Well, more precisely, it's an oven-cum microwave. The new one arrived the day before yesterday, and this morning I did my first baking with the newcomer. Yay! I feel -- I'm finally back!!
Of course this equipment is nothing fancy. Actually it was the smallest and cheapest one I could find on the net. JPY9,760 (USD105 ), shipping fee included, for a brand new oven-cum microwave with all the basic functions -- I would say this is a pretty good buy.
The new one is slightly wider but shorter than the one I had before and uses slightly less power. Yeah, the efficiency must have been improved in past years. It was more than 10 years ago when I bought the previous one. I still remember... It was a few weeks after the Great Hanshin Earthquake (1995). The one I had then fell off the shelf and broke, and since the gas service didn't come back for months, I had to buy a microwave to heat food and water to survive the winter. And I bought the cheapest one that cost JPY19,800 (apx.USD213) at Daiei near Sannomiya stn. That's the one that just died the other day. Yeah, it worked long enough, didn't it?
There are a few things I'm not too happy about with the new one, to tell you the truth. It comes in two colors: black and white, and looks like black version is more popular because it is more expensive. So I chose the white one but it sure looks "cheap." The ceiling inside is not high, which means, I would have to use the smallest chiffon tin to bake a chiffon cake. And it beeps three times when heating job is done, which is a bit too much. But looking at, and tasting the cinnamon rolls this rookie just baked for me this morning, I wouldn't complain. Good job, sweetie. ;)
Do you want to know what happened after I enjoyed my "heavenly" New Year's feast? Maybe I was too tired from work (including New Year's eve and New Year's day),
I managed to sleep a couple of hours, fortunately, but on the next day, I was almost dead at work. And it WAS another busy day. I jumped into a hot bath as soon as I got home and went to bed right away. The same routine the next day, too: Went to work, came home, got warmed up in a hot bath, then slept as long as possible. I lived on isotonic drinks, yogurt and vitamin-added jelly those two days, because those were the only things that my stomach would accept. Fortunately the stomach medicine and long hours of sleep helped, and yesterday I was already feeling good enough to have rice porridge and udon noodles after work.
Today I don't have to work in the morning, and I woke up feeling hungry. Good sign. :)
For some reason, I had this cinnamon roll craving. Now, going out to buy bread for breakfast was out of question, but I could manage baking some rolls in my kitchen, resting in bed while letting the dough leaven. It turned out to be a good idea, after all. I was able to pamper myself with "brunch in bed" this morning -- with cinnamon rolls, instant soup, hot tea, tomato juice and yogurt.
Yes, I'm happy again.
How I wish I didn't have to be at work tonight...
P.S. The cinnamon roll recipe I used today is this one (in Japanese). It calls for some rice flour and starch syrup(?) or honey to keep the bread soft and moist even on the next day. Mmmm... does it really work? I'll find out tomorrow.