Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Things I don't understand #26...
...How the microwave works.
Or maybe how it's supposed to work. Now, over the years I've figured several things out as far as the glorious invention of the microwave goes. Like (1)never leave bread in there for longer than 10 seconds. It just turns to a rubbery lump. (2)If you hear an explosion emanating from the microwave, go ahead and stop it. And (3)anything warmed with a filling, especially a chocolate filling, should be considered dangerous and treated with the utmost respect. But what I can't seem to get a handle on is the method of attack the microwave seems to sometimes take.
A lot of times, it appears that a bowl of food will actually be warmer near the bottom than the top, where the food is exposed. Add it seems that some foods take much longer to warm up than others despite what intuition might indicate. I obviously can't grasp exactly how the waves emit or what molecules are going to being polarized and in what order. Case in point, last week I went to warm up some left-overs consisting of chicken enchiladas and beans(yes, my life is one big gourmet festival). I assumed (yes, I know what happens when I assume) that the enchiladas would take much longer to warm than the beans considering the density of the flour tortilla, chicken, cheese and sauce conglomeration. I figured the beans with their large surface area would need much less time. Both had been refrigerated but considering the previous facts entered into evidence, I decided to microwave the enchiladas for a minute, then add the beans to the plate for an additional minute. So it went off without a hitch, right? Uh, notski. When I pulled the plate out of the "oven", the enchiladas were sizzling, they were definitely ready to be digested. The beans? Uh, they were not so sizzling. So when I gave them the tried-and-true and very scientific "stick my finger in the middle of it" test, I discovered that they were cold. Not "cold" in the not warm enough sense, but "cold" in the "these were just flown in from the arctic" cold. Huh? A spoonful of beans spends an entire minute in the hallowed arena of the microwave and comes out cold? At that point, I was afraid subjecting my tasty food to the horrors of electromagnetic waves and all that implies might cause some sort of nuclear enchilada holocaust in my kitchen. I'm not saying it was likely, but safety first, right? So I soldiered on and enjoyed my enchiladas with a side of cold beans. And if I were to be faced with this predicament again, I now have no idea what to do.