We got a wonderful Christmas present from my parents.  It might seem sort of “everyday” to you, but you will understand once I tell you a little about the back story.

When I was in college, like 10 years ago.  I’m getting old.  Anyway, when I was in college I had my own dorm room for three of my four years.  It was wonderful.  Not great for my social life.  Who cares about that anyway?  By the way, I went to Baylor University.  Home of Heisman Trophy Winner Robert Griffin III.  They happen to be playing in the Alamo Bowl right now.  Sic’em!  Okay, so back to my private dorm room in college.  I was not allowed to have any cooking elements.  Hope there is a statute of limitations for that rule, since I’m about to make a confession.  I had a microwave.  It made my rebellion against all things Dining Hall possible.  It was “stored” (read hidden) on the floor of my closet with a cover made from a pillow sham.  Creativity rules.  I’m sure it was my mom’s creation.  That microwave was so great.  I could make my oatmeal (have I mentioned how much I hate oatmeal?).  I could reheat leftovers….including the baked garlic and lemon salmon that I would cook once per week – gourmet.  All round a useful tool.

Since graduation in 2005 every place I have lived has had a microwave installed.  Literally I have not even thought twice about the ability to warm/reheat/steam in almost 7 years. Then we moved to our charming little rental.  I love this little house.  It makes me happy.  When we realized we needed a microwave I went scavenging through my parents’ basement storage unit.  That is a stretch.  I knew my dorm microwave was down there.  And technically that is an organized and easily searched shelving area.  I was not scavenging.  I walked down there, picked up the microwave, and walked back out to my car.  Simple.  So my dorm room contraband found its way back into my life.

It was a slow realization.  The broccoli took 12 minutes to steam.  The soup was warm on the edge, frosty in the middle.  The only bowl that would fit easily in the oven was a ramiken.  Larger bowls would clink clink clink against the inside walls.  It was quicker to use the teapot to heat a mug of water for tea than it was to just pop it in the microwave.  I came to a conclusion.  Have you ever had to warm up your hands by breathing warm air on them?  Or maybe tried to fog up a window to write a secret message?  The temperature of your breath.  That was the temperature of the heat the little old microwave.  Sad.

So our predicament was one of a too small no heat microwave.  Poor adorable little thing.  We left it there on the countertop and used the teapot to heat water and the stovetop to cook food.  Until I reached for a pan in mom’s kitchen to heat up some frozen plantains.  She laughed at me and told me to use the microwave.  I hadn’t even thought of that.  Not using the microwave was normal for me.  I described the heating ability and capacity of our little microwave.  She laughed.  It became quite the joke.

Our Christmas present was a huge box.  Yep.  A brand shiny new microwave.  Dave likes that it “goes” with the espresso machine that lives next to it.  I like that it is huge.  I used it for not one, but TWO meals today.  Far fewer pots to clean in my kitchen sink.  (Wonder if Dave is gonna get to those?)  I am so happy to be getting to use this new contraption with more buttons than “start” “stop” and “minutes”.  It has buttons that do things I’m not aware of.  It even “senses” the steam level in the compartment and let’s me know when it is heated.  Wow.  Fancy.

So tonight I am a happy chef and a happy Baylor Bear.