Powering Down: Wood Heater vs Microwave
Fire is nature's microwave. Steven Universe
Who remembers life pre-1980 when everyone washed their dishes by hand and heated food in a saucepan? As far as I remember, nobody died of it. The first time I remember a microwave was circa 1985 when my boyfriend's mother bought one and cooked every last thing in it, because she was so excited by her new gadget. It was awful. She even made cups of tea in it.
I left my combination convection oven/microwave in the old house because it was built-in above the oven. I didn't buy a new one, because buying new gadgets is not part of my powering down plan. Also, I decided I valued my limited bench space. Also, it seems silly to buy all that technology just to melt butter and reheat soup, which is mostly what we used the microwave for. Oh, and the girls made porridge and cake-in-a-mug in it, both of which are travesties of real food, in my opinion.
Now we heat up food in a saucepan on the wood heater which so far has been alight all winter long. It is great for melting butter and keeping a stack of pancakes warm. It cooks the soup and reheats it later.
The only downside is I end up washing a lot of saucepans, and I would like a couple of very small saucepans to reheat one serving of soup. Fellow Tasmanians, did you know you can buy Tasmanian-made copper saucepans?? Be still my beating heart. I want the tiny milk pan, or maybe the sugar melter. I am saving up. While I love thrifty and second-hand, I also love hand-made, expensive, last-forever-beautiful.
Of course, microwaves are a very power-efficient option if you don't have an oven. The Girl has a microwave and a hot-plate as her only food-heating options in the small cupboard she calls home as a student in a big city. I would find a way to cook with a microwave and like it if that was all I had. Or maybe I would become a raw-foodist.
But I love my wood heater:) And when I use it to cook food, it is doubly fine, due to its multitasking wonderfulness. In the summer I may need to resort to the stovetop for reheating purposes. It will be useful, but lacks the romance..
Would you buy a microwave again? Does anyone out there dabble in other low-energy cooking options? I want to try a sun-oven, thermal cooker or hay box one day. Has anyone given these a go?