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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Another good day at home, Saving Energy, Coffee, Cheese Making Community, Insurance

We are having visitors tomorrow for afternoon drinks. Sounds good? Yes and no. Time to get the place looking respectable. Lots of house cleaning and the lawns need doing. Still having visitors is a good incentive to have a general clean up around the place. Good to get it done very now and then.

Saving Energy
The electricity bill arrived yesterday. Another reduction in usage. This is the second bill in a row showing a reduction in usage prior to that it had shot up. An all time low compared to this time last year.

The cause of the original increase was the upright freezer. It wasn't that old and had a reasonable energy rating for an upright but we'd noticed it running fairly regularly.

A few years ago the operating temperature of all the fridges and freezers had been checked and adjusted. Then a meter was put on one in turn to measure consumption. All were fine.

As there was an opportunity to consolidate frozen storage about the time we received the big energy bill we defrosted each in turn and cleaned them finishing with the upright being turned off. Two months of no upright showed a huge reduction in electricity usage. This current bill reflects all three months of savings and as well our old analogue TV started to play up and was replaced with a more energy efficient digital reducing our usage a little more.

Only goes to show that major appliances need to be checked regularly for performance.

Having harvested the best beans from the broken Coffee tree branches the pips were popped out and are soaking to get the flesh off. The earlier harvest had been cleaned and was sun dried and today over coffee the paper shell was removed and the beans are ready for roasting. After the next batch is done there will be enough to warrant a roasting session.

Soaking off the remaining pulp

Ready for roasting

The updated insurance policy arrived this week. When the reminder came the other week we made a few changes to it via telephone. Both the Building and the Contents Basic excesses were increased. We looked at a couple of options before settling on the final amount which reflected our financial position and ability to cover the excesses as well as the risk factors. In the end we ended up with a reduction in premium of 30%.

Always worth reviewing not only the coverage amounts but the Basic Excess every year for all insurance policies. Such as house and vehicles.

Cheese Making Community
The cheese community continues to grow. When we commenced collecting milk from our current supplier we would often leave them a sample of the end products as they were made from their milk. Cheeses, Butter and Yogurt.

The daughter-in-law of the dairy farmer had sampled some of these and was motivated to complete a cheeses making course. And today she brought us a sample of her work in the form of a Camembert. Absolutely delicious! An excellent creamy wonderfully smelly cheese.

Many years ago when we first started making cheese we were lucky enough to meet Richard Thomas in Milawa an Australian cheese maker famous for developing so many different and well known cheeses. He encouraged us to keep on with the cheese making not only providing references to reading  material but also sending us off with rennet and starter culture. He had the view that the more people who became involved in home cheese making the more the market  for good cheeses would expand as tastes changes and expanded.

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