Monday, August 13, 2012

Saving Power, Making Yums!

It worked! The hottest month on record and we saved close to $40 on our power bill!  My husband rigged up a cloths line in the basement which we still haven't perfected but it did help.  I also did laundry less, ran the dishwasher less and (embarrassing admission) cooked less. Okay, the cooking less wasn't intentional, I think it was more that I was busy and didn't make it a priority. I also turned the AC up, and didn't accept being cold all of the time. I felt sort of bad for my husband who probably sweat more than he wanted to this month, but I did offer to buy him a fan and he didn't complain much. I also would make it a habit to turn the AC up during the day when he wasn't home.  After getting our bill, I went downstairs and asked my husband if the last month's efforts had been trying for him.He said it wasn't hard, and that we could do more--then I told him how much we'd saved. We had a moment. I believe this is the beginning of a cheaper power bill trend.

Moving on from the power bill, I had a fun adventure in cooking the other night.  See, I had put a chicken in the fridge to defrost because we seriously need to eat the stuff in our freezer, plus I thought it would be nice to have roasted chicken with potatoes and carrots made for my hubby when he got home.  I can't do this every night because he'll get spoiled but occasionally? It still impresses him.

After preparing the chicken, cutting up veggies and fresh spices, I slathered the sucker in chicken. Why you ask? Well because for the life of me, I couldn't get under the skin to put it there...and we all know that butter is like the duct tape of cooking--it fixes many errors.  I'm not sure I ever want to 'prepare a chicken' again though.  Pulling the gimlets and unrecognizable nasties out from the cavity made me want to yack all over the chicken and forced me to almost not be able to eat it at all.  I think that in the future, someone else needs to clean the chicken, I can do the rest of it! Anyways--after that adventure, I realized that I had never actually roasted a chicken before.  I've cooked chicken and seen many a chicken roasted but never been the one in charge of making sure that we didn't get salmonella. First I tried to find a recipe on-line, and learned about tressing the bird.  I didn't have kitchen twine though, so I improvised by pulling out my sewing kit and using white thread.  It was either that or cut down my glass ball that has been tied up with kitchen twine for 5 years because I've never gotten around to using the correct thread.  I think I made the right decision, although I didn't tie up the wings.

At this point...I decided to call my mother.  I really should have just opened my own copy of the joy of cooking, b/c that's what she did, but first she thoroughly confused me.  She told me about tilting it on it's side to cook it? Well, I had heard of people turning their chickens upside down to cook the dark meat first, followed by the white meat, so I gave it a half assed try.  I sorta propped the sucker up with the potatoes, stuck it in the oven for 25 minutes. After that time was up, the hubby was home and offered to flip the bird...and almost managed to drop it on the floor, and stuck it back in the oven for another half an hour. After I stuck a thermometer in several parts of it's body and it registered 165 (can't be too safe...right?) I forced us to retreat for the requisite 15 minutes so I couldn't steal (more) nibbles of the perfectly roasted potatoes.  Now--my issue with cooking the chicken was that I couldn't find a recipe that cooked the potatoes and veggies in the same pan, so I was worried about everything finishing at the same time.   It seemed to work really well though because the potatoes got this yummy crunchy crust on them and were delicious. My husband was dipping them in ketchup.

Uncooked bird--notice all the butter?

Hellooooo yummy!  Come to mama

  All in all an adventure, but I think my husband is going to request roast chicken a lot more.  Well...except that he tossed the pan it was cooking in. I guess that the bottom pan was rusting...Oh well.  Maybe I'll replace it with this one...although these suckers are pricey!

The other night we had some awesome friends over, and I made a peach, blackberry crumble. It was divineeee.  I basically used the peach/cherry recipe that I found in this Moosewood cookbook, but left out the nuts.  If you don't own it, you should. I am expecting to make lots of yummy food from this book.  I'm not sure how to note that we just sorta snacked on the peaches as we were cutting them up though. I didn't have a 9'' square pan, so I made it in a 9.5'' pie pan! It worked really well, and tasted incredible.

Did I mention that I took up guitar? Well that's going to be my next blog post.  We are gearing up to go on vacation and I'm looking forward to seeing family that I haven't seen in awhile, and finally getting to introduce my husband to my extended family.