Dear SOS: I like to make my own stocks. I cook them for a long time on top of the stove. But my gas bill has doubled recently. Would it be better to use a slow cooker? I’m sure there are energy-saving tips that your readers would enjoy sharing. For instance, when steaming vegetables, I’ve found you can cut the heat off before they are ready, keep the lid on the pot, and they will continue to cook.
Dear Margaret: Conservation is always a good idea. If anyone has good tips on saving energy in the kitchen, send them in. Slow cookers are efficient for cooking soups and stews, but you may also want to consider a pressure cooker. Cooking time is decreased dramatically by cooking food at a higher temperature and energy use is cut by 50% to 75%. Here is a recipe for stock made in a pressure cooker. This recipe ran in the Times in March of 1995.