I have a dream that there could be a device as convenient as a microwave oven, but for cooling stuff down. Could it exist?
The microwave oven is a fairly compact, fast and (relatively) efficient method of heating food items up, which itself does not get particularly hot. Even a conventional oven, which gets hot, eg, 200K above room temperature, is a fast (K/s) method of heating something up in comparison to the speed at which things can be cooled in a domestic freezer, which is only about 40K different from room temperature, hence its slowness in cooling relative to the heating speed of an oven. Both microwave and conventional oven avoid the inconvenient requirement for packing hot or cold liquids or solids around the item to be heated/cooled.
From time to time, it would be convenient to have a fast and efficient method of cooling food down, and I don't consider bathing it in a salt-and-ice bath is such a convenient technology, any more than I would cook much food in hot liquid baths. For items other than liquids, they would have to be sealed in a waterproof bag before they could be introduced to the bath. TV chefs have been shown cooling stuff very fast with liquid nitrogen, but this neither cheap nor a technology available to the non-pro. Electric icecream-makers, only work for cooling liquids, and in small quantities at that, and the liquid often needs to have been pre-cooled in a fridge, as the cooling capacity of the ice-cream makers is often modest, especially the ones that require putting a cooling bowl in the freezer in advance.
Why is there no generic fast and quick method available of cooling stuff down comparable, ideally, to the microwave oven, or at least to the conventional oven? Is it just much more technologically difficult to cool stuff down? Or is it the much smaller market which means that it simply hasn't benefit of the level of R&D that would be required to develop some practical household item?