The Worst Book Ever is ‘Microwave for One’

Gabe Habash -- November 29th, 2011

Before you get all riled up about how we’ve previously called two other books (How to Avoid Huge Ships and Dildo Cay) the Worst Book Ever, you should know that sometimes PWxyz makes mistakes. Please forgive us our mis-pronouncement and come, walk with us down the hallowed halls of literary infamy, for we have a whopper of a book to show you.

In 1987, The Book Services Ltd published a slim, 144-page cookbook called Microwave for One. The book is by Sonia Allison, who has quite a few publications under her belt. But she’s best known for her masterpiece of tragedy, a book whose title and cover is so rife with sadness that one almost has the urge to brush the invisible tears from Ms. Allison’s face as she leans over her microwave and her food spread.

Very little is known about the contents of the book, except for the few that have been lucky enough to chance upon a copy. Let’s turn to these Amazon customer reviews for some insight.

After the divorce” by Benjamin L. Hamilton

After the divorce my diet consisted primarily of uncooked ramen and whiskey. Occasionally I wondered aloud if I’d ever have another home cooked meal again.

Then I discovered “Microwave for One” and everything changed.

My favorite chapters were:

Chapter 1: Plugging in your Microwave and You

Chapter 4: How to Wait 3 Minutes

Chapter 11 [BONUS CHAPTER]: Eating with Cats

In closing, I give this book 2 thumbs up (and a paw!). Thanks Sonia Allison!

Would have starved to death if not for this book” by Michael B.

Several essential parts of my furnace and my small portable stove had been stolen by my erstwhile wife, Lulu, and her accursed teenage consort (damn you both!) along with all of our blankets and my collection of antique cat food lids. With no funds to purchase a replacement, and being unable to produce anything edible from that most complicated and infernal of modern inventions (the microwave), I often resorted to eating bits of roadkill in the corner of my shed while trying to warm myself in a cocoon of shredded newspapers.

I found this book in a dumpster behind the local Taco Bell/KFC-combo franchise. It saved my life. Now, when I hold my gun to my forehead and rock slowly back and forth every night, keening with loneliness and despair, I am at least doing so with a belly full of salvation army rations seasoned and microwaved to perfection.

If only it could make the pain stop.

*sob*

The book I’ve been waiting for” by Michael Senn

Ever since La Verne was killed in the thresher, my microwave has sat unused, as I only ever knew how to cook for two. But now, thanks to the magic of Sonia Allison’s inspirational tome, I have rediscovered the joy of living, loving, microwaving. I have accumulated enough empty boxes of Swanson Microwave Chicken to assemble them into life-sized sculptures of my grandchildren, with whom I dine each Tuesday.

1001 vs. One” by Maurice Lemongello

As a huge fan of 1000 and 1 Ways to Cook Ground Beef (Although I use 9-Lives chicken flakes – doctor said no red meat), and What’s Really Cooking at Git’mo, I found Microwave Cooking for One an indispensable addition to my library. It and a serviceable Microwave oven were culled from the recycling area of the dump. What a gem! With a pocket calculator I figured out how to cook for more than one, and have started my own catering business. You can do a party of 16 or so out of one oven but it takes a lot longer than you’d think, and the outsides get a little chewy. My advice here is to get some cribbage boards and cards (from a flea market or your grammy) and serve cocktails while the meal is radiating. If you sell some tickets ahead of time you can score a half gallon of coffee brandy, some milk and if it’s really special some non-dairy hazelnut creme. Sonia’s recipes are some of the most economical I’ve seen, and in these tough times you can put smiles on the faces of your new customers and a few dollars under the mattress! After the meal it’s time for Walker, Texas Ranger on the VHS for that old timey family vibe! Thank you Sonia!

Buy this book, or don’t, I don’t care anymore” by Michael Pemulis

It used to be that I got home from work and the only thing I’d want to put in my mouth was the cold barrel of my grandfather’s shotgun. Then I discovered Sonia Allison’s Chicken Tetrazzini, and now there are two things.

Best thing ever after alien abduction” by Louis Green

I have been abducted by aliens 16 times during the past 3 ½ years. After the probes and biopsies it is really comforting to open up the book I treasure most of all – Sonia Allison’s Microwave For One.

Yes her Chicken Tetrazzini recipe is amazing, but a little run-of-the-mill for me. I am an adventurous foodie, so I go straight to the gourmet section. Popcorn with hot water is my go to dish every time I want to impress my imaginary girlfriend and her family. I have served them every recipe in the book and they always ask two things. What’s my secret and can I give them some to take home.

I plan on popping the big question soon, and you better believe Sonia Allison will be right there with me! Ssshhhh… Not so loud the guards are coming!!!

In addition to these reviews, the Random Eats blog tested out one of the book’s recipes. Check it out here.

Little else is known about the book. But we do know that 12 years after Microwave for One‘s publication, a sort of turf war for solo microwaving dominance occurred when one Marie Smith, a spunky up-and-comer in the microwave cuisine arena, published Microwave Cooking for One.

It was seen as a direct insult to the legacy and trailblazing efforts made by Allison a decade earlier. Smith was overheard talking trash about Allison’s methods, including this quote: “She doesn’t even poke the little holes in the plastic wrap right so her food gets those little water bubbles in it.” Smith also made clear her intentions of taking Allison’s crown. “I want it,” she said.

Comments along these lines continued for some time, long enough for some to believe that Allison had just stopped caring about her primacy. But then, coming out of hiding, Allison emerged battered, but not broken. She heartily vanquished Smith, microwaving her in her trusty Frigidaire KX7700. Here’s a video of Smith’s downfall.

And let that be a lesson to all the land. Microwave for One is not to be challenged. Ever again.

20 thoughts on “The Worst Book Ever is ‘Microwave for One’

  1. Paul Rickter

    The Michael Pemulis review is interesting because he’s a major character in the book Infinite Jest, which includes a misadventure with a microwave that I won’t spoil.

    1. Rachel

      I’m with you. Maybe it’s silly, but I don’t get the need to make fun of people’s efforts to deal gracefully with living alone.

  2. Robert B. Brumfield

    This cookbook is EXACTLY what I was looking for !!! I was always wringing my hands while microwaving worrying that I was fixing too much. Since the divorce I have had great trouble downsizing my meals. This has inspired me to write my own cookbook which should be a great source of inspiration to other bachelors. I am searching for a title but trying to relate to other single guys sitting impatiently in front of their rotating God ( if they are fortunate enough to have a carousel ) wearing nothing but their underwear. I feel the best choice is… ” Brush away the roaches and DIG IN !!!” That should work.

  3. Pat Dolan

    Inane, certainly; pointless, depressing, sure. But “worst?”

    You cannot have read “Dead Lovers Are Faithful Lovers,” which I picked up at the Parnassus bookstore in Yarmouth, Massachusetts, some 25 ago. Of course, it is fiction, so perhaps the two cannot be compared.

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