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Al Owne in the kitchen (09/16/2012)
By Al Owne
I don’t know whether to write this as a product warning or another kitchen microwave disaster. I took my last on sale Banquet pot pie out of the freezer for lunch. I was going to put it in the oven but that takes 30 minutes, so I read the microwave instructions. It said “4 – 5 minutes on high.” That would save me about 25 minutes and I was hungry. I looked at the stack of regular microwave-safe dishes in the cupboard, but for old time’s sake I chose a 1950’s Windsor Melmac plate. We have (had) a set of yellow all-purpose Melmac dishes and the smaller plates and bowls were a handy size.

I did all the preparation for the pot pie so it wouldn’t blow up in the microwave, set the timer for four minutes, and turned it on. I started eating a salad and watching the pot pie through the microwave window. Everything seemed to be going OK; the little pie was slowly rotating as the microwave hummed along. Then I heard a strange “Crack” sound. I wasn’t sure it came from the microwave, but I looked and things still looked OK. As the time ticked down through the last minute, I heard more loud cracks, but I figured it was too late now I might as well let it go.

I finished my salad which took up the five minute waiting time in the instructions on the box, then I removed the steaming entrée from the Radar Range* (I’m testing your memory) and looked at the pot pie; it was perfect. The yellow Windsor Melmac plate however was a different story. It had one large crack and several smaller ones radiating out from the center and was a brownish color along the cracks. Well, I still have five of the original eight plates left now. So if you have a set of 1950’s Windsor Melmac, it’s not microwave safe!

*Last week marked the anniversary of the day a scientist accidentally discovered microwaves could cook food when a candy bar in his pocket melted during an experiment. He tried cooking food and it worked. I wonder what kind of plate he used? Radar Range was the original name for the first commercial zapper.

I’ve had a couple requests for a picture to go along with the column. I do have a photo on Facebook, but it’s a little hard to see me in the basket. (When I was younger, I was a basket case.) I’ll see what I can do.

Speaking of Facebook I have five “friends” now, and that includes one dog and one rabbit. The rabbit must not have heard about my war against rabbits in my garden. Things got pretty tough there last year. I think the local rabbits heard of my reputation and decided against raiding my garden this year. I’m not against being friends with a rabbit as long as he stays out of my garden.

Remember, we are all in this together so we might as well be nice to each other.




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