The Day the Microwave Went Out

Sounds kind of like the title of some 1950’s horror movie; doesn’t it?  And it was kind of was.  I had friends over to play cards one morning last week and was using the microwave to make three cups of tea.  (Yes, yes, I’m the only one who enjoys a cocktail in the AM.)

Anyone, got our nice drinks and an hour later my friend Kathi went to make herself some more tea.

“Hey,” she said, “is your power out again?”  (The power goes out somewhat regularly during the rainy season here and it’s not always obvious that it’s out during the daytime.)

But when she opened the fridge, the light was on, so power was obviously not the problem.  Well, except to the microwave.  Light didn’t come on when you opened the door to it; 0:00 was not lit up on the timer.  Yep, dead as a doornail (whatever that means).

I hate it when things (or people or other animals) just die without any warning.  I want bells, whistles, and sirens going off to indicate that there is a problem.  And, yes, I mean with people, too.  Myself included.

But the microwave had been working just fine and then suddenly, it wasn’t.  Me no like.

I offered to heat up some water on the propane stove, but nobody wanted me to “go through all that bother,” so we finished up our game and all was fine.  As Kathi was leaving, she said “I know a place that repairs microwaves here in Joco.  I”ll send you the information.”

The next morning, I needed to go to the local IMSS clinic for a checkup on my blood pressure and as I was driving home, I saw a place that sells and repairs microwaves just where Kathi had mentioned it might be.  So I figured that the next Wednesday when Antonio was here, I would have him double-check the power outlet and then we would take the microwave to the repair shop.

That left me with five days to live without a microwave.  No big deal; right?  And, yet, friends, after two days I could not remember how to re-heat things!!!

How sad is that!!  I must have done it for at least 40 years of my life, but I could not recall how to do it.  In my fridge were lots of tamales, but I didn’t know how to get them warm again!  I actually had to post on my Facebook account and ask!

Thank heavens my friends came through for me….even if their recommendations came with snickers and on a “slant.”  My friend Becky reminded me that we used to use double-boilers for such things.  Now I don’t have any double boilers. but it did remind me that I have a vegetable steamer that I can put in a deep frying pan, add some water, cover, and make my own double boiler!!

It worked like a charm and actually made the tamales taste better because they got steamed!

So I’ve been using the stove to reheat and cook things for the past 10 days.  And the weirdest thing to me is that I’ve been eating better!  No more microwave popcorn.   No more instant oatmeal.  No more melting cheese on chips for quick nachos.

Oh, I’ll still get the microwave fixed.  No worries about that!  But in the meantime, I’m actually making meals on the stove!

About Barbara

in april of 2008, i moved from the united states to mexico. during my working days, i held lots and lots of jobs....almost all chosen because they were fun or interesting instead of how much they paid. when i started thinking about retirement (in my 40s), i realized that i would never be able to retire to a country where english was the native language. and although i had traveled to every state in the US -- and lived in lots of them -- i had never been outside the country with the exception of canada and mexico. and since you now know that i could never afford to retire in canada (even to the french-speaking area), mexico won by default.
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6 Responses to The Day the Microwave Went Out

  1. Miguel de Joco says:

    Barbara, So good to see a post from you. I must admit that I have been so preoccupied that until I received your Microwave blog I’d forgotten you still existed… something that I am not proud of. the reason? I’ve been up in TX since June 30th and won’t return until the 28th, the longest I’ve been out of MX in 7 years.
    Thanks so much for the tamale giggle. I have yet to read one of you posts that didn’t make my day.
    Don’t know who you got to repair the nuke, but if you run into a problem check out Henry’s (?) small electrical appliance repair. From my place he’s across the street and toward the light a few doors. Nice guy and my experience has been nothing but positive.

    Abrazos, mi amiga de la Internet!

  2. Pam Jorgenson says:

    Well, thank God. That microwave popcorn isn’t so good for you, but it’s hard to pass up the ease of microwave reheat button, if that’s what you had. Just want you to enjoy. We did know about outages during the rainy season. No electricity, no water, no flush.

  3. Barbara says:

    How great to see you here! I check almost every day. Yes – amazing how we come to rely on these things. I resisted having a computer for a very long time, and now if the cable is out or electricity off I’m at a loss. Even though I know a computer is a vortex and I spend waaaaaaaaaaay too much time on it that’s unproductive, I can’t imagine not having one, or having to (gasp!) go to the library to use one. Same thing with a microwave – while I don’t actually cook in it I can’t imagine not having one to reheat, make popcorn, etc.

    Spoiled much? Why yes, I am.

    Welcome back.

    • Barbara says:

      Just had a conversation today with friends about being without phone or internet or satellite TV, and the consensus was that they miss internet the most. Guess i should have brought up the microwave story! BTW, i’m still doing without it and really not missing it that much now…..although i do have to think twice about any Mexican “fast food” that i might buy. For instance, I was going to pick up some Chinese take-out for later, but then realized what a pain it would be to heat each thing separately. So i’m starting to think it really MIGHT be healthier for me not to have access to a microwave!

  4. Karen says:

    Until a few years ago, we’d had the same microwave since when we got married (at that time, it was 34 years old). Every five or so years, it would “die,” and Michael somehow discovered that it was just a tiny little fuse and he’d replace that and it’d chug along for another five years. But two years ago, we decided we didn’t need a microwave large enough to cook a triceratops in (those ones from the 70’s were REALLY big) and it just was too massive in the small kitchen. So we gave it away via Freecycle, and bought a nice petite one. But, I do remember those times when we couldn’t get a new fuse right away – and you do rely on those contraptions for the convenience of that rapid re-heating. Hope you get yours back soon.

    • Barbara says:

      i’m sure all this one needs is a new fuse, too. i’m just holding off to see if i can live without it! it’s been an interesting experiment. i really didn’t know how much i relied on it. now if the fridge went out, THAT would be a disaster!

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