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Very small energy saving tips

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default Very small energy saving tips

Post by freebird on 18th January 2014, 6:13 pm

We all know about the big things we should do to save energy - but does anyone have their own little things that they do, that might inspire the rest of us?

I got my inspiration from something Pol said on another thread, about keeping a flask of hot water instead of boiling the kettle every time a hot drink was wanted. I quite often boil potatoes for mashing (for a shepherds pie, for example), or par boil for roasting. As I will be cooking vegetables later, instead of draining the potato cooking water down the sink, I drain it into a flask. It gets used again later for the vegetables, saving quite a lot of heat up time and gas, and if I happen to be cooking a roast, it all ends up in the gravy.
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Post by Dandelion on 18th January 2014, 8:02 pm

After what you said about gas rings (smaller rings using less gas) Freebird, I start pans off on the bigger rings now then move them and have them simmering on a small as ring (with as little gas) as possible. I feel quite stupid to have passed my half century some time ago, but I though all rings produced the same amount of gas!

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Post by Ploshkin on 19th January 2014, 10:41 am

I don't do ironing - saves energy in more ways than one.

Mr P knows not to buy shirts that need ironing. He got one recently & pointed out to me that it said 'easy iron' on the package - I'm sure you can guess what my reply was.
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Post by polgara on 19th January 2014, 11:09 am

Cooking rice or pasta, cover with water about 1ins above top of contents cover with a fitting lid. Bring to the boil, simmer for 5mins & then turn of heat & leave for 15 or so mins. Cooks a treat.

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Post by freebird on 19th January 2014, 1:06 pm

Ploshkin wrote:I don't do ironing - saves energy in more ways than one.
Ha! I'd forgotten about that one! Nor do I. Though I do like sheets and pillowcases to be pressed, as I will only have cotton and not cotton polyester. Once washed, they are carefully folded and put under the cushions on the sofa and armchair. Only takes a few days for them to come out nice and flat.

Did come a cropper once, though, when we lost the man's sleeping bag liner. I was sure he had left it on a fishing trip, and said as much. Had to eat my words when I went to 'iron' the next batch of bedding, and found the liner under the sofa cushion.
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Post by Dandelion on 19th January 2014, 2:09 pm

polgara wrote:Cooking rice or pasta, cover with water about 1ins above top of contents cover with a fitting lid.  Bring to the boil, simmer for 5mins & then turn of heat & leave for 15 or so mins.  Cooks a treat.

Ooh, thanks Pol - I'll try that one.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Chilli-head on 20th January 2014, 10:10 am

I'm struggling to think of much to add here. My favourite though is to go steady on supposedly labour saving gadgets. Blenders, food processors, juicers, you know the sort of thing. All these jobs can (and used to) be done without appliances which consume energy and - when washing up is taken into account - save little labour !
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Post by polgara on 20th January 2014, 11:32 am

Use a steamer. According to Wartime recipie books you can cook a whole meal using a 2 tier one. Meat pud & then pots in the bottom one, veg in the top 2. Instead of a meat pud, a jam roly poly or similar in the bottom with the pots.

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Post by Chilli-head on 20th January 2014, 11:48 am

-- plus you can uses the plates as a pan lid, so warming them in the process.
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Post by freebird on 20th January 2014, 3:43 pm

polgara wrote:Use a steamer.  According to Wartime recipie books you can cook a whole meal using a 2 tier one.  Meat pud & then pots in the bottom one, veg in the top 2.  Instead of a meat pud, a jam roly poly or similar in the bottom with the pots.
And, rather out of fashion these days, a pressure cooker. Mine doesn't get a lot of use, but there are some things I always use if for, such as cooking gammon for a Sunday meal. I can roast potatoes in the Remoska, which uses 450 watts, rather than putting on the oven. And going back to the topic of marmalade, I believe my mum always cooks her oranges for marmalade in her pressure cooker - I've another two batches to make, so I might try that.

Oh, and for those of you with log burners: I always have a kettle of water sitting on top, pre-warming for hot drinks. If you don't have a hob kettle, a saucepan will do.
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Post by freebird on 23rd January 2014, 7:50 pm

polgara wrote:Cooking rice or pasta, cover with water about 1ins above top of contents cover with a fitting lid.  Bring to the boil, simmer for 5mins & then turn of heat & leave for 15 or so mins.  Cooks a treat.
In a similar vein to Pol's suggestion, I've been experimenting with cooking in a thermos flask. I bought the man a food flask for Christmas, as he goes on day long fishing trips in the cold. Whilst researching different flasks on t'internet, I came upon a review by someone who cooks porridge in their flask. Interest piqued, I explored a bit more......

So far I've cooked potatoes, rice, pasta and a lamb shank stew. The short cooking-time items are probably better done Pol's way, as I can't see that any energy is saved because you have to boil water to heat the flask, as well as boiling the thing you are cooking. Despite this, I can see it having great potential for camping, when you may be restricted to a single cooking ring/burner. The lamb shank stew was done in a large 1.8 litre flask, and left for about 8 hours. It was all cooked, though some vegetables were not quite as tender as I like them, so I simmered it gently for a further hour before serving.

If I had the space, I would seriously consider installing a hay box in the kitchen!
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Post by Chilli-head on 23rd January 2014, 8:56 pm

You could try solar cooking:
http://www.greek-recipe.com/about-solar-cooking/

The trouble is that if there is enough sun to cook by, I'm not usually in the mood for a stew !
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