Thursday, December 2, 2010

Now We're Cookin'

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone again.  I hope you had a wonderful holiday.  I know I did.  We had a smaller gathering this year.  It was my parents, my brother Trevor, my brother Kyle with his family, and Christian, Kirsten and myself.  That’s it, ten people.  It has been a long time since we have had a holiday meal with just us.  I have nothing against my extended family, but it was nice.  I really enjoyed it.

Kirsten and I drove back home to Moweaqua later that night.  My wonderful mother packed us some leftovers to take home which I got into first thing the next morning.  That was when the seriousness of our situation really hit home.  We still do not have a microwave.

If you know me or follow my blog, then you are probably aware that we only moved here a month ago.  Because our last move was into my parents’ fully furnished house, we gave most of our stuff away for that move.  Therefore, when we made this move, we had to locate new stuff.  This isn’t really much of a problem.  We have already acquired a dining room set, dresser drawers, a computer desk and various other things to fill our apartment.  There are some things we don’t have yet.  Our television sits on the floor since we have no entertainment center.  I will get one eventually, but it is not at the top of my priority list.  We also don’t have beds, a couch, or a desk for Kirsten.

The microwave was one of those things that we knew we would eventually get, but could live without in the meantime.  However, it did not take long to rethink this strategy.  We moved here on a Saturday, ate out for lunch, and grabbed a frozen pizza from the local market for supper that evening.  The next day, after church, we needed to put some groceries in the apartment.  I got directions to the nearest Wal-Mart (we needed more than food) and we were on our way.

Once at the store we made a beeline for the grocery section and began hungrily filling our cart.  After about 30 minutes, Kirsten made a profound observation, “How is the shredded cheese going to melt on the burritos?  We don't have a microwave.”  That was a good point.  I hadn’t considered that yet.  Obviously, it couldn’t.  It then occurred to me that we had a problem and not just with the cheese.

After 30 minutes of shopping we had many items in our cart; eggs, milk, frozen burritos, breakfast cereal, lunchmeat, soup, bread, various condiments, Hot Pockets (love them), shredded cheese, etc.  We began to look through our plunder at what foods would be useless to have without the convenience of a microwave.
Now before I get started, please note that I do cook.  We do eat vegetables and I am pretty handy with a crock pot, but there are many foods and between-meal snacks that are just designed (or easier) for a microwave.  I had no idea how much we take this appliance for granted until we started digging through the foods in our cart.

Ham & Cheese are best
The first to go back was the burritos and I have missed them.  They are so quick to make and taste so good with the cheese melted over them and topped with sour cream.  They are great for a quick bite or a late-night snack.  But they had to go back in the frozen food aisle, which also meant we didn’t need the cheese or sour cream any longer.  The frozen waffles had to go back as well since we don’t own a toaster either, which now means we have no use for the maple syrup.  I even had to put back my HOT POCKETS.  This was getting ridiculous.

I suddenly began to realize that I would need to modify my shopping list in order to accommodate this change.  I didn’t realize how much of a difference it would make.  I then looked through my list and began crossing things off: NO Easy Mac, NO microwave popcorn, NO pre-made breakfast sandwiches, NO chicken taquitos, NO instant anything.  I could still buy meat, but since I can no longer take advantage of the microwave defrost feature I would now have to employ the antiquated practice of remembering to get it out the night before to thaw so I am not cooking a brick.

After taking back the items that we could not use we refilled the cart with food that could be prepared without a microwave.  We paid for everything, loaded it in the van, and drove home without speaking.  Kirsten was fighting back tears over the loss of her burritos and I wept openly while mourning my Hot Pockets.

Over the next few weeks we began to adjust, but life was never normal.  We made the best of it until Thanksgiving.  That brings us back to where this blog started.  I woke up the morning after Thanksgiving dinner and headed to the fridge to get at those leftovers.  Now, I am willing to eat turkey cold, but dressing and mashed potatoes must be reheated.  The microwave situation had just hit a new urgency.  I refused to live like this any longer.

These ladies really get into the spirit of the day.
I got Kirsten out of bed to inform her we were going into town to find a microwave.  She fearfully reminded me that we could not leave the house because it was Black Friday.  I had forgotten about that, but was willing to risk it.  Four hours later, after fighting with brawling Grandmas and determined soccer moms, we were firing up our new microwave and enjoying Thanksgiving dinner all over again.  We also bought new groceries.  I have my Hot Pockets once again.  Plus, because it was Black Friday, I only paid $54.99 for the microwave. 

Christmas came early this year.