Saturday, April 21, 2012

Shift Work

As of July 1, Tasmania's electricity prices will be jumping by 20% apparently, which is not going to make my minutely tweaked budget at all happy. Consequently thrifty and frugal have become our watchwords, and I have been looking at ways to cut our power usage. We do a lot of cooking here at Chez Blueday, so I have been trying to fill up the oven when I have it on, and use it only a few days a week instead of multiple times a day, on the principle that it is more efficient to keep the oven hot than to heat it up from cold. Last week I managed to cook double dinners twice, so there are now two dinners in the freezer. Unfortunately, they were the last straw for the poor stuffed freezer, and about 270 icecubes, multiple bags of peas and tubs of icecream fell on my head when I opened the door the next day, so I spent over an hour cleaning it all out and reorganizing. On the bright side the freezer looks magnificent, and I can find things in it, and it occurred to me that I could tip icecubes out of their trays and into a separate container with a lid, brilliant, huh? but it was open on and off for a good hour. Electricity saved? Not so sure.

So fast forward to today, which I declared Cooking All Our Sweet Treats For The Whole Week Day. Shift One: The Girl and I cook choc chip cookies, lemon poppy seed muffins, and two loaves of biscotti. Shift Two: Drive back and forth to ballet more than enough times. Shift Three: Oh lordy, Rosy decides to make cheese. She received a cheese making kit for Christmas from dear friends, because she loves cheese, loves gourmet delis and the otherwise boring Farmers' Market because there is cheese there. She is a fearless eater of anything resembling cheese and suddenly decided that today was the day she must become a cheese maker. So cheese making. Shift Four: Cheesemaking takes slightly longer than anticipated. Making dinner and second baking the biscotti slices must happen concurrently to save electricity. In the confusion of whipping dinner in the oven, whacking biscotti slices onto trays and helping to stretch mozzarella, The Girl suddenly remembers she is supposed to be babysitting next door, and without her calming presence and sensible habit of using the oven timer I overcook the biscotti. At half past eight the last ball of slightly lumpy, sort of stretchy mozzarella gets ladled into the jar of whey in the fridge. Shift Five: I pile half of the dishes, saucepans and baking trays we own into the dishwasher. The other half will have to wait till Shift Six. I make a cup of tea and dunk the most overcooked biscotti to Hide the Evidence. I must admit that saving electricity is more exhausting than I had anticipated. And then it occurs to me that the extra quiche I made and stashed in the freezer will have to be heated up. In the oven...

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