Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's Too Darn Hot

numbers,symbols,temperatures,thermometers,weather,mercury levels,concepts

But when the thermometer goes way up
And the weather is sizzling hot
Summer lovin'
With the oven we're not

Eco-novice is hot and hungry.

I have something to say on the topic of reading, but that will have to wait, because I have more pressing matters to discuss.

It's hot.

We hit 94 last week, and will creep even closer to 100 later this week. I am currently making milk, and that makes me feel very warm. When I'm nursing, I am most comfortable around 60 degrees. When it's 90, it feels like 105 to me. Anything above 75, and I'm uncomfortable. Over 85, and I feel like I'm melting. I have no A/C.

Milk-making + 90-plus temperature + no A/C =
Don't you dare turn on that oven

The temperature dipped below 70 a little over a week ago and I went into a baking frenzy: four loaves of honey whole wheat bread, granola, granola bars, and pizza for dinner. I'll be watching the weather forecast regularly for my next chance to bake.

But generally during the summer, it's too darn hot to use the oven. Which makes dinner a little more challenging. I can use the stove top to make:
  • Tacos (local grass-fed ground beef, ground turkey, or beans)
  • Quesadillas 
  • Lentils (or other legume) and rice
  • Pasta
  • Stir-fry (tofu and veggies)
But many evenings, it's too hot to imagine even turning on the stove top. Of course there are salads, but without a healthy dose of protein, this nursing mother is hungry 15 minutes after her last bite. If I weren't nursing, I'd probably be happy to subsist on watermelon. I'm not really a grill or BBQ person. We don't have one currently, but standing outside next to or near a fire isn't super appealing to me in the heat anyway. I'm thinking about buying an electric pressure cooker or a slow cooker, so that I can cook food in the garage and not heat up my house.

So, Boothers, I'm turning to you.
What do you make for dinner when it's too darn hot to turn on the oven?



Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

Burritos, nachos, anything Mexican. Bean burgers. Baked potatoes made in the microwave.

Do you have a crockpot? I'm not a crockpot cooker, but lots of people like them and they don't heat up the house. You can even roast a chicken in a crockpot.

Helena said...

Crockpot stuff--I actually plug the crockpot in on the porch (it's covered) to keep the heat out of the house. Salads, and I add cheese or cold leftover meat (chicken usually) for protein. Fajitas. Stir fry. On the weekends my husband does like to grill, so that helps. (It's 95 here in FL and not likely to cool off until October. I'm pregnant and hibernating out of the heat as much as I can. I envy you your dips in temperature, even if they are temporary! :) )

Betsy (Eco-Novice) said...

Erin and Helena, I'm considering getting a crock pot/ slow cooker for that very reason. But the whole lead-in-the-glaze thing is getting me down.

So maybe I'll get the electric pressure cooker, since I can get a stainless steel one (many come with nonstick coating, so look out for that!).

Helena, yes, I'm glad I'm not in FL, esp. b/c I hate humidity. It's hard to be hot and pregnant. I'm actually less hot while pregnant than while nursing. Hope you get some relief soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, get a george foreman electric bbq! They're only $60 and are GREAT! I use this obsessively in summer to grill veggies, meats, and fruit (mmm, grilled peaches w ice cream...). I'm contemplating a couple burners for the outside to do my canning there too :)

Caitlin said...

We do a variety of salads for summer meals, tomato with tuna, zucchini "pasta", watermelon salad, gazpacho, if it's a vegetable (or fruit) that can be eatten raw it's in a bowl.

Helena said...

This is another good recipe--the only heat required is to boil the pasta. It's amazing, and also deliecious with lime and cilantro instead of lemon and basil. And contrary to what she says, it's fine leftover the next day--just eat it cold. Consume within a day or two though--it's rather unappetizing if the avocados turn brown.

Rosa said...

I'm another one who cooks on the porch - we used to have a toaster oven (it finally died) but I can still plug in the rice cooker, crock pot & electric kettle on the porch.

Tabouli is good for that - all you have to do is boil water and pour it in.

Betsy (Eco-Novice) said...

Great ideas, all, thank you!

Truffula said...

And, remember solar cookers, too. :-)

SharleneT said...

Truffula took the words from my mouth -- I simply couldn't resist. Solar cooking takes care of that problem and feeds your family some fantastic meals. Easy-peasy... 'nuff said. Come visit when you can.

Erica {let why lead} said...

I actually envy your warmer microclimate down there, Betsy, but this post reminded me to be grateful that I can bake most anytime up here. Plus, my unit is on the first floor with windows only on one side, so it stays pretty cool.

I use my slow cooker fairly often, though, and I love to grill!

Good luck staying cool!

Lisa said...

We eat a lot of cold suppers - sandwiches with salads/sides. Chicken salad sandwiches with carrot sticks and watermelon. Ham and cheese on baguette with coleslaw and strawberries. Sometimes I use my panini press to make quick grilled cheese because it cooks both sides FAST so I can be done fast. Or Cubans - ham, pork roast, swiss, mustard, pickles on rolls in panini for a couple of minutes. I crock overnight so the meat is ready in the morning when it's still pretty cool out. One crocked pork roast can make about 3 dinners for us. Plus the kids don't want to eat heavy in the summer anyway since it's often over 90.


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