Cultured Red Cabbage and Apples

Cultured Red Cabbage and Apples

Saturday, February 5, 2011

HEATING LEFTOVERS WITHOUT USING RADIATION


If you worry about the dangers of microwave ovens but feel that there is no other way to conveniently heat leftovers......then you need to learn about the joys of double boilers. I had used a microwave for many years while my children were growing up and periodically I had heard about how microwaves rearrange the molecules of our food and how oven doors can leak radiation. Every time I thought about this information I would feel guilty. Finally one day our microwave oven made an exploding sound and stopped working. I decided that this was a good time to give up this form of cooking and we never bought another microwave oven. You know what? I don't miss it all. Between our toaster oven and  double boilers, cooking and warming leftovers is still easy. Before you read any further you may want to read an article about the dangers of microwave cooking  http://www.unhinderedliving.com/microwave.html

Today I was browsing in a local antique store and I found a vintage  double boiler (picture above) that has never been used. It still has the label on the back. Both pieces can be used by themselves or together as a double boiler. The covered bowl to the right fits tightly into the pan on the left. Most people think that double boilers can only be used for melting chocolate and for making sauces. However, I heat almost all of my more solid leftovers in this very handy type of cookware. For example, when I want to heat up leftover pieces of lasagna, I fill the bottom pan a third to halfway up with water and I cut the lasgana pieces in half and place them in the top pan.I cover and simmer for maybe half an hour. It takes longer than a microwave but you can basically let it heat unattended. The food does not stick and burn because it is steam that is heating the bottom of the top pan and the pan with the food in it is not sitting  directly on a dry intense source of heat. I like this method of reheating because you don't have to hang around the pot to stir it.

Here is a picture of my double boilers......all different sizes and shapes


I've had theThe Revere-ware pan in the very front for 33 years and still use it often. The two taller pans on either end also came with vegetable steamer pans. As you can see, each of those pan sets has 3 pieces. I used to cook all of my frozen vegetables directly in a small bit of water but now I find it much easier to use these steamer pans which come with some double boilers. Steaming also saves vitamins and minerals which don't leach out into the cooking water as much as when cooking directly in liquid. If you have a wood stove with a flat top, then its fun and easy to put your double boilers on the stove early enough to let them heat thoroughly. Sometimes I put the pot on the wood stove an hour and a half before I know I am going to eat. When I don't have alot of time I use the double boiler on the gas stove and turn it up higher so that the food can be done within half an hour...depending on the amount and density of the food you are reheating. It just takes a little trial and error experimentation. Try it for the first time when you are not in a rush.

Other foods that reheat well in a double boiler are leftover chicken, already cooked hamburgers, meatloaf, pilafs, leftover spagetti and meatballs already mixed, macaroni and cheese, other types of casseroles...etc.  When you are reheating larger meals I like to use the double boilers that have a larger diameter. When I am reheating leftover vegetables or small amounts of other food, I use the smaller diameter double boilers. If you were only going to purchase one double boiler, I would pick one with a larger diameter. I looked around a bit for what is available because we want to give one as a gift. The Fagor double boiler with the steamer insert looks like the best size at a good price....but there are many to choose from for different tastes and uses.

  If you want an all around meter which tests for microwave leakage and general EMFs, I bought the Trifield Meter and am very happy with it. I have been using it to determine how far away I want to place certain lights and appliances from where people will be sitting, sleeping...etc. I have also changed certain flourescent light bulbs to bulbs which emit less emfs. Dimmer lights are a real contributer to large amounts of EMFs     Trifield 100XE EMF Meter




                         
Trifield 100XE EMF Meter

The book Zapped is a great book to read to learn the dangers of EMFs, microwave pollution, and what you can do to minimize your exposures.

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