Microwave Gourmet

Microwave Cook Book coverMadame Benoit’s Microwave Cook Book

In the 70s, microwave cookbooks were all the rage. Initially,everyone thought it was going to be the same as a regular oven but much faster. Somewhat true, but it was quite apparent that microwaved food didn’t measure up to traditional methods. I remember a very gray looking, rubbery meatloaf my mother tried to foist on our family sometime in the mid 70s.

This book confirms my theory that microwaves are great for reheating, but I am convinced these recipes will turn expensive meats into some leathery gray concoction.  Case in point: the duck a’ l’orange in the second picture. The other pictures were a concern since the dishes were situated on a bunch of rocks.

Weed and upgrade, please!


Duck a l'orange

microwave fish


  1. Mme Jehane Benoît was a visionary who invented FRIG-O-SEAL, the precursor to today’s Tupperware. She was idolized in Canada and is a well-known among all Canadians from coast to coast. She could make the thinnest dough, like a tablecloth, and would bounce it about during her legendary TV commercials. We love Mme Benoît and Frig-O-Seal.

  2. Fish in a microwave? Can you spell S-T-I-N-K?? And if that duck–oranged or not–came from a microwave oven, it also came from an alternate universe. Some books cannot be weeded quickly enough.

  3. Indeed she was a great cook with great personality and French-Canadian sparkle. She brought real cooking to many households in her day – not as influential as Julia Child but honestly she was good and entertaining. Microwaving was alas not the right path for her to take…

  4. I love vintage cook books and scoop them up when I can but not vintage microwave cookbooks. i think of those as being quite useless.

  5. I have recipes that were from the microwave cooking classes my grandma attended at Hudson’s department store. Some are really stomach turning. They’re in my family recipe folder along with the recipe for homemade apricot brandy. Some things you just can’t toss! 😉

  6. Re microwave meat loaf: One book from this era featured a picture, reprinted in the “Gee That Food Looks Terrible” Flickr group, of a very red meatloaf.
    Ketchup in the mix joined forces with ketchup on top and apparently ketchup smeared on the camera lens to overcome the grayness.

  7. Why is the food in the second picture set outside on a pile of rocks? Was it so bad that they decided to leave it out for insects and animals to eat?

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