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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

This Hot Mama is Cooking With Gas!

Here in beautiful Ontario, Canada we have several choices of cooking fuel - wood, charcoal, butane, propane, natural gas and electricity (hydro).  Some are experimenting with solar cooking as well but that really is only somewhat dependable during the summer months.  I've cooked with all of these cooking fuels.  By far the most common cooking fuels in residential homes is wood (Northern areas), electricity, natural gas and propane.  Availability of a cooking fuel can be restricted by location.  For example there are no natural gas mains in some rural areas so you must use electricity, propane or wood.  Apartment buildings in urban centres generally do not have the option for natural gas and many won't allow any type of outdoor grill on balconies.  If you do have an option, aside of owning your own woodlot or having access to free firewood, natural gas is the cheapest cooking fuel coming in at about the third of the cost of electricity.  Ontario has gone to TOU pricing which means you are paying more during high periods of use that translates into paying more to cook breakfast and dinner.  The beauty of natural aside of the low cost is natural gas appliances operate even if the hydro is disrupted so you can still cook.

Whirlpool Gold dishwasher and stove
My last kitchen range was a Jenn-Air slide-in model with every bell and whistle available.  I had the smooth and coil cartridges, the big pot burner,  and the grill.  It was an absolutely gorgeous stove but just would not stand up to heavy duty canning.  I was adamant about switching to a gas stove for this house.

I chose a Whirlpool Gold 30-inch free standing gas range (model# GFG461LVB) with continue burner grates.  It is 5 burner range with self-cleaning oven and extra features.  Unfortunately it does not go below 170ºF so I will not be using the stove for dehydrating, something I could do with the Jenn-Air. 

Pictured also is my new Whirlpool Gold Quiet Partner dishwasher (model# GU2475XTVB1).  All of the controls are hidden when the door is closed.  My husband had a dickens of a time getting the old dishwasher out because the previous owner installed the floor in a manner that prevented sliding the dishwasher out.  They did leave a lot of extra tiles so there should be some of the marble tiles in the garage that we will cut to fit at the base of the dishwasher then install the kick plate.  The dishwasher runs like a dream!

banana loaf
The very first thing I did with the gas range was boil water in the tea kettle.  It was sophisticated but gave me an idea of how to work the controls.  To turn on the burners, the control is set to ignite where the electronic igniter creates a spark to light the burner.  During a power outage a match can be used to manually light the burners or oven.  Once the burner is lit, the control is turned from ignite to desired setting.

Banana bread is one of our favourites so what better way to test the performance of a new oven than with a tried and true recipe?  The bread came out quite lovely, nicely browned although just a bit darker than I would like so I will adjust the baking time when I make it again.  Other than that I have no complaints.  There was a good rise even though I was baking potatoes and a peameal bacon roast at the same time.

Greek salad
We eat a lot of salads but that is not always reflected in this blog where I show the entée only unless I make a special salad.  By far my favourite salad this summer is Greek salad.  I'm not sure why but I'm finding it a bit more interesting than the standard garden salad.  Don't get me wrong as there are lots of ways to jazz up a garden salad and the toppings are endless but the Green salad is just easy to make with a clean, refreshing flavour.  It isn't heavy like Caesar salad can be yet the feta cheese provides extra protein and calcium.  And the feta is a nice change from cheddar cheese.  Next up will be experimenting with blue cheese.  That should be interesting!

peameal bacon roast
I baked the peameal bacon roast and baked potatoes in the oven along with the banana bread.  I cooked the carrots on the gas stove top.   The results were excellent!

What is really nice is I can now cook meals at a third of the price of using electricity.  When the TOU pricing came out I struggled to figure out an easy solution.  I used the outside grill as per normal but there were those days I really needed an alternative.  Now I can relax and cook exactly what I want without worrying about the TOU pricing for hydro.  At the same time I know I can always cook even if the hydro is out.

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