With the arrival of our electric bill, I can say without reservation that it really has been cold here. We've only reached 40 twice in the past 30 days. It all came home to roost when the bill arrived and the cost of said bill was double what I normally pay. Granted it wasn't all the cold, but its a large part of it. I have an all electric house and for the most part that's fine. For heat and air conditioning we have a heat pump. For our climate (northern Virginia) it's mostly all we need, but when it's cold and cold for a long time, the heat pump loses all its economic advantages. Below 30 degrees, heat pumps don't work that well in heating the house and it will run and run and run some more. If it is really cold, the auxiliary heat will keep kicking in, which equals a lot more money. Actually I can't blame the huge bill solely on the cold. We did have house guests for Christmas (aka: the kids). That means more lights on, the TV is on longer, the dishwasher is run more frequently and more hot showers are taken. It's my understanding that hot waters heaters are the main contributor to electric bills. And last but not least we have my Clark Griswold light display inside and out. It is suppose to warm up this weekend, the kids have gone home and the lights are down ( some of them, but at least no longer turned on) so hopefully, the electric bill will return to normal next month.
As The Son likes to remind us, we get into a rut when it comes to our meals. We tend to eat the same things again and again. Take Wednesdays, that is my night to cook during the week. I'm working from home and Ann is down in southern Maryland for the day so it makes sense. Most Wednesday we have been having pork chops. I've been just preparing them with Shake n Bake. It's easy and Ann and I like it. The Son hates it and has taken to skipping Wednesday dinners as a result. In order to expand on the repertoire a bit, while still having pork chops, I did prepare them a different way last night. I used this recipe to make cider glazed grilled pork chops. They turned out really well and the glaze was sweet and good. A big plus given my limited culinary skills, it was easy to make. Definitely a keeper. The Son still skipped dinner.