22 November 2008

Wall-E and Microwave Ovens

We bought Wall-E this week and have already watched it twice (plus we saw it when it was in theaters). I love it more each time.

The folks at Pixar continue to amaze and inspire me. The themes and visuals they included in Wall-E are a case in point. One example: Eve, which means 'mother', resembles an egg, and is made to hold and care for life. These aren't things that a child would pick up on, but Pixar's pursuit of excellence includes them.

Watching this and talking with my kids has made me think a bit about the influence of work vs. the influence of easy living on sinful man.

Even though we all love our conveniences, I wonder how many of them are actually good for us? Case in point: our microwave oven blew out about a month ago. We're saving for other things that are more important, so we haven't replaced it yet. Thus, we're cooking 'on the hob', as they say in England, and in the oven and on the grill.

I'm surprised that I'm not feeling more rushed, even with the lack of time savings the microwave usually bestows; the extra steps involved and the extra time cooking currently involves aren't making us feel more hurried. If anything, life seems to be slowing down.

Our stove timer, unlike our microwave timer, beeps just twice before it turns off, so I can't go into another room without the very real risk of burning something because I don't hear the timer. So now, I stand at the stove, stirring as needed, wash a few dishes, empty the dishwasher, wipe a counter, or work on whatever sewing project is laid out on the peninsula, while possibly enjoying a glass of wine while I wait. Yet, how often have I stood impatiently watching the microwave, counting down the seconds until the food is hot? There really isn't time to do anything else while the microwave is working.

Food now isn't just something to pop into the microwave and then pop into our mouths before charging onto whatever else we're doing. We're eating breakfast and lunch together more than we used to and taking more time over it. With the microwave working, if someone came late, it was so easy to re-warm food that had grown cold. But now, 'get it while it's hot' means something.

I'm in no hurry to replace the microwave. The only thing I miss is microwave popcorn, but maybe that'll change when I get out our long-unused popcorn popper and we get the fun of seeing the corn burst into all its fluffiness through the clear dome of the popper and then enjoy something that took more effort to prepare than simply throwing a bag into the microwave and pressing a button.



  1. I am sitting here trying to figure out how losing the microwave might change my life, and other than having to melt butter and chocolate on the stovetop, cook frozen veggies ditto, and throw out lots of tea (or coffee) that I (or Mike) now reheat and drink, I'm not sure it would change much - oh, leftover nights would be a little different, I guess. And yet I seem to use my microwave a lot. Not for popcorn, though. If using a popper makes popcorn as good as a pan on the stovetop does, I think you'll be glad of that change, too.

    And I wish I knew where people find time to watch movies! I have a list as long as my arm of films I want to see, but we never seem to have time.


  2. Jenny,

    I've been re-heating cold tea and coffee in a small sauce pan on the stove. It doesn't take that long, seems to stay hot longer, and if I rinse the pan right away it doesn't add to the mess in the kitchen. Although I used to re-heat it in the cup in the microwave.