat the slow heat of an old-fashioned pellet stove. And as for using energy, a handful of wood or pellets to keep the thing going for a few hours is a pittance. Sustainable too. At least the microwave comes in handy for reheating the coffee that my wife forgets to drink after asking me to make it for her!

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