braindribbles

Posts Tagged ‘microwave

I’m stealing this idea from the Laughing Housewife. My version is likely to be less amusing since I get less traffic, and I post less often, but you never know.  If in doubt, go and look at her latest one – it will make you laugh.

OK, so at the top of the list, I have bunk bed.  Is nobody advertising bunk beds for sale on the internet? Are people finding me through lack of anything better to click on? (By the way, the British Heart Foundation will be taking the bunk bed away soon – yippee!)

The next one I quite like: Microwave phobia.  Way back when I thought I was being funnier than I really was, I did a how-to for people scared of using their microwave.  Funny? No. Useful. Well, I hope so.  Generally people came back with other ideas for how to use the microwave rather than telling me how I’d changed their life.

Now I’m confused by the third highest entry – partogram.  I only mentioned it once after a study day I went to back in June. Partograms are amazing , but their light seems to be hidden under some bush or other if people are stooping so low as to click on me.

In equal third place? Reflective journal. Well, that’s wonderful! Seriously. People have wondered about reflective journals and found some of mine. (Hope they weren’t bored to tears, mind you. They are the least humorous of all my posts – more for my benefit than anyone else’s really. You’re all amazing for putting up with them.)

Next  – comes snob.  I’ve only mentioned it twice (here and here)since starting this blog. Surprising that nobody else seems to be talking about snobbery – perhaps they’re too stuck up..?

surely you all come to my blog to see pictures like this?

Now for a list of the truly bizarre:

kids sliding on their knees (why, why would you type this into a search?)

ice cube pouches (???)

child question mark (I didn’t even know they had adult question marks)

large quantity rice in microwave (really? loose grains all over the place and all?)

can i do zumba if i’m nursing (yes, if your bra can stand up to it, but why ask me?)

how to deal with people who are scatterbrain (well, if you can deal with me, you know how)

is it illegal to swear at cold callers (no! but it’s much more fun to subject them to mind-games)

+when were chew pouches put on the market? (I don’t know. What are chew pouches anyway?)

baby commando (I now have visions of a baby in fatigues and camouflage make-up crawling through the undergrowth)

belieeeeve (indeeeeeed. I think I know where that came from.)

laundry sock theaves (is that a thief who lives in the eaves?)

have your cake and eat it too (yes please!)

enfield krispy kreme drive through (???  but now I want a krispy kreme.)

how to relieve impacated intestines (??? even more, but now I’m worried about the krispy kremes), and finally…

, i am going to keep my reflective journal updated.  (Good for you.)

* * *

I admit it.  That was actually quite fun.

Mind you, it’s going to be another year or thereabouts before I have enough new search engine terms to repeat the exercise.  I can hardly wait.

Thanks, Tilly!

[With apologies for this post and the last being published in the wrong order… Whoops.]

It occurred to me that one thing I’m really good at, and that a lot of people are terrified of, is microwaving.  They reheat ready meals in it, and that’s it.

Microwaving food is cost-efficient, safe and frighteningly easy.  So I thought it might help those of you who look at that metal box in the corner of your kitchen with dread if I just put up some simple tips to help you overcome your phobia.

Things NOT to microwave

First of all, here are some microwave no-nos.

Metal.

NEVER use metal in your microwave.  EVER.  It’s really really dangerous.  So don’t leave the fork in while you’re stirring, or keep your ready meal in its foil tray.   See this clip and ask yourself if you’d want that happening in your home.

(Thanks to donsherio for the clip)

If you’re stuck for something to microwave in then most plastic containers work a treat. You need a lid on loosely to let excess steam escape; if you don’t have a lid use a bit of clingfilm and stab a few holes in it.

Joints or cuts of meat.

I don’t generally recommend cooking cuts, or joints, of meat in your microwave.  Better to fry or oven bake or it’ll come out dry and tasteless.  This is the sort of microwave cookery that puts people off.

(Fish, on the other hand, is delicious. But I’ve not had much practice at this yet, so I’m keeping quiet about it for now)

Eggs.

Don’t poach eggs in your microwave.  Even if you’ve got a special thingy that’s designed for it.  They get super-hot spots.  And then you open the microwave and they explode in your face.  Don’t ask me how I know this.

Pasta.

Finally, don’t bother cooking pasta in your microwave unless you are reheating.  When you get your brand new microwave, you get an instruction booklet that tries to convince you it’s a good idea to cook pasta this way.  It’s not.  You are better off doing it the conventional way, as the amount of water that pasta needs is downright dangerous when you need to take it out of the microwave afterwards.  And it takes twice as long.  A bad idea all-round, really.

Next time: Microwave heaven – things you can try out.

We had all the no-nos last time.  So now let’s move on to what microwaves are really good at: –

Microwave heaven – things to try out

Reheating leftovers.

You probably already do this, but here’s a recap just in case.

Firstly you need all your leftovers to get over 70° C for at least two minutes, so you really have to nuke it.

Put your leftovers on full power for 2 minutes (more if it’s a large quantity) to get the food up to temperature, and then half power or defrost for a further two minutes.   And then stir well.

NB This tip is for refrigerated leftovers.  With frozen leftovers I would double the time, and when stirring check that it’s all piping hot.  If not, give it a couple more minutes on full.

Frozen vegetables.

Seriously, any kind of frozen veg.  I’ve cooked peppers, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sweetcorn and probably a bunch of other veg with no problems.

If it’s a small vegetable, like peas or sweetcorn, you only need 2-3 minutes on full power.  If it’s larger, you’ll want to put it on for longer.  Usually 5 minutes is just about right.   You may need to trial and error till you get the veg perfect for your taste.

Frozen veg needs no water adding, by the way; the ice crystals seem to do the job just fine.

Fresh vegetables.

If you can boil it, you can microwave it.  Potatoes, carrots, broccoli, courgettes and cauliflower are just a handful of my favourites.

Stick them in your non-metal dish, add a splash of water from the kitchen tap – maybe 60ml/2 fl oz, cover and cook.  Depending on the size and quantity you’ll be wanting to cook on full power for between 5 and 10 minutes.

Don’t forget to drain off the extra water.

Rice.

The microwave is my saviour when it comes to rice.

Needless to say, you don’t want to be getting the boil-in-the-bag variety.

Put 2 cups of water for every cup of rice into your pot, give it a swish, stick the lid on, and put it in for 12 minutes on full power for most varieties.  When it pings, check to see if it is cooked, and add a couple more minutes if your rice hasn’t absorbed all the water.

Perfect rice every time.

Porridge.

This is particularly handy if you hate washing up burnt porridge from the bottom of the pan.  It’s almost impossible to  burn porridge in the microwave.

2 cupfuls of milk for every cup of oats, add sugar and spices if desired (cinnamon is always nice), and cook – with lid on as usual – on full power for 5 minutes.

If you are keen on extra creamy porridge you can then cook it on defrost for a further 15-20 minutes.  Delicious, and well worth the wait.

Try this poll and see how other readers feel about microwaving.

I won’t blether on any more – but do try these tips out and see if you’re not converted.

Happy microwaving!