The other night, while making risotto, I discovered a nifty little feature of the small microwave I'm using to cook with while I'm in Connecticut. It has a safety feature called "auto shut-off" that engages when the temperature inside the microwave gets too high or there is too much steam. Apparently, in the case of my microwave, that temperature and steam tolerance is pretty low.
I was IMing MBH while the rice and chicken stock were in the middle of an uncovered nine minute on medium-high cooking stage when I noticed there was no sound coming from the microwave. Funny, I thought to myself as I hadn't remembered getting a "beep" and when I looked over at the microwave I discovered why...the microwave was black. No lights, no noise, no glass plate going round and round. Nothing. I thought maybe I had tripped the circuit but then the small fridge that is on the same circuit came on; eliminating that possibility (good thing too because I realised I had no idea WHERE the circuit breakers for that part of the house were).I thought maybe it was the outlet. Unplugging the fridge and plugging in the microwave resulted in no lights, no beeping, no glass plate going round and round. Hum... I know! I'll look in the manual and see if there is a "troubleshooting" section.
Remember when the manuals that came with appliances and electronics were thick? Remember when they actually contained useful information like how to hook up the gadget, who to call if you needed service, what possibly might be wrong with your gadget? Now, all the information you get in the manual is a thank you for buying the product and the extremely limited warranty but you get that information in nine languages! You also get the address for the company's website so you can go download the full manual and find a phone number for customer service. What if, heaven forbid, I didn't have internet access at home like a still surprisingly large amount of the people in world?
Luckily, I do have internet access in Connecticut and while I was scrolling through the manual online looking for some clue as to why my microwave had died and having mental images of the nightmare of standing in line on Friday at the store with my dead microwave in hand to try and get a replacement or warranty repair with no receipt because I had shredded it last weekend, the microwave went "beep".
Later, while munching on slightly crunchy risotto, I discovered in the online manual the "auto shut-off" function...
Don't Mess with Our Chocolate Update: The FDA has extended the comment period on the petition by the large food manufacturers to change the definition of chocolate. If you haven't commented yet, you have until May 25, 2007 to do so. Please, go HERE and tell the FDA to keep their grubby little paws off our chocolate!