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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

8 Smarter Ways to Use Your Microwave

8 Smarter Ways to Use Your Microwave

Although most often used for quick heating or re-heating, microwave ovens are more versatile than most people realize.

Did you know that cooking in the microwave can help preserve food’s natural nutrients better than most traditional cooking methods? And microwave cooking can drain more fat, create less mess and thoroughly cook meals faster than your oven or stove.

8 Smarter Ways to Use Your Microwave:

  • Get more juice! To get more juice out of lemons, limes and other citrus fruits, microwave them on high for 30 seconds. Then roll them on the counter to burst their juice cells, and slice and juice.
  • Microwaves are wonderful for defrosting ground meat. Be sure to check the meat frequently to make sure you’re not cooking it.
  • Bring eggs to room temperature for baking by placing them in a small dish and heating them for 10 seconds on 30-percent power.
  • Quickly soften brown sugar by placing it in a glass pie plate and covering it with a slice of bread. (The bread will wick away moisture as the sugar softens.)
  • To quickly peel garlic, snip the pointy end from individual cloves and microwave them for 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Crystallized honey can be restored by microwaving it for 1 to 1&1/2 minutes in its own glass jar. Seal the jar tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Use your microwave to melt butter. The microwave separates butter cleanly.
  • Always cover every item you heat in your microwave. Food gives off steam as it heats; this vapor will permeate the inner cavity and control panel of your microwave, and could lead to any number of mechanical failures. Put a paper towel over your food to absorb the escaping steam.
  • If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.