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April 2023
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Welcome back to the show

Sorry for the delay since my last post but it has been an exciting few weeks. Our son dropped out of university but made a good go at things in Newcastle but as his flat mates have moved away, he had no home so has returned.

We were not unhappy empty nesters but having an adult return and having found a job he starts tomorrow, be a sharer in the load is quite nice. If I’m missing anything, it’s having some quiet time, but I will adjust.

Is that interesting?

Cheeky! Probably not, but like I say things have been busy. We’ve just had our last Sunday lunch cooked on the halogen hob – from Wednesday, we’ll be induction.

It’s quite nerve racking – we’ve had some experience with a single plug in hob, but I do like a halogen for things like soups – the constant radiant heat does have it’s uses but while you can get a mixed fuel hob in terms of induction and gas, induction and halogen hobs are not an option.

It will make pasta cooking amazing. For our first meal I’m thinking of Pasta alla Genovese. Should be a dream on the new machine. Which means getting my arse in gear for making the pasta.

In my cooking adventures the past 2 years, the learning of making fresh pasta is an real eye opener. It is true that start off costs are much higher than buying a packet of dried pasta but of course, your costs go down each set you make. Pasta flour is roughly equivalent to a kilogram of dried pasta. Of course that’s ignoring the time, washing up, pasta maker, eggs, etc.

But of course, the idea is to try to reduce consumption. Electrical consumption. Hobs can never be 100% efficient because pots and pans radiate heat as they get hot. It’s why an efficient oven cooking many things at once or cooking cakes and puddings afterwards is a better way to cook in terms of making the most of your bought electricity or gas.

We’ve turned off our boiler this summer for a variety of reasons but mostly because our supply is being re-piped. New gas mains being replaced across the town and following the success last year of just running the hot water tank off the emersion heater, that’s what we’ve been doing instead.

As well as reducing our carbon footprint and reducing the load on the grid, it’s a lot cheaper. Reducing our water usage by using showers thanks to the drought has meant we’ve saved a great deal on our energy consumption.

Of course, it’s been an amazing year for solar generation – so that’s allowed us to reduce our billed electricity use while having plenty of hot water. While prices for gas have driven up the price of electricity, that cost has been off-set by having enough generated energy to cope.

Which beggars the question why this year has seen energy prices soar? The arguement is demand has gone up – air conditioners, fans, etc. But ever since COP 21, hasn’t the drive been to reduce demand? Do what you can?

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