Handy hints (HLD 294)

11 Jan 2021

As part of my widely diverse and highly fascinating reading list today, I read a fascinating little article that contained handy hints for things you can do in your microwave.

I know – riveting stuff! I could have been reading Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, or Michel de Montaigne’s Essays, but instead I’m reading a list of things that I probably already know. (Just out of interest, those books were listed when I searched for “things intellectual people read”. If you search for “things people with too much time on their hands read”, I’m fairly sure “Heather’s Literary Diarrhoea” would crack a mention 🤣)

Anyway – back to the microwave. The article goes to great lengths to insist that your microwave is useful for way more things – 25 that they mention – beyond reheating food.

Now I don’t know about you, but reheating of food is only number two activity that my microwave oven undertakes. Number one and most frequent usage is the cooking of frozen vegetables. It performs this task mostly once a day. Reheating of food might be a once a week task. Sometimes defrosting of bread rolls is even more frequently done than reheating! My microwave is possibly one of the least used kitchen tools. Obviously the coffee machine wins that race.

So, with the aim of finding other things that my microwave oven could do rather than being a storage shelf for child food bowls, I plowed into this fascinating article.

Turns out there are some interesting things you can do with your microwave – you can bake cakes, steam vegetables, cook eggs, peel garlic, dry herbs, make dough rise, shuck corn, toast nuts, dye yarn and remove a stamp from an envelope. Another fascinating tip is that you can use your microwave to test whether your dishes are microwave proof! I’ve done this inadvertently a couple of times, and learned by the dishes not surviving the experience, that they weren’t microwave proof.

But by far the most interesting tip, and one that could have almost, but not quite, moved this article into the ‘intellectual people reading list”, is how to measure the speed of light, using only your microwave and some chocolate.

I’m not going to do it, but if I get bored one day with all that cooking of frozen vegetables (and I have some spare chocolate lying around), I may well give it a shot.


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