Microwave Mentality (Angel in the Kitchen)


We’ve humorously mentioned our twin microwaves Luke and Nuke. They’re such a blessing that it’s hard not to get attached to them. They’re essential members of our family of kitchen angels, and now we can’t imagine life without them. We can actually pop TWO bags of popcorn at the same time! Does it get any better than that?

Big Daddy! A Raytheon microwave oven — installed (rather fittingly, we’d say) aboard the first nuclear-powered cargo ship, the NS Savannah, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Microwaves make life a lot easier. And they speed up many kitchen tasks. A baked potato used to take over an hour in a conventional oven. A microwave gets the job done in a few minutes. Frozen dinners, originally packaged in foil trays and engineered to be heated in the oven, went from taking a half-hour to “cook,” to being ready in a couple minutes.

The microwave oven was “invented” in 1945 by Raytheon. One of their employees, Percy Spencer, a self-taught engineer from Maine, had discovered the microwave’s ability to heat foods by sheer accident. He was working on a radar system, when he noticed the microwaves being emitted were melting the chocolate bar he’d stuck in his pocket. Leave it to a scientist to react positively to such a revelation: “Wow, that is so cool!” versus “Yikes, my goose could’ve been cooked!”

Spencer quickly cobbled together a microwave device to try cooking other foods. First thing he microwaved was — surprise! — popcorn. (Orville Redenbacher really owes this guy!) The second thing was an egg, which — surprise! — exploded in the face of one of his technicians. Two years later, Raytheon filed a U.S. patent application for Spencer’s gift to humankind, and started manufacturing the first commercially available microwave ovens. Speedy Weeny purchased one, and installed it in a vending machine in New York’s Grand Central Station, allowing passengers to dispense “sizzling delicious” hot dogs.

It was two decades before microwave ovens were made available for home use. Raytheon’s first commercially available microwave was almost 6 feet tall, weighed in at 750 pounds, and cost about $5,000 — equivalent to about $53,000 in today’s economy — a mere pittance. But in 1967, Amana introduced the first kitchen countertop model. New technology and innovation allowed microwave ovens to be built lighter, smaller and less expensive.

Isn’t technology wonderful? No, we really mean it. Technological advances are the reason computers went from filling up huge buildings and costing millions, to fitting in our cell phones — and being relatively cheap. Innovation has given us fast food, and then speeded up the process of take-out meals even further by giving us the drive-thru.

After taking a snapshot, we used to have to wait for days before we could see the results of the developed film. Then someone created the one-hour photo shop. But even that seems slow by today’s standards: now we just capture images with our phones and we can see the pics immediately. Life is good, right? It’s also really fast. High-speed internet, express checkout, instant oatmeal, and Jiffy Lube! Fast and convenient. But with all these time-saving innovations, many of us have gotten a “microwave mentality”: we want everything now!  And that’s only because we can’t have it “yesterday”!

Come on, come on, come on! Wish this traffic would move a little faster!

We’re living in fast times. We have accelerated lifestyles. We want to accomplish more in less time. This can be an admirable quality … until it becomes an obsession. Being in a constant hurry can be hard on your nervous system. People get impatient when they have to wait — even if it’s only a few minutes. When they get off from work, they start the mad dash to get home, which is why we call this time of day THE RUSH HOUR! But haste makes waste: fender benders take time to phone in and get repaired; speeding tickets are expensive, and police officers usually write them at a very leisurely pace — clearly, these officers are trying to teach a valuable lesson to motorists: SLOW DOWN!

As we approach the Summer months, we’d like to remind our readers to take life a little more slowly. Don’t be in such a frenzy to get this, do that, arrive there. Enjoy the journey. Take in the view. Stop and smell the roses. Calm down and sense the presence of the Lord. “Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10 NLT)


An Airtight Promise! (Angel in the Kitchen)


There are many brands of resealable plastic storage containers sold in stores today. Most are designed to go from refrigerator to microwave and then, if necessary, back to the refrigerator. These containers come in all shapes and sizes, and some of them have very specific functions. Some are made of a durable plastic that can withstand repeated use in the microwave as well as countless trips through the dishwasher. Some are pricey, but there are a few brands that are made of a thinner plastic and intended to be semi-disposable, such as Gladware. These cheaper containers can be reused several times before repeated microwaving leaves them whimpering for mercy and — like a few friends we know — all bent out of shape. Few people refer to these food-savers as “resealable plastic storage containers”; it’s a lot easier to refer to them collectively as Tupperware.

Tupperware, however, is a brand name. But since Tupperware were the first and most popular food storage containers, many people use the famous name to describe any similar product — in the same way most people call all gelatin Jello, and all tissues Kleenex. Perhaps wrong, but understandable. Tupperware paved the way and made work in the kitchen easier. These marvels of versatility also empowered women who were stuck in the kitchen. More on this later.

A Massachusetts chemist named Earl Silas Tupper (1907-83) had invented a soft but rugged plastic in 1938, but wasn’t too sure what would be its best use until he came up with the idea for Tupperware in 1946. Tupper initially developed his soon-to-be famous containers to store food and keep it fresh. His first design was a bell-shaped container called the Wonderlier Bowl. Not only did the Wonderlier keep food fresh, but it also could be used as a serving bowl.

Tupperware was also a pioneer of direct marketing. During WWII, thousands of women entered the workplace, filling jobs in factories and offices. By the 1950s most of them had returned to the kitchen, and many of them were feeling a bit shut in, underused, and forgotten. The Tupperware Party allowed these women an opportunity to once again be a part of the business world, to interact and to earn money. And all for a product they could get passionate about.

What made Tupperware so special? When the containers were sealed, they were airtight, so foods stayed fresher — for a much longer period. Tupperware boasted its containers were so airtight, that once you sealed one, you could crack open a small section of the lid and “burp” out the remaining air. Tupperware even went so far as to patent their “burping seal”! In their ads, Tupperware boasted the “airtight promise”! Freshness and flavors were locked in, and liquids weren’t able to seep out around the lid.

Why are we gushing so much over a plastic container? We’re not. When first introduced, Tupperware’s Airtight Promise was indeed innovative. Tupperware sealed tight as a drum. It locked in freshness. It preserved what was inside. But if you’re like us, and you’ve trusted Jesus Christ for your eternal salvation, you’ve got something far better than Tupperware on your side. You’ve got God’s Holy Spirit!

“In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the Gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise….” (Ephesians 1:13 NASB)

“…Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.” (Galatians 3:22 NIV)

“And may the God of peace himself sanctify you in all things; that your whole spirit, and soul, and body, may be preserved blameless in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is faithful who hath called you, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 Douay-Rheims Bible)

“They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh….” (Psalm 92:14 NIV)

Salvation is God’s Divine Tupperware!