Dorm room cafe

Get home goodness out of your microwave

Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Many students are on the road, headed for college. Some have traveled this road before; others are leaving the not yet fully appreciated comforts of home for the very first time.

It doesn't happen immediately, but as the weeks pass and the realization sets in that mom's cooking is no longer there for the asking, a new level of homesickness begins to take hold.

The taken-for-granted weekday suppers, even the familial Sunday dinner gatherings, are now not only missed but yearned for.

After the reality of the campus dining hall, fast food restaurants, pizza joints and vending machines as the main source of sustenance is fully understood, many students begin looking forward to returning home with a new sense of enthusiasm.

Fortunately, colleges understand this and permit students the use of a small refrigerator and a low-watt microwave oven in dorm rooms.

With a few recipes from home fed into it, a microwave oven can do a decent job of turning out a number of dishes that can help bridge the gap between home visits, nourishing the body and the spirit.

A student who takes an interest in microwave oven cooking will soon recognize the value of the art: 24-hour dining, hot food, speedy service, cheap prices, no tipping.

In a college town, food doesn't get much better than this.

Before getting started

These recipes are timed for use with 700-watt microwave ovens, the industry standard. Because microwave ovens vary, adjustments to these recipes should be made as follows:

* Add 30 seconds to each minute of cooking time for ovens with 400 to 500 watts.

* Add 15 seconds to each minute of cooking time for ovens with 500 to 600 watts.

When following recipes, cook foods for the shortest amount of time noted, adding more time as needed.

For information regarding adjustments for microwave ovens with more than 700 watts, or for help in determining the wattage of your microwave oven, visit

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