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Another group that loves the microwave oven and is not intimidated by it is the after-school bunch. From kids to teen-agers, they use it to pop corn, warm leftovers or make themselves an afternoon treat. . .



1981 News Item - What's For Supper in the Year 2000?

In 1981, reporter Carol Krause did a three-part series on "Foods of the future" which speculated  what supper would be like in the year 2000.

"Forget magic pills and liquid meals from a tube. Foods of the future may look and taste the same as today - but they won't be the same." she says.

"What looks like sweet and sour pork won't have any pork in it at all And shrimp farms in Illinois may become as common as cornfields."

"Find out how technology in the lab and on the farm will give us a variety of 'new' foods that taste great and are easy to make"

How accurate was she?

Cooking and food preparation went through some big changes in the 1980s as a result of some major social changes that occurred in the late '60s and '70s.

The 1970s brought us the microwave oven, although it continued to be a novelty item until the late 1970s (mostly due to cost)... but by the 1980s it had taken hold and could be found in most households. Picture of a Family Cooking Meals and Snacks in the Microwave Oven.

I saw my first microwave oven in 1978 over at a friend's house, and I remember telling my mother how it "just heated the food and you could take the dish out without any oven mitts!" I was very impressed.

The other big change that really started to affect how we cooked and what we ate was the death of the housewife. Women were pouring into the workplace in record numbers (whether they wanted to or not), and consequently, we started to become the fast-food nation that we are today.More than one out of every two American households today owns a microwave oven, and by 1990, three out of four households will own one.






WHAT DO YOU THINK?Tell us at the retro housewife hotline!

Recipes from the 1980s!

Test a dish if you're not sure it will work in the microwave oven.

Measure 1 cup water in a glass measuring cup. Place it beside the dish you're testing and microwave 1 minute on high. (The water absorbs the microwaves; otherwise the oven would be operating empty, which could harm the oven.) If the dish remains cool, it is suitable for microwaving. Test the glass utensils you already have. Also use plain paper towels, wax paper, microwave plastic wrap and plain paper plates.