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Old 07-23-2006, 04:33 PM   #1
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Managing the heat

OK, I live in a place where we only occasionally get sweltering hot weather. This week we have been in the mid to high 30's (round 100F) and there is not a chance that I will turn on the oven or stove in this heat. So...having said that, I realize many of you live in climates where it is this hot or hotter most of the time. (Holy cow!) So, what do you cook? Do you all have AC? How do you manage in the heat?

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Old 07-23-2006, 04:35 PM   #2
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When it is that hot then the grill or takeout is your friend. Also cold dishes like salads and things like gaspacho are perfect.

We are actually in the process of having central air installed. The a/c part is done. We are just waiting for the electrician to finish the job. We have been spending a lot of time in our pool.
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Old 07-23-2006, 04:38 PM   #3
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you simply have to eat light..

First, I find myself with much less of an appetite when it gets that hot. As a matter of fact, it's been in the mid to upper ninties this week here in northern NJ.
But, in the event that you simply have to cook something, try doing it all in one pan. This way, you generate less heat, and only have one thing to wash, using less hot water.
I'm very fond of salads with a grilled piece of chicken, beef or fish over it.

Also, if you can, try cooking in the morning, when it's cooler, and then reheating in the microwave later in the evening.

Good luck..and try to remember this when we're all freezing in January.
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Old 07-23-2006, 04:42 PM   #4
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We have Central Air so I still use my oven several times a week.

You could break out your slow cooker and come up with some new recipes or bring out beloved old ones. That way your not heating up the house and you don't have to endure going out in the heat either.
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Old 07-23-2006, 05:09 PM   #5
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I was born and raised in San Diego, very near the Pacific Ocean, and we never had air conditioning, rarely needed it. Then I went to college in Los Angeles and ended up living in the San Fernando Valley for 29 years. You had better believe we had A/C! Summer always included at least a couple of weeks of temps between 105 and 110, and it was nearly 100 every other day between June and November. But mornings and evenings were pleasant, and as we always said, it's a dry heat, so we adjusted. We did use the stove and the oven year round, and the BBQ grill got quite a workout in the summer.

Two years ago we moved to Hermosa Beach, a tiny town on the ocean about 7 miles south of LAX. We're about 500 yards from the beach, and we haven't needed A/C so far -- but this week we would have liked to have had it. It's been hot (90+) and muggy (60%+). Not that bad, and it's rarely like this, so it would be hard to justify A/C due to the cost -- almost no one here has it, not even the multi-million-dollar mansions on the water.

But we don't learn our lessons too easily -- we're heading BACK to the San Fernando Valley to have dinner with friends at their home in Woodland Hills, where it was 119 yesterday! Oy, vey! I hope we don't have a blackout.
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Old 07-23-2006, 05:11 PM   #6
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We have been eating light here this week. I just can't imagine having to live like this all the time. You would simply have to have AC or you would melt I think. I hadn't thought about a slow cooker. That might be a good idea. Thanks!

I have two weeks in the kitchen {relieving the cook for his holiday) starting July 31st. I am praying that we will get a break in the weather so I don't have to be baking in that heat!
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Old 07-23-2006, 05:47 PM   #7
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We have been making some salads and cold soups.
And lots of cold beer ;)
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Old 07-23-2006, 05:52 PM   #8
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VeraBlue:
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Also, if you can, try cooking in the morning, when it's cooler, and then reheating in the microwave later in the evening.
That's what I've been doing for the last couple of weeks. I've never lived in a house w/o AC and I still don't want to turn the stove on.
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Old 07-23-2006, 06:03 PM   #9
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Hi Alix ~ I live about 30 minutes east of San Francisco and, boy, do the temps differ. For the last week, we have had unusually hot weather - over 100ºF and as high as 111ºF while San Francisco is in the 60s or low 70s!! I do not have A/C -- the heat usually comes in for a few days and then we are cooled by the bay breezes from San Francisco, but not this year. We have broken records dating back 30 years ago! So ... when I heard the heatwave was coming, I baked lots of chicken (thighs, breasts, drumsticks) and froze them. I also have a lot of zucchini from the garden and made soup (delicious cold) and frittata for the freezer. Meals consist of lettuce salads with chicken, tomatoes, avocados, onion, etc., cool pieces of fritatta and fruit salad or cool zucchini soup with a chicken or deli sandwich. Like someone mentioned above, if you have to cook, do so early in the morning or late at night. Also, I tend to cook more than I need (stews, couscous, pasta, etc.) and put the extra in the freezer. Boy, does it come in handy for these hot days!!! Good luck and let's hope this heat spell breaks soon!!!!!!
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Old 07-23-2006, 06:13 PM   #10
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We have lots of 90's in the summer so must have a/c. We don't usually get to 100 but we do get close at times. I buy rotisserie chicken more in the summer time because we can use it for several things - mostly cold and we do eat more salads and fruit with cheese - lots of iced tea and water. I also use the GF grill, the small one if a couple of burgers, or the larger one if steak or chicken, or panini. At least your high temps don't last all summer. Be thankful for that. If ours hit over 100, I suppose we would live in the pool a bit. We had friends who put 300# of ice in their pool the 4th of July and Labor day when the water got too hot. We haven't had to do that since adding water to what the sun is drawing out keeps a good temp so far. I bought a misting system at Lowe's last week and will put that on the deck. The water from the well comes out at about 65 degrees so that will cool things off a bit. I think the mist comes out at about 4 gallons per hour.
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Old 07-23-2006, 06:13 PM   #11
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There's a reason classic summer foods are barbecue and salad. I agree with everyone saying have cold dishes and try barbecuing/grilling. If you're really hot though I'd just stick with the cold dishes because they'll be pleasant and refreshing.
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Old 07-23-2006, 06:21 PM   #12
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Without A/C... a person would quite literally die in Las Vegas. Even the homeless manage to find shelters during the summer months. I still cook, but I don't do a lot of baking or roasting.
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Old 07-23-2006, 06:36 PM   #13
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Almost everyone has AC around here, and at this time of year, there are city cooling centers for those who don't. Not only does it get hot here, but the humidy just eats us up.
When I was a little girl, nobody had AC in there homes, and very few businesses had it either. There were a lot of Saturday, Sunday, and even occassional week-day matinees at the movie theater, which was air-conditioned. People got out of there houses and went for rides, or to the drive-in. Sometimes they even slept outside. I remember my mom putting me in the bathtub, where I'd slide around and splash all afternoon, until my fingers and toes looked like prunes.

One bad summer, when a polio epidemic swept the midwest, a boy two blocks away was stricken, and a friend of my Dad's lost his little girl. Nobody knew what to do. They closed down the swimming hole at the lake, we couldn't go out and play with our friends, and I spent afternoons on a quilt on the linoleum floor in the kitchen with a fan blowing on me, because mother's were advised to keep their children from getting over-heated.
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Old 07-23-2006, 06:46 PM   #14
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We didn't have ac when I was growing up either and had to make do with lots of shade trees and the sprinkler. We did go to the beach a lot and have that miserable ride home with all the sand on us. My grandmother and grandfather had a sleeping porch on their farm house for really hot weather, but their place was covered with pecan trees so there was always a nice breeze.
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Old 07-23-2006, 07:05 PM   #15
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We just got central air earlier this year. And we also have a pool.
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Old 07-23-2006, 07:31 PM   #16
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Never thought that I would say this, but I'm ready to go back to the steppes of Kazakhstan where the winter temps can (and did) get to -45 this past winter. Just heard from my hubby who is there and the current temps are in the 70's during the daytime and a light jacket is needed in the evenings. I'm currently in Houston where it is hot, muggy, and buggy. I'm helping out with my 78 year old mother-in-law who is not doing very well and hoping that she survives this summer. Houston would not exist without a/c--PERIOD! All my sincere "I feel for you's" that those of you are going thru this heat wave now--I hope and pray that the weather changes soon for you.
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Old 07-23-2006, 09:09 PM   #17
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window units and outdoor kitchens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Baked
VeraBlue:


That's what I've been doing for the last couple of weeks. I've never lived in a house w/o AC and I still don't want to turn the stove on.
I live in a very old home, built in 1917 so no possibility of central AC. Instead, I employ window units in all the bedrooms upstairs and a large one in the living room. As a result, the dining room and foyer, both off the living room reap only some benefit from the AC. The kitchen, on the other hand, remains circling the 7th level of Dante's hades. No respite save early morning. The air conditioner has never been a match for the stove or oven.

There was a time when all the homes in my neighbourhood had what was referred to as outdoor kitchens. They were more like sheds in the yards, with oven, stove, sink and worktable. This way, the housewives could cook in those rooms and not heat the home overmuch. I'd kill for one of those...and people have killed for less.
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Old 07-23-2006, 09:23 PM   #18
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I keep my AC pegged at 60, and LOTS of ice water at work...I would much rather be cold, that's for sure.
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Old 07-24-2006, 02:21 AM   #19
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We have a heatwave here in the uk at the moment (yes we do get them every few years )
We tend to eat more salads when it gets this hot, and eat later on the patio when the sun has gone down. Good thread
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Old 07-24-2006, 02:56 AM   #20
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It's hot like Hades here. We eat a lot of salads and eat out more than normal. I find that the dollar theater (theaters are always super cool) is a great place to be - and relatively cheap too.

BTW, don't go see Garfield II, It's really bad.
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