"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Sunday, March 8, 2015

There's Kitchens For Looking And There's Kitchens For Cooking

We have a galley kitchen.  
Basic equipment included. 

A fridge that keeps things cold.
A stove that heats things up.
And a sink for running water and for dirty dishes.

Then there's the luxury items like a dishwasher and microwave oven.  We've replaced both of those items twice in the time we've lived here.  

SM calls it "planned obsolescence".  The idea that the folks who make these things do so with the thought that it will crap out on you after a few years and you'll need to buy another one.

This happened a few weeks ago to the microwave oven.

You see, when we moved in this house it had an "over the range" microwave oven.  I'd never had one like that before.  All my microwaves sat on my counter so it was pretty cool to have one built into the cabinet above the stove.  

Eventually the 20 year old model that came with the house died and SM replaced it a couple of years ago with this nice, fancy stainless steel model that we installed ourselves.

This sucker was much larger than the old one.  It was also a few inches deeper and a few inches taller so it impacted my "visual cooking area" if you will.  

I got used to it though and continued to whip up my usual delicious culinary fare.

So I was somewhat surprised a few weeks ago to see the green screen of death on the microwave panel.  

Further research showed that the flashing error code indicated that someone...(ahem)...gave the electronics on the microwave one too many steam baths.

 Image result for oops word

In my defense, it WAS Winter and it WAS dry as a bone in the house and SM WAS sick with that bronchial flu type crap that's going around (and that I have now acquired) and the moist air helped him to breathe more comfortably.

Anyhow, SM started researching repair or replacement options while Tami started using the stove to reheat leftovers. 

You know it's funny.  I never would have thought that the microwave would have been high on the list of must-haves in my kitchen.  I mean, sure...I can live without it, but it sure is nice to have that plate of food warmed up and ready to go in 2 minutes.  Let alone save me from constantly washing pots and pans after every stinking meal.

I mostly cook on weekends.  Leftovers are the name of the game on weekdays.  You be surprised how much cold food SM ate these past few weeks just because he didn't want to take the time to heat things up.  If I heated it up...Well, Alrighty Then.  

After two weeks of this crap, I was getting tired of it.  SM had gone back to Lowes (where he bought it) and had ordered another one which made him happy because they gave him a "Great Deal" on the new one.

"I still don't understand why we're replacing it with another over-the-stove model.  Isn't the same thing going to happen again?"  I asked confused.

"Yeah, that's what everybody says.  But it looks so much nicer being up off the counter and those counter models are crap anyway."  SM said blowing me off.

"But why spend..."  I started.

"Tami...Don't push me on this.  Let me handle it."  

SM was still cranky from being sick.  His mind was made up.  

So after a bit of a run around with Lowes, SM finally got his mitts on the new microwave which was sitting on the kitchen floor yesterday when I came home from doing post-ops.

SM asked me for a hand here and there and finally we hauled it up to mount it.  

"Whoa...this isn't going to work."  I said.  

This thing was even bigger than the last one.  We put it back on the floor and SM started measuring things apologizing to me.  "I didn't think to measure it.  They all look alike.  I just figured they're all standard size."  He said confused.

He pulled up the the Lowes inventory of product online and sure enough, all the new microwaves offered are this big.  They're even bigger than the broken one we just pulled out that wasn't all that old.  

Which is really weird if you think about it.  If it's supposed to go under the cabinet and above the stove, you'd think that it would be streamlined and tight.  
This new one poked out almost as far as the stove itself plus it hung down farther into the stove-top cooking space.  

There's no way I can cook like that.

"Let me research some more."  SM asked.  "We might have to special order one."  

I wandered away to let him vent his frustrations on the internet.

After a few minutes to allow him to decompress, I came up to him.

"Hey."  I started.  "The way I see it, you've got two options."

SM looked up at me.

"I'm a cook.  If you want me to keep cooking, then let's take this monster back and get a nice little counter-top model so we can heat up all my yummy leftovers."

Then I smiled at him and lifting shoulders up in a shrug said...

"Or you can hang this nice looking microwave back up on the wall and start eating frozen TV Dinners for the rest of your life." 

Guess what's sitting on my counter-top as we speak?


  1. Lol!! Sometimes men are trying so hard to fix the problem that they miss the most logical answer. That's why they need us women.

  2. I mainly use the microwave to reheat food or melt cheese on my Sammie. When we remodeled the kitchen, we put the microwave in a slot between a set of upper and lower cabinets. If this one craps out and I can't find one to fit in the same space, I'm going to have a BIG problem!

    Oh wow, I just saw a pair of pilated woodpeckers on the suet in the backyard! They're back... I don't know if they migrate but we don't see them very often.

  3. We had the same problem with our recent half-kitchen remodel. The new one was bigger and we had to actually MOVE the cabinet on top of it UP. Not fun. But I have my microwave back, and yes, it's one of those "how did I live without out this thing" once you DON'T have it.

  4. We had a built in one at our last house that died. It wasn't over the stove (though it was over the oven). I never could find the right size replacement, but since it wasn't really mounted on the wall and just a slot in the cabinets I got a smaller one to fit in. Not quite right, but it worked. And I'd have trouble without a microwave too. I'd need a lot more pans as I heat a lot of things up in it. It saves so much on dishes as I can reheat in the glass container they were stored in. And I can also eat out of the container too.

  5. Ah the ever expanding kitchen appliance phenomenon. A couple of months ago we had to replace our over the stove micro because the switch on the light that illuminates the stove top went bad and they no longer sell a replacement part for it. Luckily I was able to find a comparable model in the rare Ivory color so we're set for a couple of years. But my husband is still squinting at the keypad trying to find the Popcorn button.

  6. Way to go!!! I don't like the over the stove units.