it's too hot... and i've got 'cabin fever'!?!

klseiverdJuly 7, 2012

I usually associate cabin fever with being snowed-in. Here in my part of NJ, the longest I've been snowed in was for about 36 hours... because I live on a small circle, township plows circles LAST, and we had a VERY unusual BIG storm that dropped over 3 feet of snow. Even neighbors with 4WD trucks couldn't muscle thru that much snow.

I get a bit cabin-feverish just waiting for plows to show myself I CAN get out, if I want to.

Well, I'm suffering from reverse cabin fever, I guess. Has been well over 90 for over a week. When you walk out of the AC, it hits you like a ton of bricks. The most I've been outside is to pick up paper from driveway, mail from box at curb, or from hous-to-car-to supermarket-to-car-to-house.

In the winter, when stuck inside... one of the first things I start thinking about is what I'm gonna cook & eat. Getting those same urges during this heat wave. It's too hot to even cook out on the grill!?! Definitely don't want to fire up the oven or all the burners on stove top.

Yesterday, pulled some frozen shrimp out, butterflied, breaded and fried. I prefer tartar sauce over cocktail... and got a little inspired to make something I've NEVER made before... MAYO. MAN, was that simple and the result was delicious! Just hunted up a recipe (Alton B's) and used my mini-processor to zizz up about a cup or so.... 1 yolk, dry mustard, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, a few pinches of sugar, and some salt... think that's all it took. Think recipe says use within a week!?! The raw egg thing... NOT something I'm remotely worrying about.

So it's HOT HOT HOT and you're marooned inside in the AC... LUCKILY!! What are you cooking/eating?

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I know what you mean...I do live in Florida and have to wait until evening to do yard work. However, I have to put things in perspective. We were in Colorado last week with our girls softball teams (Mustangs); they were playing 3 games a day in 105 heat plus the altitude that we aren't use to.

When I'm inclined to complain about the heat, I remind myself about our soldiers in full gear in Afghanistan; that shuts me up real quick.

What am I cooking/eating? Seafood salad, BLT's, gazpacho, and sushi. And snacking on cold cheese cubes.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 3:05PM
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Tomato harvest is winding down, but they've been the basis of my menus for the past 7 weeks. Lots of fresh (uncooked) sauces, Mario Batali's quick-cooked Sun Gold pasta, burgers (beef and veggie) with sliced tomatoes, salads, etc. Also been eating boiled shrimp and anything that's quick.

Even with central air I don't like using the oven during the summer. If at all possible I choose the toaster oven instead. Dh is the griller in our house and he doesn't mind doing it even in the summer. I'm grateful for that!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 3:09PM
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kl - i am not far from you in Bucks County and I was just saying the same thing to my neighbor. I am so sick of being stuck inside - it is WAY worse than snow if you ask me. At least in snow it is pretty and fun to play in - I HATE this weather.

As far as eating - I made wraps with hummus, spinach, jarred roasted red peppers, fresh mozz and a little avocado for lunch. Going to a friends later, but I am not cooking so I have no idea what we are eating. Hopefully they aren't killing themselves trying to grill in this weather either.

I swear if I ever hit the lottery I am buying a "summer" home near Santiago Chile and the Andes so I never have to be in this heat again. August skiing here I come!


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 3:13PM
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Way hot here too and I live on a lake!

I'm OK with grilling in the heat but I'm not up to the eating part! I've been eating what little appeals to me, salad plates ala Sharoncb, you know the type with all the components on the plate but not tossed, radishes with sea salt on buttered bread. I smoked a pastrami earlier in the week, so pastrami on rye with slaw and dills has been on the menu more than once this week. The only hot food that appeals is grilled burgers so I did those one night. I'm dying for a potato salad and deviled eggs but no way I'm boiling anything!

A front is coming through tonight so we are looking at much cooler temps next week...... :)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 3:28PM
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Caliloo... I'm a short hop over Burlington Bristol Bridge from Bucks County. I consider these HOt days as just LOST time?!? Even too hot to just sit on deck and read a book. Think ya see more of neighbors during snow when you're out shoveling. Once it's screaming hot, everybody goes into what I call reverse-hibernation!?!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 4:05PM
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Another day of 100F here today and same for tomorrow. My mom and I went to Greensboro today to pick up my sewing machine. But first we went to the Fresh Market for a few treats: Stacy's pita chips and roasted red pepper hummus, a carton full of olives/peppers/tiny herbed balls of mozz, Kona coffee, fruit, veggies, cheese and beer. I took a cooler and some frozen packs to keep it all cool on the way home.

I'm finding the heat just takes my appetite away and for me to admit that I just don't want much to eat is a BIG DEAL!

Come Friday I'm heading to the NC mountains were the temps will only get as high as 84F - woo-freakin'-hoo!


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 4:17PM
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Our temps have been going up to 105 and higher. We've been staying reasonably comfortable in the house at 78. I've still cooked and even had the oven on for half an hour yesterday, but used the vent fan on my stove to pull the heat outside. Some people here have had their air conditioners go out on them due to constant use. Glad we have the motorhome along side the house. The generator operates off the diesel fuel tank and if our a/c in the house goes out, we'll just move out there.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 4:23PM
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Mustangs, you should have stayed (sorry I missed you). We had half an inch of rain last night and a big cooldown. The temps are in the mid 70s now with 40% humidity. That much humidity is just extreme for here, it would have been in the single digits almost all of the time you were here.

Still June has been unbearably hot in Colorado, Max was at 7000 ft for the weekend the third week in June and it was 99 there. Yikes! I don't even know how many days we peaked over 100 degrees but I do know that until yesterday we had 15 or 16 consecutive days above 95 with about half of them over 100. I think all of our wildfires are out or almost completely contained. The three major fires are at least 95% contained now.

But we still have only green tomatoes and just zucchini blossoms. Our kale and chard are heat resistant but the lettuce is done. I just read that black seeded Simpson lettuce is more heat tolerant so we may try a second crop of that.

I'm glad that the induction cooktop is cool for cooking on and our oven is well insulated. Still, at least half our meals are cold. We're having lots of full meal salads, cold shrimp, gazpacho and a few grilled meats.

It's crazy all over the country - and so many people are or have been in horrible conditions with heat, loss of property and loss of power. I wonder what the rest of July and August will bring?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 5:05PM
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It is SO HOT. I am stir crazy too. I hate it. I am waiting for some brownies to cool right now. I baked them in the toaster oven in a tiny toaster oven sized cake pan :-).

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 11:50PM
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OH Geez are we big babies here in the PNW. We finally started summer and today it was a dry 84. I finally walked the dog at 11 p.m. as it was 72 and very nice --talked to 3 neighbors (!) who were doing things about their yards. All moaning and groaning about the heat. Tomorrow will be our, most likely, hottest day all summer at 90.
None the less we all know we are big babies and we pay back with our many drizzly days.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 3:15AM
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Yesterday was our 14th day in a row of 100-degrees F or higher, and it topped out at 110-degrees F yesterday. Thankfully we'll have highs in the low 90's this week, and a much needed break from the extreme heat.... But the humidity will be higher and I always think that is worse at any temperature than dry heat. I get up at 3:30 a.m. each morning so I can get everything I need done before 9:00 a.m. when the heat really sets in. The gardening is done by 7:00 or 8:00. I love being at home, so cabin fever or getting bored doesn't fit my personality.

I've been spending the hot afternoons making Wonder Ovens (aka Wonder Box - a form of thermal cooking) for Christmas (see link below).

Your recipe for homemade mayonnaise made me think of my mother. I don't think my parents bought a jar of mayonnaise until I was a teen in the late 60's - it was always homemade. If you ever are concerned with using raw eggs, you can pasteurize it/them first by bringing the egg/s to 140-degrees F in a pan of hot water, and maintain the temperature for 3-1/2 minutes. Place in cold water to stop the cooking process. It's enough heat to pasteurize the egg, but not enough to completely cook it so you can still use it "raw".

Lots of raw whole foods these days (but that's normal all year round) - especially with the garden producing. Cooling fruit or homemade fruit sorbet for dessert. Lots of homemade sprouts to use in wraps and on sandwiches now that it's gotten too hot to grow fresh greens. I also have a lot of pre-cooked meat, soup and chili in the freezer in user-friendly amounts we use when it's hot (cook once, eat twice - or more). Frozen seasoned steak strips or chicken for hearty dinner salads or a head start on a stir-fry, or quick Mexican entrees. Pulled pork has all kinds of uses.... I portion it in snack-bags and then vacuum-seal it in a FoodSaver bag. Add some bbq sauce and a homemade burger bun from the freezer and top it with shredded cabbage (also from the garden). I baked some new (homegrown) potatoes in the Solar Oven the other day, reheated some chili (formerly frozen) in the Solar Oven as well, to top the baked potatoes for a quick meal along with sliced fresh vegetables from the garden. Chili also makes a quick Taco Salad.


Here is a link that might be useful: Wonder Box

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 10:10AM
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We're in the Southwest where temps are in the 90s and 100s. We're having a cool spell right now, with highs in the 80s. But, as they say, it's not the heat, it's the humidity. Which is zero or pretty close.

I don't remember the last time I bought mayo. It must be decades ago. It's so easy to make, I don't know why anyone buys the stuff. I don't bother to pasteurize the egg, and no, we've never had any ill effects from the raw egg.

I'm also grateful to have induction, and a new oven which is very well insulated so doesn't heat the kitchen up. We eat a lot of salads, and pan bagnat and gyros are standards for us. We also grill and smoke chicken outdoors and eat it warm or at room temperature. In this heat I don't have much motivation to stand over a pot.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 12:35PM
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Well I feel wimpy - it's fairly nice in Maine 70-80s - not 100+ like it is in central NJ where I used to live.

Salad and more salad - partly because it's good hot weather food and partly because it will bolt soon. Pasta with whatever fresh herbs and veggies I pick today. Fruit and more fruit - Strawberries are finishing, Mangos are ripe and cheap at the grocery store right now.

And for some reason dairy based Indian desserts - I'm on a cardamom,saffron, pistachio and mango kick. I think this takes care of my cooking urge without a lot of actual cooking. So far I've made shrikhand, amrakhand and last night kulfi. The kulfi recipe seemed very sweet so I added more milk and pistachios. The testers today approved. Yum.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 4:24PM
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Klseiverd, I live up 130 a bit, near Bordentown, and while it wasn't quite as hot today we still didn't feel like cooking what we had planned. Instead I made pancakes for supper. Sure, you have to cook them but they take only a few minutes to cook. I had two with just butter and one with maple syrup, along with a nice glass of orange juice.

Yesterday we had corn for supper. Just corn. We have salads for lunch or brunch and we'll get our protein in somewhere.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 7:58PM
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