Way back in the late 1980s I bought the Microwave Know How fortnightly series, which are now vintage recipes! At the time I’d already been using a microwave and this fortnightly publication by Cavendish Marshall offered a collection that built up over time. Each fortnight you’d buy a recipe pack from the newsagent, costing £1.35, and divide it up and add it into the different sections in the binder.
In total the whole series had 117 parts, I, like many people, stopped collecting it before the very end! I moved house and so cancelled my fortnightly subscription at the local newsagents and then couldn’t buy individual editions so never got started again as I’d have had gaps! I bought nearly every edition up to Part 45, although I do appear to be missing numbers 8, 9 and 39 – I hate it when that happens!
When I moved some years later I actually had a vast collection of great recipe books, booklets and leaflets I’d collected over the years and donated the whole lot to a charity shop, but I still held onto my two binders of Microwave Know How, even though they were quite awkward and unwieldy to take with me on what would be almost 10 years of travels! They often sat in storage units, but I still won’t let them go! Microwave Know How is a joy to flick through, to re-discover old favourites.
Did you think Microwave Mug Meals were new? Microwave Know How Chapter 5 has a whole section of them! Although cooking for one is how I use my microwave, the Microwave Know How recipe collection was really catering for cooking for families using a microwave, but all the information and techniques, as well as a lot of the recipes, are directly useful for singles cooking for one – especially as one of the sections looks at varying quantities in recipes. This collection is a real “course on using a microwave oven so you come away understanding and learning, building confidence and seeing what’s possible.
This book is still relevant today and as useful as it ever was. Offering what are now vintage recipes, this actually means that the recipes are simple and with few ingredients – the whole collection was intended as a Step by Step to microwave cooking, showing techniques in full colour photos and explaining everything, followed by a variety of recipes where you would use those techniques.
It’s a great “flick through” binder for ideas and recipe inspiration even to this day – and I’ve just brought it out again to see if there’s any long forgotten recipe I’d like to make.
What is handy about recipes in binders is that you can remove the individual pages to work from in the kitchen, then put them back at the right spot as it’s all divided into sections with page numbers. After each 24 parts a printed index was supplied, so each hard binder had an index and contained specific sections, so you could quickly find the recipe you want.
I might type up the index as it’ll be handier for me (and others) if I’ve got it online as well as in the physical binder!
One day soon I intend to complete the set, possibly by buying a complete set of Microwave Know How on eBay as then it’s just done! The cost of a whole set is no more than £30, sometimes cheaper, so it’s the simplest way to just buy the set – and I can re-sell the sections I already have! Individual chapters seem to sell at £1-2/chapter, which would be a pricey way to build the complete collection. There are also some Special Editions, such as a Christmas Microwave Know How that I’d also like to track down at some point.
I’ve written up what’s in some of the editions and the recipes they contain, here are the ones I’ve done so far. There are over 45 to write up, so it will be something that takes me some time to get through: MWKH 1, MWKH 2.