Microwaves were a life-changing invention

Published 5:55 pm Tuesday, October 8, 2013

“Just POP it into the microwave and it will be ready to eat in a jiffy.” How many times have you seen an ad on TV like this?

There seems to be dozens of “gadgets” designed for microwave cooking. For instance, the egg cooker allows you to cook two to four eggs in a plastic-like bowl in only a minute. Or, how about a pan that cooks pancakes in only two minutes? Some current TV ads include the Stone Ceramic non-stick bowl, the Pasta Cooking Bowl, the Microwave Pressure Cooker and Bacon Genie Cooker. I could go on and on naming all the different gadgets on the market, but I am sure you have seen these ads and know all about them. You can even use the microwave to heat up a pad for soreness or stiffness in your body. Or thaw out frozen meats and vegetables for quick meals.

I learn that moms like to prepare unique microwave Halloween treats and meals for the kids and the entire family. Pumpkin oatmeal is real popular on cool mornings, as well as pumpkin flavored syrup over French toast or pumpkin-laden cheese over bubbling hot chili. Baked apples and piping butternut squash are also popular during the autumn season.

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James Norris, who was the Alabama Power Company appliance representative, introduced me, Ouida, and several more to the microwave oven with a cooking demonstration back in the 1960s. It was our first time to see the microwave in action. He invited several of us over to the local office to see him cook a hot dog and an egg. Not only did we watch the demonstration, but we were allowed to eat them. And, they were as tasty as if they had been cooked in the traditional manner. I thought this was one of most amazing inventions I had ever witnessed. The hour we spend with him was so revealing that we failed to consider the price of this “magic oven.” I really have forgotten the exact price but I believe it was a few hundred dollars.

Well, it took a few years for the price to fall into our budgets but you can bet just about every family in America has a microwave oven today. It is not uncommon to see them priced as low as $39.95.

Speaking of eating, I want to thank my good friend Jimmy Biggs for including us in his weekly delivery route. This time he brought us a big bag of boiled peanuts, already cooked and ready to eat. He brought us enough for two nights of TV shows. We “POPPED” them in the microwave long enough to warm them up and we are still enjoying them. I think Jimmy grows a food for every season of the year. In the spring he brings us greens, corn in the summer, peanuts and sweet potatoes in the fall and collards in the winter. Thanks, again, Jimmy.

Still talking about food, I must comment on a story I read last week concerning the Belle Food Stores and Family Market Stores settlement. First, I am glad to learn that our local store will continue to operate, having been bought by a successful out-of-state grocery chain. But the stores that really captured my attention were those of the Louisiana Rouse Market chains. Mobile and Baldwin counties will anchor these new stores. It really caught my eye because I was familiar with these retail locations, having worked FEMA flood claims and reviews for many years in this state.

You see, these stores are somewhat unique as they have special Louisiana-Cajun seafood sections and delis. This includes sausage kitchens, seafood boiling rooms, and other features relative to the Cajun seafood industry. The stores will offer boudin, boiled crawfish and all types of seafood. Not only will the public like this style of marketing but the local seafood industry will find a market for their catches. It will be a big employment boom for fishermen.

Perhaps we can persuade out local store to add some of these Louisiana-Cajun dishes to their deli.

Each day in the news, I read about Airbus beating Boeing in the airplane building race. You remember a couple of years ago after Mobile and Northrop Grumman were awarded the taker contract, and it was “taken” from us through politics and given to Boeing. Well, today Boeing is getting its payback. Japan, for the first time in its history, has decided against ordering planes from the West Coast airplane manufacturer. Instead they have given the order to Airbus. This is BIG-BIG news, because of the enormity of the order. You might say Japan has turned over its entire airplane building contracts to Airbus. Now, because Airbus is enjoying such a gigantic impact in this field I am sure someone, somewhere in the liberal political arena will raise his or her ugly head and protest. Just wait and see.

And, you know what? It will probably initiate from Chicago. But the beauty of this transaction is the fact, unlike the tanker loss, the political leftists will find it almost impossible to undo Airbus’s commercial mission in the United States. You might say Boeing is beginning to identify with lonely, disappointed political losers, descending to a level of existence they did not want.

Well now, are you asking where is the nostalgia in my column is today? I guess there really is very little but then again you know there will be many, many more columns to come, filled with news and happenings of people, places and things from days gone by here in Atmore and our surrounding area.

More next week.


You can email Lowell McGill at