We received a solicitation in the mail from a local heating and air conditioning place offering a discounted furnace tune-up. We've been in our house three years and had never had one, so I set up an appointment for last Thursday. To be honest, I didn't even realize this is something that should be done!
To my surprise, the technician told us that we had a defective heat exchanger. He put a neon warning sign on the furnace, shut off the valves, advised us not to use the furnace, and made me sign a sheet of paper that rendered his company not liable if we chose to use the furnace and died from carbon monoxide poisoning (we decided to not use the furnace -- with birds, it's not worth the risk).
This was certainly not the outcome I had expected from a simple tune-up!
It's chilly here, but not ridiculously cold. If it weren't for the animals, we wouldn't have been in a big hurry to replace the furnace. I can deal with a little chill! I have a mini temperature gun we use to make sure that the lizards' enclosures are at the appropriate temperature for them, and we amused ourselves by taking reading all over our house. A few times it got down to 59 degrees, but mostly was in the 60s. It stayed in the mid- to high- 60s in the living room due to the heat escaping from the lizards, so the parrots were never uncomfortable.
We found two companies that would come out to give us estimates Saturday afternoon, and we are having our furnace and air conditioner replaced tomorrow (which is why I will not be blogging tomorrow).
In an attempt to make the best of a bad situation and increase the temperature in our house, we tried to use the oven as much as we could!
Saturday I made roasted garlic (so delicious we were eating it straight out of the oven -- no vampires will be able to get us!), oven-dried tomatoes, and a pizza for dinner.
We had received many grape and cherry tomatoes from our CSA. Neither one of us really likes the smaller tomatoes, and tomatoes aren't the best for parrots to eat. We didn't want them to go to waste, so we made oven dried tomatoes. They are delicious!
To this:It was so easy! After washing the tomatoes, cut them in half lengthwise. Put a wire rack on a baking sheet, then place the tomatoes face-down on the wire race. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Bake for as long as you want so that the tomatoes are the consistency you want! 2-3 hours if you're using them that day, about 4 hours if you're using them within the week, and about 6 hours if you want to store them for several weeks. We did 4 hours and these will be gone in less than a week. They make a great snack as well as pizza topping!
On Sunday, I made a pumpkin pie and apple cobbler. I made the pie recipe from the back of a can of pumpkin I had in the pantry. It's OK, but not wonderful. I think I'll look for another recipe before trying this again!
As for the apple cobbler, I used the recipe in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. It was so delicious! Thomas caught me making yummy noises as I was eating -- I didn't even realize I was doing that! I had another serving for breakfast. We used the apples from our CSA.
The parrots got a tiny taste of the cobbler. When Rocky saw me put my bowl down on the floor, he descended from his cage as quickly as he could and ate as much as he could before I took the bowl away.