musings techniques

My First Cookbook

My First CookbookOn my last trip home, my parents made me take a stack of old cookbooks off their hands. Some of them were mine (a couple Martin Yan cookbooks), and some of them were relics from the 70s and 80s. One of these was The Micro-Range Cookbook. Published in 1978, The Micro-Range Cookbook came with the Admiral microwave my parents bought, and it became an easy way for me to learn how to “cook.”

For example, instead of breaking out a frying pan, I could grab some bacon, sandwich it between some paper towels and cook them in the microwave for 2-3 minutes on HIGH, and VOILA! A nearly instant and “safe” way to sate a childhood bacon fix.

Or I could make scrambled eggs in a Pyrex measuring cup. Simply microwave on HIGH for 40 seconds, stirring the eggs “outside in” and then cooking on HIGH for another 30 seconds. Let stand for a minute or two to complete cooking.

Micro Pork Roast

I think the only reason I knew what Pyrex was when I was 9 years old was that it was used to make scrambled eggs. Plus, I was paranoid of undercooking the eggs, so I think I routinely made (and was used to) rubbery scrambled eggs.

Looking at this cookbook now, I’m horrified by some of the recipes that are in it. I mean, would you really want to make prime rib in the microwave? Or a rib eye steak? Or how about this 70s-style crown roast of pork? (Click on image to enlarge)

Micro Pork Roast

This cookbook also taught me about the wonder of s’mores. I’d never seen s’mores before and when I saw the picture (below), I knew I had to make this thing. Not quite the same as campfire s’mores, but it was better than nothing.

Micro S'mores

These days, the microwave has been relegated to more mundane tasks like heating frozen dinners, warming up leftovers, and making a quick cup of hot water for tea or something. After reading this book again, my morbid curiosity wants to know…

What will microwaved prime rib taste like?

It’s the anti-sous vide, and I’m thinking that maybe I should give it a shot just so this blog has a little, you know…balance.