Pet Peeve #27: Microwaves

Specifically, this:

You microwave leftovers–let’s say spaghetti–for what seems like more than enough time. While it’s cooking, you set the coffee table with your milk, your diluted juice, your baby spinach salad (keeping one eye on it so Biddy doesn’t steal a leaf). Then you pull the steaming hot plate out of the oven.

You settle down at the table, turn on Game of Thrones, pile pillows around you, stick a fork into the spaghetti, and bring a well-balanced bite of noodle, sauce, and meat to your mouth.

And it’s cold.

Really cold. As if somehow you didn’t microwave it at all.

But you know you did. The plate is hot. You can see steam coming off the spaghetti. It has been heated. And yet it’s not hot.

How does this happen?!

8 thoughts on “Pet Peeve #27: Microwaves”

  1. Ah, I happen to know the answer to this one… Microwaves move in a pattern of, you guessed it, waves. Sometimes, by chance, some of the wave patterns crest right over the top of a spot, or two, or three in your food. So that section of the plate never gets hot. Most modern microwaves have turning carousels to help combat this issue. However, even then, there can be spots that just keep getting missed by those rising and falling waves. Sometimes you can stir the food and osmosis will take care of the problem, but not always.

    Then again, maybe your plate just needs more time in the microwave – though I was guessing that you probably already considered that possibility . My husband and I are thinking about getting a toaster oven, because we’re noticing that microwaves are rarely much faster or easier than conventional heating methods. When we make the switch, I’ll let you know how our new option compares.

    • Cara–Ah, I see, so there’s a science behind it. I just thought it was karma.

      Also, I’m glad you mentioned the toaster oven. I LOVE my toaster oven and use it over the microwave for anything that I want toasty or crispy.

  2. I always thought microwaves warm your food outside in, unlike an actual oven that cooks food inside out, but it’s not. It heats up food like any other cooking method outside in. It warms food much quicker by moving water molecules much faster according to Wiki.

    And I can’t believe you did use the Stab Food For Temperature Test, the SFFTT. You stab the food with fork in the middle and place fork on tongue to see if it’s warm. If food is not warm in middle, mix, nuke food for few more seconds, and repeat for desired results.

    Also, why can’t Biddy have some spinach? He needs some to be like Popeye. Big and strong. Arrrgg!

    • I do try the SFFTT when I remember, but it always looks so hot that I don’t think it’ll matter. But it does!

      Biddy can have spinach if he asks nicely, but not if he steals it.

  3. Totally off topic, but Biddy likes spinach?! So does Patches and everyone (including myself) finds that to be extremely weird for a cat. Does Biddy eat other greens? Patches won’t eat regular romaine lettuce, but she loves spinach, arugula and watercress. I once put a piece of spinach and a piece of tenderloin down a foot apart from each other on the floor to see which one she’d go for first. She picked the spinach 🙂 Anyway, it’s interesting to find another cat that will steal spinach leaves from your salad…

    • Patches likes spinach too?! That’s awesome. I don’t think he’s ever seen arugula and watercress. Does Patches prefer organic, local, or other?

      I think Biddy would probably choose the meat over the spinach. But I love testing little things like that. I usually put him in my room, close the door, put out the two options, and then open the door and call him to me. That way he’s unbiased while I’m putting the food on the floor.

    • I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the amount of medieval sexuality on the show–it’s pretty awesome. I’m going to have to dive into the books after this season is over this Sunday–I don’t think I can wait to know what happens next!


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