Microwave Everything!

microwave cookbook

Microwave Cook Book
Gaulke, ed.

The Sunset books have been featured here more than a few times. They covered everything: camping, home decorating, fashion/crafts, and of course cooking/entertaining. I am sure we have only scraped the surface of the awful possibilities. Back in the olden days, I probably would have bought them for the collection, just because they were so well known.

Microwave cooking was all the rage in the mid 1970s. However, as I remember my mother (and myself) trying to microwave something, I swear the food always turned a grayish color and looked awful. Although my mother and I are hardly cooking experts, this was pretty much universal. The food just looked bad and nothing like what this book shows. (Pop the word “microwave” into our post search and see how many of these books come up!)

These recipes are just ridiculous. There is also a lot of prep involved that doesn’t seem to “save” any time to the cook. Reheating leftovers, popping some popcorn and some selective defrosting should be the only job of a microwave.



back cover


soup recipes

meat loaf recipes baked chicken baked turkey desserts



  1. EEEEEEWWWWW!!!! What the actual barf, Page 29???

    Nobody can possibly eat any of those things while they’re sober.

    1. I don’t care if it’s done in a microwave, a regular oven, or over a campfire, NOBODY needs Mushroom and Raisin Meatloaf.

  2. There are some opportunities for a judicious cook with a microwave. For example, melting cheese on a tortilla. If I wrote out the recipe, it might not look like I’m “saving time” with all the chopping, frying meat in a pan with some cumin, etc that I do, but versus trying to get the oven to the exact right temperature to melt cheese and making sure not to leave the tortillas in long enough that they get toasted…it’s a huge help. Don’t need this book to tell me that, however.

    1. Oooh, thanks for that link! I don’t do candy thermometers and soft ball and all that, but that sounds great.

  3. Interview with Fern Berman

    Sitting in Julia Child’s kitchen made me want to cook forever and never do anything else in my life. Mrs. Child makes cooking seem like one of the most enjoyable and easy things imaginable.
    She lamented about how families never do prepare meals together anymore. How important it is to share moments, share experiences and talk over dinner and not watch TV and become couch potatoes.

    “The meals don’t need to be anything elaborate” says Mrs. Child, “just something simple to share with your family.”
    What do you think about microwaves?

    JC: They’re very useful. I finally worked out a way that potatoes can be cooked. By poking holes in them and cooking in the microwave for 6-7 minutes, then opening them up & finishing them off in the oven. With a little salt & pepper. Some butter and grated cheese. And bread machines? Aren’t you going to ask me about bread machines?


    1. Yes. The “add 1 minute” button is really useful.

      And even my dad could sorta feed himself thanks to the “Popcorn” button.

      The defrost for various kinds of dead animal are useful.

      1. Mine were/are too old to have a +1 min button, and all of the microwave popcorns seem to say “do not use the ‘popcorn’ button”!

  4. I’ve cooked lots of stuff in the microwave my entire marriage, because it is easier than slaving over a hot stove. There are plenty of ways to keep everything from looking gray, but I don’t think they were discovered yet in the 70s.

    Homemade soup is not something you should make in a microwave, though — that’s a simmer all day on a burner thing.

    Microwave cookbooks this old are pretty useless, though, since wattage has increased greatly (thus the timing’s all wrong) and so have the capabilities of the machines. Even if you found a recipe that sounded great, you’d have to guess on the settings and time.

    NGL, I would absolutely do the flaming fruit.

  5. Nah it can do a couple other jobs. I heat frozen dinners in there a lot. I agree though that some things just don’t taste the same.

  6. I gained 10 pounds when I learned to boil pasta in a microwave. Just dump spaghetti in a long microwave safe container, add a pinch of salt. 10-15 minutes on high and it’s al dente. No giant pot of water to boil or clean later. Fry bacon, garlic, and onion and add in some tomato sauce and windowsill grown basil. The joys of bachelor-hood and apartment living with no dishwasher.

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