Thursday, 28 July 2011

Day 26: Electrical Troubles

That scream you heard echoing across the void last night?  It was I.

Two days ago, when microwaving my jam sponge pudding, I was in the hallway when I heard a funny noise.  It was a kind of subdued bang, like something had fallen over in a cupboard. I went through to the kitchen to find the pudding cooked and ready to eat, and that was that.

Then yesterday afternoon, I turned on the cooker to heat some milk.  Nothing.  The cooker was clearly dead.  But I was not daunted.  I turned to the microwave.  Again, nothing.  Turns out the bang I heard must have been the microwave gently exploding, and in doing so, it has shorted the cooker socket as well. 

Did you know that you can cook pasta in a slow cooker?  Well, you can.  When cooked, you can even mix it with bolognaise sauce, sprinkle some cheese on top, and sort of 'bake' it (although the cheese doesn't go nice and brown).  The landlord should get round to sorting the them soon, but it goes to show that the temporary loss of cooker and microwave could even prove quite useful in making me more imaginative in my use of the slow cooker.  Encouraged by the pasta success, I looked up a cookbook, and even found a recipe for chocolate peanut sponge pudding, which sounds fab and would use up the peanut butter the Americans bequeathed me.

So on reflection, this is not the disaster it seemed at first to be.  After all, the oven is one of the biggest users of electricity in the house, and I should ration my use of it more carefully.  For one thing, I need to find a way of adding an extra shelf, so that I can cook more than one item at a time.  And at the very least, I will save a couple of days of electricity useage.

I started this whole blog, as my tagline says, in an attempt to "make a virtue out of a necessity".  I am quite surprised by how phlegmatic I am being about the temporary loss of cooker and microwave.  It may be that my tagline philosophy is rubbing off on me even more that I expected.  Inconvenience?  You betcha.  Let's see what lessons I can learn from it.


Anonymous said...

To make an extra shelf you can either buy a gizmo from Lakeland - that costs money - or use a suitable rack from another appliance, eg the rack in the grill pan, or a cooling rack on the floor of the oven. Only drawback is these will be low and therefore close to the heating element - OK for casseroles and similar 'wet' dishes but not for cakes or pies.
I enjoy your blog and wish you well in your frugality. I am picking up tips!
Best wishes,

Auntie Doris said...

If you want to add an extra shelf to the oven just get an old deep metal baking tray and upend it on the bottom of the oven... then you have something to rest your dishes on. Simples :)

Fran said...

@Auntie Doris - that is so sensible! I already have an old deep metal baking tray on the bottomm of the oven to catch any spillages. It never occurred to me to upend it! Thank you for that.

@LizzieB, thanks for your suggestions too. I am so glad to hear that you are picking up tips. Sometimes I read other frugality blogs, and feel like such an amateur in comparison, as I am not yet growing my own goats or sewing my carpet with watercress. But I am hoping that my attempts will come across as mildly achievable, so that is great if some of them are proving useful to you.

Auntie Doris said...

Your welcome. We are packing up out house and moving and I had to admit that I will just be throwing out the manky baking tray at the bottom. Life is too short to clean it!