Tuesday June 12, 2007

It’s beginning to feel like summer here.  The temperatures have been in the 90’s for a few days now, and the weatherman is promising 100° days before the week is over.  At the same time, our publicly owned, local electric company is peititioning the PUC for permission to raise their rates.  The rates won’t be going up right away, of course, but our electric bill can still give my husband sticker shock in the summer months.  Today is the first day of my campaign to Beat the Heat and Beat the Budget Blues Simultaneously.

We were not able to cool down our house very much this morning.  The lowest we were able to bring the thermostat down to was 73°.   At about 9:30 this morning the thermostat clicked up to 74°, and I began closing up the windows.  I closed the blinds on the windows on the sunny side of the house, too.  My husband did install brand new, energy efficient dual pane windows a couple of years ago, but drawing the blinds on the sunny windows still helps keep those rooms cooler.  The ceiling fans are all on (and running in the correct direction!) which keeps the air in our closed up house circulating and feeling cooler.

We had about half of the chicken and dressing casserole left over from last night’s dinner, so I planned to heat that up for our lunch today.  Aaron set up a card table for me in the garage.  While he did that, I cleaned up my electric roaster.  We used a power strip to plug the oven in so that I could easily flip the power strip switch to be sure the roaster is off when it’s not being used.  Aaron climbed over his recycling bins and plugged the power strip into the wall.  I was able to reheat the casserole in the roaster without raising the temperature in my home a single degree!!

I have the bread machine going in the kitchen right now, but I think I will try to take it to the garage on hot days, too.  It does not produce as much heat as my oven, of course, but it does produce some.  I can fill the bread pan up just fine at my baking center and then carry it out to the garage and put it into the machine to mix, knead and bake.  We will miss the lovely smell of bread baking, but we will not miss the added heat in the house!

It’s almost 3:00 p.m. here.  Our highest temperatures are reached every day between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m.  As of right now, it is 96° outside in the shade, and rising; but my home is still a very pleasant 77°!  I will be baking tonight’s Mediterranean Meat Pie in the roaster in the garage.  I’m planning to make a second loaf of bread today, and I’ll do that in the garage as well.

One word of caution – If you use any electric cooking devices outside of your home, please keep a careful watch over them and take all necessary precautions.  I am leaving my large garage door open while using the roaster out there, but I am also taking a peak at it quite often, too.  I was also careful that no cords are draped across walkways, or are placed where the cat might knock them over.

Today was a good test for me to see what sorts of things I can do to keep the air conditioner off.  I know that we will have plenty of days in the coming months that the a/c will have to run, but I want to keep those days as infrequent as I can.  What are some ways that you beat the heat and the budget blues simulataneously?

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27

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7 comments to Tuesday June 12, 2007

  • Your casserole wouldn’t fit in the microwave?

    Thinking back to pre-air-conditioned and 9 months pregnant days…

    I’d get up at 5:30, open up the entire house and kick on the fans, then do all of my housework before the weather got too warm (I even hung laundry on the line in the dark). I could usually finish by 9 (if I was making bread maybe 10). As soon as the thermostat went up I’d close up the house and close all of the shades.

    I plugged in a crockpot to have our “big” meal in the middle of the day. We did salads for dinner, unless we barbequed.

    Then, in the afternoon, nap and stay low to the ground, or right in front of the fans.

    If all else fails (when it’s 118 and humid), head to the mall, spend $1.50 on a large soda, and people watch

    Have I mentioned how thankful I am for our new air conditioner? :love:

  • Well there’s always the option of living somewhere that has a cooler climate.  We have never needed to own air conditioning.  :sunny:

  • Corin – You know I just really don’t care for microwave cooked stuff.  Microwave re-heated, yes; but not cooked.  I know, it’s probably just me, but there it is!! 

    Rainydame – Copper and I were both born and raised right here in this county.  I think we’re rooted.  I’ll tell ya, though, a trip to the Pacific coast often causes us to ponder…………

  • Cheryl – It’s funny you would post this today. You posted something previously (way back in the archives) about cooking like this to beat the heat. I had just asked my hubby this weekend if I had any outlets on the deck (right off the kitchen) because I’d like to try that idea I’d seen on your blog. :sunny:

    I also agree with Corin’s suggestion about scheduling. When our ac was down, we spent the mornings *gettin’ it done* and the afternoons *chilling* with quiet, still activities. (As still as you can keep my little guys that is). ;oD

    Since y’all have pretty much covered it all ~ my only added suggestion would be ice cream and popsicles! 😆 Now *that’s* my idea of chilling.

  • Dear,  you might add that if you have a whole-house fan (which we do) you can turn it on early in the morning.  That blows all the hot air out of the house and attic and draws in the cool morning air from outside.

    Copper

  • I was going to make a casserile tonight, but was going to change my meno tonight due to the heat.  I recently bought a roaster after reading about it on your site.   So do I cook the casserole the same amount of time in the roster as I would the oven???  DO I put the pan right into the roaster???   Your assistance is greatly appreciated!

  • Ostara – Yep, just put your pan right into the roaster!  Mine has a metal rack, and I usually leave than in there, but I don’t think it really matters.  I’m finding that cooking times are pretty close to the same as in the big oven.  The longer the called for cooking time, the closer the roaster is.  For example….something take takes 20-25 minutes in the regular oven, might take about 30 minutes in the roaster.  Something that takes 45 minutes in the oven, will probably be done in 45 minutes in the roaster.  Hope that helps!!!