Hi Steve, you could drain the boiler, leave it on and fry it, but it would be a "goner". You would definitely have to get a new set-up then.
Do you know someone with a Silvia or HX who could make your wife some god-shot coffee and convince her of the benefits of getting a decent machine and grinder?
Where there is a will, there is a way, Im sure you will break her down eventually, good luck!!!
gm ;) ;)