Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Loss and the Rediscovery

Growing up, my mostly stay-at-home mom cooked almost every meal from scratch. Of course there were occasional meals out, but for the most part, everything was homemade. And in thinking about it, I don't remember eating many pre-made meals at all and when we did, it was a real treat! 

But that was my Mom. And even though I enjoy cooking I'm just not an everyday-from-scratch-cook. With a busy hectic schedule, especially during the week, I rely on frozen or prepared food and a microwave oven.  Unfortunately on Sunday, our microwave stopped working.  I thought we'd be just fine.  But I found that when I would open the cupboards to look for something to make for dinner, there would only be unopened cans and boxes staring blankly back at me.  I was a bit bewildered because I couldn't cook or thaw anything that required the use of the microwave.  In my mind everything in my freezer was now going to waste and collecting freezer burn.  Then there was the moment when I realized that we were not even able to have a favorite treat--microwave popcorn. Oh the perplexity of it all.....!!...
But then, something unexpected happened...I rekindled my love affair with.....the stove-top!  Yes, you read that right, in the midst of my despair over not having a microwave, I discovered that the multi-functional stove-top can revitalize leftovers with the twist of a knob and heat up soup in minutes.  Then there was an unexpected bonus when I discovered it can even make a grilled cheese sandwich!  Okay, I already knew it could do that--But what I did realize that using the stove-top is like so many other good things in life that just take a little time.
~Todd at day-camp this week~
As you can tell, all is well here this week at 'Golden Pines' and I hope it is for you too!  I look forward to catching up with your blogs today, after I buy some 'Jiffy Pop Popcorn!' they still sell Jiffy Pop??


  1. Jiffy pop.... oh the memories of it over an open fire while camping with MOM.

  2. Buy a stir-crazy popcorn popper.. It makes the best popcorn..
    Not having a microwave would be hard.
    My mom was a cook from scratch homemaker and I am too. Processed foods are not as tasty or healthy for us.
    My first micro-wave was $600 and now one can purchase one for $100. I want a Ipad and hope the price for that will come down too..
    Have a Tiggeriffic Day~ ta ta for now from Iowa:)

  3. We are so dependent on our microwaves these days. It is a rude awakening when they just crap out without any warning and we are left to make dinner the old fashioned way ;-)


  4. Did you know you can even make popcorn in a kettle on the stove? ;)

    Dogs are all looking good!

  5. You can't make grilled cheese in a microwave and that was a definite "go-to" in our home when we were kids.

    I'm glad all is well at your home:-)

  6. I've never had a microwave and wouldn't know what to do with one! Just depends what you're used to, doesn't it.

    Lovely dog pics, as ever.

  7. It's funny you don't realize what you miss until its not there anymore.

    Glad you are rediscovering your stove top again..

    Gill in Canada

  8. this post made me laugh.
    witty girl! and you are right, i have become too dependent on that thing too. though i do make a lot of homemade soup this time of year and i do it on the stovetop! but for a quick lunch? zap it.
    i've become addicted to "green smoothies!" all kinds of greens mixed with fruit. so healthy!
    wendy's white face is beautiful. and todd tummy down at the water cooler... who's cuter than that!
    tammy j

  9. thinking here of already beloved lucas... it will be interesting if he still sleeps with his little paw over his head after his mouth has healed... i still feel like he must have started doing that to comfort himself, much like we hold onto the place that hurts...

  10. Love your photos . Glad to here all is good with the clan !I hardly use my microwave . I do however have a taster oven that I use a lot it does baking, broiling and toasting of course lol . There is only Papa and I also use the the top of the stove. I use my slow cooker quite a lot as well ! We all have our things we like to use. Hope you get a new microwave they arent anywhere near as expensive as they once were ! Have a great day !

  11. rofl... as a mom who cooks from scratch, daily.. your post really cracked me up...and my girls will not eat premade food..or fast food... Hope you love you your (old) new found joy of the stove top

  12. I hear you !
    My microwave gets used everyday, and I made popcorn in it twice this week already :)
    It's 23 years old, and still going strong.
    The pictures are so sweet, Life at Golden Pines always seems so perfect...

  13. We too think that the microwave is not a luxury, but a necessity. Jiffy pop, a blast from the past. Love the doggie pictures. Enjoy the stove!

  14. We have a microwave but never use the thing, I would send it your way but I think you need to experience making popcorn on the stove top. So get that pot out and start shaking those kernels....Yummm!

  15. Woof! Woof! Oh Kim you made mom laugh about Microwave. She read lots of not so good thing about microwave so ever since she just uses it to just re-heat(which many says it is a bad thing too ... oh well). How about dishwasher, what's your take on that. ENJOY your popcorn ... the gang might beg for some. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  16. you're too funny. loved your baby photos!

  17. Back 'in the day', I considered Jiffy Pop a luxury. I just used a pot with a lid to make our popcorn. I don't know if they still sell it, I would think so - how about if you wanted to go camping? Ha Ha.

    For me, the heating water in the tea kettle (which sits on my stove for some odd reason) was the worst pain, so much easier to pop a cup of water in the nuker. Man, have I gotten lazy, or what?

    We did have a good life before the microwave and we had no clue...

  18. Jiffy Pop is the yummiest. :)

    I will admit that we rarely use our microwave. We use it to reheat should we have leftovers that don't reheat well on the stove. I am a big crock pot fan though and should that would be a tragedy. :)

  19. I haven't seen Jiffy Pop for years! Good luck with your rekindled relationship with the stovetop, I'm sure you'll love it! The dogs all look great!!

  20. I'm a cook from scratch gal - kids have allergies so just easier to make everything.

    I use microwave to heat animal hotties so couldn;t be without one.

    Love Leanne

  21. Jiffy Pop,LOL. Kim, what are we going to do with you? Don't know if they still have that jiffy stuff but they do have good ol' regular pop corn. Just add a pot or pan and some oil and start poppin'. Course you will have to wash up the pan later.

  22. I was one if the last hold outs to get a microwave. I like it and use it, but I still prefer the oven for meals. I've been doing lots of baking lately which makes everyone happy, both humans and canines.

    We use an air popper so I don't know if they make Jiffy Pop anymore.

  23. I believe they do still make jiffy pop. :)

    Glad to hear you're all well! That is great.
    Have a wonderful weekend! :)

  24. Oh darlin' I cook almost everything from scratch in huge batches and freeze 'em. I always have meals I can simply nuke!

    On the other hand I am a microwave cook. I cook everything from sauces, meatloaf, sloppies, fudge even our mornin' oatmeal in the microwave.

    Mine died two Saturdays ago. Lucky me it was only six months old and under warranty. Lucky me instead of sendin' it off for the three to four week repair Sears gave me a brand spankin' new one.

    I only had to survive one meal without my trusty friend!!!

    God bless ya and have a fantastic day sweetie!!!

  25. Your post made me smile as every summer I still go camping for a week at the beach and somehow we manage not to starve with just a 2-element cooker, a small barbeque and and an ice box (ther is no frigde so it gets filled with ice). We have no dishwasher, no oven, no microwave, no running water (just containers of it!), no preprepared meals but on hoiday I'm not in a rush so it is OK for things to take time. I hear the wind and the rain on our tent, although I return home thankful for indoor plumbing in the middle of a rainy night. It is amazing the things we get used to and think we can't live without.

    I love how Lucas sleeps - Riley always covers his nose with his paw at night, but Lucas must be extra flexible.

  26. lol I am the exact opposite of you, I avoir the microwave at all costs, I find that it zaps the life out of my food! I use it once a week on Monday nights when I don't have time to cook before heading out to choir practice! I use the stove to heat up everything and the plus side is that I have a gas stove so it even works if the power goes out!

  27. Our fast food was a once a week Swanson's pot pie when my mother went bowling. LOL!

    It's amazing how much we use the microwave these days.

    Love the Todd photo.

  28. I can relate to the cooking part. Now that my husband is retired too, he cooks all the time. He even felt I didn't treat the dogs right as far as food was concerned and started to add extra to his sauces, rice, and meat so that they could have with their dinners. Both Angel and Samson need to gain weight, but Soldier is not allowed to. Lucas looks adorable, so clean and fluffy and relaxed. You are such a wonderful woman, Kim. I'm glad all is well at your place.

  29. Hi my friend, Loved reading this-I'm like you in that I'm not a gourmet cook but I also had a mom that worked and never taught me to cook or to enjoy it. Loved seeing the crew! Hope you have a wonderful evening.
    Love, Noreen & Reggie

  30. Hah,hah! When we first moved here in the woods 30 years ago,when our electric would quit working because of a storm,I was like,oh,boy!!!! I get to cook on the woodstove.But last year we went without electric for more than once,for up to 4 days at a time,we groaned & I ran clear into KFC so I didn`t have to cook on the woodstove.I guess that`s quite different than the microwave,but still an adjustment especially now that we are older...phyllis

  31. My mom was a from scratch cooker too. I know it is the healthier way to go so I try and avoid a lot of packaged foods and microwave use. I will admit to using microwave popcorn although I vow to quit. I will have to check the store for jiffy pop! Yum!

  32. Glad all is well at Golden Pines.

    aka Boondocks human

  33. Join the club! Scratch cooking is the best!

  34. My husband and I are both retired and cook maybe three meals a week. We have our favorite take out food and frequent those places. So, you are not alone.

  35. I can not cook at all. Maybe it would be easier if all three of us weren't such picky eaters. I'm glad things are going well there Kim! That's good to hear!

    xo Catherine

  36. I am a retired person, who lives with my dog and cat, and always cooks "from scratch". It just costs so much less, you know whats in what you are eating and you have total control over sugar and salt content. I bet you will just fall in love with that stove top.

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  37. Hi Kim
    It's good to hear most everything is calm right now at Golden Pines- except the microwave not working!
    We can relate to when some thing you depend upon is not working anymore!
    I have seen Jiffy Pop at the stores.
    I always loved it.
    We eat a lot of popcorn- and we use the dome thing that spins around- forget what it is called, but makes the best popcorn- and no schucks.
    Todd looks like he is having a good time at Day Care. Don't you wish he could tell you about his day?
    And Lucas and Wendy seem to be having the best naps ever.
    I hope your microwave gets replaced soon- and everything gets back to normal

  38. They DO still sell Jiffy Pop, but nothing beats an air popper with Amish popcorn! Oh, my mouth is watering now. The one appliance I couldn't live without is the slow cooker. How did people survive before those things? Put it all in the pot, turn it on and when you get home, the house smells like heaven (unless a puppy pooped in his crate) and there's no fussing in the kitchen to be done.

  39. Hi there Kim,
    You sound like you are a great cook!
    Enjoy the popcorn, the blogs...and your beautiful dogs. "Wendy" looks very sweet indeed. Hope the days ahead are trouble free, and that you get your microwave back.
    Sending lotsaluv

  40. My dad always burned the Jiffy-Pop!! :)
    I just spent several minutes catching up with you all at Golden Pines...I always feel like I am visiting old friends here!

  41. We are a cook from starch people too but not always!! For the last 3 years tho!! We get in better health every year too!!! I highly recommend it tho!!!!
    Hugs dear friend, Fern

  42. I love to cook! And use only the stove top to do it. I can just manage to heat things in the microwave.....can't imagine cooking in it....I'd be lost!
    Everyone looks well there Kim. Have a great weekend.

  43. We've given up eating processed foods - mainly because of my headaches, and our microwave find itself being used to store things while we are gone. It's Monty proof!


  44. When our microwave broke some years ago, I never replaced it. The kids grumble but I just tell them to heat things up in a pan the way we did before microwaves !
    ( Then wash the pan please !!! )

  45. Hah! With my diet, I'm finding that I can't rely on the prepared food so much. I'm also having to actually cook more. And, it isn't that bad. Just takes more time. But then, I'm supposed to have that, not having to work any more.

  46. Thats what I've been missing.. a 'good' home cooked meal.. don't get too many of those around here.. especially with my cooking.. always would like to start from stratch.. but never have the time to

  47. I know someone who believes that microwaved food is bad for you. We are opposites because I can't live without mine!!!! I'm like you in that regard... but a good home-cooked meal is awesome. I am very very lucky that my husband loves to cook or we'd be eating frozen pizza every single night :)

    Love the happy doggy photos!

  48. Thanks for sending through the poem this morning . Whoever wrote it understands old dogs .

  49. Hi to all the gang at Golden Pines! So pleased to hear all is well with you. Now, this microwave popcorn, this sounds good but we've never had it, may have to pop (haha) that on the shopping list when she's not looking. Great to see a photo of Todd, we hope he has taken charge of the whole household in true Terrier style :-) Lots of love Dex and Lou xxx

  50. Hi Y'all,

    Just stopped by to catch up on your happenings and say hello!

    We spend lots of time in the southeastern mountains where the food grows from the ground with the most incredibly wonderful flavor! Quite a few people still heat with and cook on a wood stove.

    We store summer and fall bounty in the root cellar. Packing to return to the shore for the winter means loading as many cases of apples, potatoes and turnips in the car as possible.

    I've learned that there are so many things you can prepare in an oven or on a stove top in half an hour or less! Simple things are so good and good for you. I no longer make a big production of a meal.

    Slice a potato thin and put it on a baking sheet. I don't use oil or salt, but you can brush olive oil and grind some coarse salt lightly. Stick a piece of fish on tin foil with a little olive oil on top and season. Put fish and tin foil on the baking sheet and put all in the oven. Fix your veggie on the stove top. Baby carrots with a dusting of dark brown sugar and a dash of olive oil and everything is done in about 10 to 15 minutes.

    When we are at the shore we go to the port and buy the fish when it comes off the boat. You can still get good fish if you have a small grocery with a seafood department. Be sure you fish is fresh. If things smell fishy they aren't fresh.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  51. Too funny Kim.
    I rarely use the microwave except for rewarming coffee. Last weekend I was foraging through the pantry for a snack. I was on the edge of disappointment and discouraged until I noticed the bag of popcorn. It was on the shelf staring at me, and I could almost hear it saying "Pick me! Pick me! you have ignored me for that new kid on the block that likes to be 'zapped' in the microwave".
    At first, I was a bit perplexed because I couldn't remember how much oil to heat in the pot. There were no directions on the package because someone(who shall remain unnamed) cut them off the end of the package the last time(???)we had stove top popcorn.
    There was a debate to fly solo and wing it or to google directions on the computer. I soldiered on and managed to not burn the kernels. So next movie night, I will start the show with a bowl of popcorn.

  52. I love to cook but some days it just not fit in the schedule! Wendy is so pretty!

  53. LOL .... not much of a cook here myself ... so many other things I would prefer to be doing!


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