Microwave It!

The Microwave Cookbook

Submitter: Here is another great book in microwavable cooking from 1978 found on shelf at my local public library. It’s got your typical unappealing photos of food. I also question if modern microwaves work the same way an older one would have worked in 1978? I think the wattage is different now? Either way, I think this one is an easy weed.

Holly: I would never think to cook half of this stuff in a microwave! I use the microwave as a quick tool to heat up soup for lunch at work, or to thaw frozen meat, but that’s about it. What am I doing with my life, spending time cooking on a stove??


Microwaved food examples

Microwaved soups

microwaved fish

Hungarian beef

microwaved desserts



    1. Gee, that’s what I noticed as well! OF COURSE it is a fake lemon squeezing something onto that slab of — ? Fish? Why would you microwave fish, when it takes such a short time to cook elsewhere?

    2. The brand of the lemon is telling. This is a British cookbook, and even the British tend to admit that “British cooking” is something of a oxymoron. Pass the curry and chips with mushy peas and a side of rocket.

  1. Are those bananas on the cover? Maybe they are pork chops?? Obviously from the days when microwaves were new and offered exciting possibilities. . . or something.

  2. Oh I do love me some 1970s food photography. But….on the back cover, is that …. cake baked in flower pots? :s

    1. I thought you said “food pornography” and I was going to have to agree. A lot of these photos seem subliminally dirty. Like the lemon being squeezed onto the piece of fish or the dish full of bananas(?).

    2. Well, flower pots would be microwave safe. (I have, in a weak moment, made microwave lava cake. Although I used oversized mugs instead of a flower pot.)

    3. There is actually a trend for baking cakes in flower pots for theme parties. Even Martha Stewart (EW!) does it.

  3. My grandparents loved getting the latest gadgets when I was a kid. They were the first people I know who got a microwave. The thing was big enough to cook a turkey, but fortunately they mainly used it for heating leftovers.

  4. My aunt got rid of her stove and replaced it with 3 microwaves and a convection oven long about 1985, so this would have been perfect for her back then! And baking in flowerpots is not that odd, the Joy of Cooking (60’s edition) mentions it for some type of quick bread, I believe!

  5. My parents first got a microwave about 1979 and this was the book they bought at the same time to learn about how to cook with this new fangled device. A couple of the recipes I think I remember from my childhood – certainly the Hungarian Beef. They probably still have it as they never get rid of any books!

  6. My mom has that exact microwave/gonad destroyer…and she still doesn’t know how to use it….

  7. I’m pretty sure my parents got this very book with their first microwave. Ugh, fellow 80s children, remember the horrible food we got subjected to when microwaves first came out? Let’s face it, all they’re good for is heating leftovers.

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