11 Weeks and Four Days in The Mountains: Six Days Ago

A thing happened six days ago. We returned to civilization! No, we didn’t abandon our adobe sanctuary and head back to the brick and concrete of Lodo. We got a microwave.

That seem like a small thing but if you’ve had one your whole life and then lived without one for any period of time, it’s a really big deal. Tuesday night, for the first time in two and half months, I ate evenly and quickly reheated leftovers for dinner. We’ve occasionally heated leftovers in the oven or on the range here, but that takes a long time and the food tends to burn or dry out or have tooth-shocking cold spots. The microwave is such a luxury!

Without even taking measurements, my partner managed to buy one that fit perfectly into the opening of our appliance garage. And if you don’t know what an appliance garage is, you’re not alone. I never knew this was a thing until we moved here. When we first looked at the house, there was a sign in kitchen that said “This appliance garage has electricity!” I simply ignored the sign because I didn’t know what the hell an appliance garage was and would have been too embarrassed to ask why a sign about the garage was in the kitchen. But now I know that it’s a lovely little area that keeps all our small appliances neatly off the cupboard but easily accessible.

Look at that fit!
Look at that fit!
The backside of the appliance garage. Notice the power strip?
The backside of the appliance garage. Notice the power strip?

I’m guessing that appliances garages aren’t a more widely implemented feature of kitchens because most people never use their small appliances after the first month or two of ownership. They use them just enough to make the gaps between the buttons and the base grimy and then they get pushed to the back of the cupboard along with the hot dog toaster, butter cutter, and slap chop. No, we don’t own any of those. But we do own some egg rings, a burger patty press, and a cast iron panini press that have only seen the light of day that one time we moved them from our last house to this one. OK, and maaaaaybe we own a slap chop.

But everything in our appliance garage we actually use. Honest! The espresso machine, coffee grinder, blender, deep fryer, and juicer all get used regularly. I never understood, though, why microwaves were lumped into the same category as small appliances. Most people keep their fondue pots and dehydrators tucked away except for special occasions, but microwaves are as much of a kitchen staple as bread and milk. In fact, it struck me as very odd when we first moved in here that there wasn’t a microwave. Then I remembered that most places don’t come with them. It’s just that the last two places I lived in were condos with fancy kitchens where everything was built in, so the microwaves were included. But no home or apartment I ever lived in before came with one.

So now we have one. We can make popcorn. We can make Hot Pockets (probably not). We can make borderline genius (!) microwave recipes. Or we can just close the door of the appliance garage and pretend we’re the Übermenschen who cook fresh all the time and just don’t need one.

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