Microwaves are not just for poaching eggs. You can make a vast array of gourmet meals in minutes – from steamed fish to vegetarian chilli and sponge puddings
They were once regarded as technological miracles – machines that allowed you to travel back in time to a moment when your cup of tea was still hot. But the microwave oven was destined to become a tool of convenience rather than necessity. That said, you don’t really notice how much you use a microwave until you don’t have one. When ours broke and my wife suddenly decided that the two extra square feet of worktop space was more valuable than a big electric box that softens butter, I was bereft.
This was partly because, unlike other common kitchen appliances, the microwave positively invites rash experimentation. You think: I wonder what would happen if I put this in there? One imagines many microwave hacks were invented in just this spirit: yes, it can melt chocolate, but it also dries out fresh breadcrumbs, ekes a bit more juice out of lemons and limes, and sterilises kitchen sponges, jam jars and garden soil.
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