Friday, 31 January 2014

January thrift

Why is January such a long month? I am so glad it is finally over and spring seems that little bit nearer. I have realised that the supermarket often has reduced price, out-of-date flowers, so I have been treating myself to a bunch for 99p to cheer things up. This bunch I bought a week ago and are still going strong. 

There has been lots of baking going on. Below is the chocolate cake for my good friend's birthday. There were also cakes to bake for school, which meant baking extra batches for home too or else there would be none left for school!

This was all too much for my main oven and the heating element blew. I made Rocky Road instead this week, as there is no baking required. There is also nothing healthy in them either, so a rare treat for the kids.

I am hoping my oven will be repairable because I have vowed not to buy any more electrical appliances. I was given a slow cooker and loaned a de-hydrator, I but haven't bought an electrical appliance for at least a year, maybe even 2 years. I know that doesn't really sound very impressive, but it is good to start somewhere.

When my hand-me-down food processor packed up, I made do with my stick blender and a manual whisk where you turn the handle (only the handle seems to have gone missing!), which the kids find a novelty so they do the whisking for me. If I want to be successful at reducing my energy consumption, then more electrical gadgets are not going to help. Of course if my washing machine or fridge break then I will have to get them fixed or replaced right away, but can I manage without a toaster?

I pulled out a top last week that I had bought at the car boot sale. I like it, it fits well, but I haven't really worn it. It is because it has frills around the front, which end up all scrunched up after it is washed and then they need to be ironed out before I can wear it. I try my utmost not to ever do any ironing - obviously just for energy saving reasons, not because it is boring, pointless and piles up in the blink of an eye ;-)

Anyway, I was trying to work out if I could cut the frills off without ruining it, when my hubby cleverly suggested sewing the frills down, so they can't move. Can you see in the picture above that I have sewn down one side? I'm not telling you which side! Now it is perfect, I can wash it and wear it with no ironing necessary.

I need to put my sewing skills to use on making curtains next - I have gathered all the materials I need, I am just procrastinating about getting started. I know that my heat is seeping out of those cold windows in the meantime. Maybe this weekend......


  1. Hi judy, that baking looks divine! I bet your family hopes your oven can be fixed soon! My washing machine just broke, so arrgh, washing machine repair man comes Monday, have just put yesterday's washing load through my neighbour's machine. Sigh. Hope it can be fixed..
    Good save on the shirt. Hooray for no ironing!

    1. Thanks Jo. not as healthy as your vegan chocolate cake though :-)

  2. I stole your idea and made some rocky road for my son's class cake sale - mine wasn't as photogenic as yours - turned out a bit crumbly. Like you, we're trying to go unplugged where possible - we haven't replaced the microwave and haven't missed it, did without a toaster then inherited one, haven't replaced the food processor. I have a hand whisk too which I love.

    1. Thanks. My microwave is actually getting more use rather than less. It takes half the time to steam my broccoli in the microwave, than it does on the hob, so I reckon there is an energy saving there (no scientific evidence mind). Of course a steamer on the hob is probably more efficient if you have got 2 layers of veg to cook. I even experimented on microwaving the water for my tea, but I'm pretty sure, after calculating it all out, that there is no energy saving, unless you are the type of person to overfill the kettle. Well done you for managing without it and freeing up a large space in your kitchen too :-)