Before I start today I want to thank Teri for sharing information in my last post about using a Kitchen Aide mixer to knead bread dough. She said: I love baking bread. I'm having problems eating loaves with lots of seeds, so I may have to try your recipe. If anyone is using a Kitchen Aid to knead the dough, I found it's helpful to let it run for 9 minutes. I learned about that in a cookbook and my bread is better since I started doing that. I'm sure that will help some bakers make better bread using their Kitchen Aide mixers. It doesn't take much time to share something like that and yet it might be just the thing that helps someone who might be thinking of giving up on homemade bread. Small things do make a difference. Thanks Teri.
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An idea for the craft bee - jug covers.
Hanno's visiting the doctor again this morning and I'm working on our next craft bee. A few days ago I announced on Instagram that it would be a sewing project - making a tea cosy. When I thought about it later I remembered there are very few of us still using tea cosies, so back to the drawing board. I've decided now to open it right up so that you can decide what you make. The only things set in stone are that the item you make must be something used at home, you must make it now, not get something already made out of the drawer and it must be made using fabric or yarn. You could make a tea cosy, dish cloth, tea towels, kitchen curtains, a shopping tote, crocheted edges on a pillow slip, cushion covers, table runners, jug covers, food covers or anything you need to make for your home. Many of these things aren't sold in shops, we have to do them ourselves and this is a good way to connect with your online community and show what you're capable of producing with your own clever hands. So get your thinking caps on, I'll announce the craft bee and give dates and other information, here on my blog, later in the week.
Here's another adjustment we need to make because we're ageing. We both get dizzy doing various household chores and although we're getting around most of them, hanging out the washing has become difficult. So we decided to buy a clothes dryer. We've only had one dryer, bought nearly 40 years ago to dry our babies' nappies. After the nappy phase we rarely used it, although the kids dried their chefs uniforms occasionally when they still lived at home. It still worked when we got rid of it but it really chewed up the electricity and I was glad to see the end of it. When I started looking at new dryers, I was delighted to see that technology has moved on and there, waiting for us, were heat pump dryers. They use a lot less energy and while they're more expensive to buy, it's worth it to save on running costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
We bought a 7 star, Bosch heat pump dryer with a capacity of 9kg. It's sitting in our laundry now ready to take over the task of drying our clothes, underwear, dish cloths, tea towels and such. We'll still hang out the larger things like sheets and towels. According to the energy rating calculator, it will cost us about $140 a year to run three times a week. Although there are two of us living here and we have many visitors, our electricity bill is low - it's the same as a one person house. We expect our bill to rise about $35 per quarter so I'll be watching that and making sure it goes no higher.
Do you use a clothes dryer? How do you manage the energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions?