The Curious Case of the Mulish Microwave – Part 2


Music – “Microwaves (Are Watching You)” from Microwaves (Are Watching You) by Randy Rainbow. Released: 2017


“It should just pop right out…..hmmmmm.” (Photo Credit:

Well, the dust has finally settled after the mega kitchen remodel (mostly on every piece of furniture outside of the kitchen!)  From start to finish (with the exception of a tile problem, which is being resolved as I write this), we endured 18 days of smashing, ripping, crashing, banging and all of the other myriad sounds emanating from a kitchen in the process of being demolished.

Part of the old kitchen, with the doors removed.  The microwave lurketh.

This does not include, however, the intervening 6 weekend days in between work days, in which we were essentially held hostage in the sense that the kitchen was a barren wasteland, nor does it include approximately 5 days pre and 5 days post,  for me to “deconstruct” the contents of my kitchen and pack them up, and the “reconstruction” phase, in which I emptied all of those packed cartons and assigned the contents to their spots in the new kitchen (I have a lot of “stuff”).  I think this is what is akin to people saying, “….once in a lifetime event“, which I most heartily endorse.

As we had no kitchen sink, no stovetop, no dishwasher, and no oven, for several weeks, we “camped” out using a small wet bar adjacent to our family room.  Trying to do dishes in an 8″ by 10″ sink is not fun.  Luckily, loving to cook, I had a good selection of back-up appliances to cook with, so we weren’t entirely roughing it in the wild.

Our “kitchen away from kitchen”, during the demolition.

The old kitchen was the original, built on-site, when the house was constructed in 1970.  Some of the plywood cabinet doors were warped (much to our cat, Tux’s delight!), all of the shelves were fixed and there was wasted space in dark, faraway and inaccessible places in some of them. In addition, there were two tacky flourescent lights, reminiscent of a stroll through Walmart. The kitchen had to go, including the old double-ovens.

The old double ovens were literally falling apart and had an impossible inside width of 15 inches! Time to go.



One of Tux’s favourites of the older cabinets…it was sufficiently warped that he was very skilled at opening it frequently to have a look-see. He subsequently passed on this knowledge to his brother, Shadow.




Which brings me, now, to the microwave, that obstinate, mulish, stubborn techno-marvel, which refused to budge from its’ comfortable little niche above my cooktop, wedged between cabinets.  It was there, when we moved into our residence in January, 2015, and, according to popular wisdom, it was a 1990’s model.

Demolition in progress. The microwave is still hanging on the wall to the left.

Having spent a goodly number of years in situ might account for its intractable and tenacious hold on the kitchen wall, even in the midst of chaos, when everything around it was being torn asunder.

“It won’t budge!”

“Hmmmm…most perplexing”








Still hanging on…

“It just HAS to come off of this wall!”

The microwave, last bastion of the old kitchen, reluctant to be moved.

Three collective contractor heads (whose anonymity is preserved here) pondered the situation, and failing to budge it, destruction went on around it, until it was left hanging starkly alone on the wall, which had previously been filled with old, worn, and warped cabinets.  The mulish microwave was not going down without a fight.

Eventually, but not without a fight, it gave up its secret and was finally freed.

Gone at last, but not for long.










There were a few other surprises in the old kitchen.  Two nicely mummified mice were found wedged between the back of a floor cabinet and the wall in a cardboard trap, a couple of old coupons for cigarette promotions, ca 1970, and a slew of assorted seeds, which came cascading down from the hole left in the ceiling, when the old flourescent fixture was removed.  If there were any active critters up there at the time, their fate is now sealed.

Seeds of unknown origin, which were lurking above the old flourescent light fixture

In addition, what the contractor initially thought to be a faux-brick plastic backsplash turned out to be real brick.  Like the mulish microwave, it was also determined to stay in place.

What was thought to be a faux brick backsplash (easily removable), was, in fact, real brick. So reluctant was it to surrender, the whole backsplash had to be sawed out from the rest of the wall.


Sawing out the “faux” brick backsplash.

The new cabinets duly arrived and were subsequently put in place, but the mulish microwave now had to be reinstalled.  Once again, it took the collective heads and brute force of several contractors to replace it.  The tolerances on either side of the new cabinets were negligible, so it was a real struggle to get it back into its home.  Still stubborn, it fought back with some obstinacy.

The arrival of the new cabinets

However, at long last, it was over.  Shiny new cabinets with soft-close doors, a Lazy-Susan, slide out trays and more, a brand-spanking new Corian countertop, a new oven (wider than 15 inches), a re-installed stove top and dishwasher, new sink and faucet, new lights, fresh paint and of course, the mulish microwave back in place, we were finally up and running just in time for Thanksgiving (the Amercun’ one).  Only one more hurdle to go:  soon, the finance man cometh.

The new kitchen.  Mulish microwave restored to its original glory!

My EatYourBooks cookbook collection

About vintagecookbookery

Cookbook lover and collector with a burgeoning collection of cookbooks. Reading and researching food trends, history of cooking techniques and technological advances in cooking, what we eat and why and cookbooks as reflectors of cultures is a fascination for me. As of November 7th, 2013, I hold the current Guinness World Record title for the largest collection of cookbooks: 2,970 at the official count on July 14th, 2013 (applaud now, thank you very much!) The current (unofficial) number is now 6,500. What next? More shelves?
This entry was posted in Cookbooks, Cooking, Cooking Technology, Guinness World Records, New Mexico, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized, Vintage Cookbooks and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Curious Case of the Mulish Microwave – Part 2

  1. Evan Zenk says:

    Thanks for posting this amazing stuff, I really like your stuff.And keep waiting for new.

  2. Thanks, but I think the microwave is still watching!

  3. Wende says:

    Congratulations on your new kitchen. Looks lovely.

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