Tinfoil Beware.

I am convinced that whomever invented the microwave was into S&M. Yes, I know it’s suppose to be the height of kitchen convenience, but I suffer with a love/hate relationship with the Radarange.

And yes, I still call it a Radarange. As in Amana Radarange. For those that don’t remember the world before Britney Spears, the first popular brand of microwave was made by Amana. And it was called a Radarange. Hell, Amana might still make a Radarange for all I know. I think they were going for the Kleenex=Tissue concept much like Frigidaire did with the refrigerator. And while the name didn’t really carry over to today’s kitchen, it stuck with an old farm boy like me.

I remember the first Radarange I saw – my grandmother had one for as long as I can remember (maybe 1973 or 1974). You had to lock the door before it would turn on. There may have been lead gloves and lead over the private parts involved, but I could be mixing that memory up with a hospital visit or something. Anyway, It had two huge dials that lit up when they were activated – the top one measured the time in seconds (up to 3 minutes or so), the bottom measured time in minutes, up to 20 minutes or so. It was a beast of a thing, requiring two strong, strapping, handsome men to carry it on the rare occasions it had to be moved. Lights dimmed in several counties when it fired up. I’m convinced that the local nuclear power plants were installed to keep the thing running. But it lived for 20 years or so. It would heat up spaghetti lickity-split and even had a fan to send out pleasant smelling reminders of what was inside the “metal cavity”, as it was described in the manual.

My folks won one in a raffle several years later. It was a little more sophisticated, having three temperature settings — scald, melt and incinerate. But it did what it was suppose to do and that was to pop corn without having to use a popcorn popper.

Back in the early days of Microwave Cuisine, you could buy actual plastic popcorn poppers that you just dumped some corn in, put the whole thing in the Radarange and set it to do its thing. My mother misread the directions and put it on for 12 minutes or so. It ended up a big plastic blob, without the popcorn inside by the time the little mechanical bell dinged, but hey, she gets an E for effort.

Back to the S&M. I am eating supper as I write this blog entry. I have reheated some leftover chili that Earl had left explicit instructions to eat while he was away on business. At least he’s given up the color coding of my food (blue for breakfast, lavendar for lunch, strawberry for supper). Just kidding. Anyways, I put a bowl of chili in the Radarange, hit “reheat” and went to business online. I was prompted to stir, so I stirred. I was prompted to stand, so I stood. I was prompted to spin, so I spun.

I’m now eating my chili. It’s stone cold in the middle, and scalding hot in random locations on the outside.

I bet the old Amana Radarange wouldn’t have done that.

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