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Tropicalsenior

What do you do when you can't stand the heat but can't get out of the kitchen?

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When its really hot up here, (which isn't very often- maybe a week or two in the summer we hit 90F-100F), we're usually out in the fields making hay. And, hubby will stay on the tractor cutting hay until 10pm if he feels like it. I need to have portable meals I can bring down to the one of the farms.  Usually, I will make sub-sandwiches,  or, if I have to go to town, I'll get a bag of deli fried chicken and a couple sides, and iced teas.   Most times, if he's cutting hay, then I'm typically in the garden working- which means I'm going to be pretty tired too. So, I need easy stuff. 

 

Evenings, when its a little cooler out, I will grill lots of chicken, burgers, or steak, saving some to eat the next very hot day(s)- over salads, or in burger form. Other things I've done in late summer, is pull potatoes out of the ground, wash them off and make loaded baked potatoes in the microwave. Since I've started pressure canning meats, I do find it much easier to speed up meal prepping. I'd never have imagined heating up a jar of taco beef or venison, for tacos, burritos or nachos  - could be so fast and easy.  So I try to can meats in the cooler in the months, and stash a few away for the hot times. 

 

 

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When I was a kid, we had no air conditioning. House had a lot of windows, high ceilings, and white asbestos siding that reflected the heat. Still, in the kitchen, it would get HOT when Mama was canning or freezing and had all four burners on the stove.

 

Our solution was to go to town to the ice house, and get a 50-pound block of ice in the No. 2 washtub. We'd set it in the middle of the kitchen floor, set the box fan on top of a kitchen chair, and aim it across the ice at the stove.

 

Made things bearable! 

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13 minutes ago, kayb said:

Our solution was to go to town to the ice house, and get a 50-pound block of ice in the No. 2 washtub. We'd set it in the middle of the kitchen floor, set the box fan on top of a kitchen chair, and aim it across the ice at the stove.

 

Large air conditioning capacity today is rated in "tons".  That came from in the old days, tons of ice was used to condition air in spaces. 

 

dcarch

 

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19 minutes ago, kayb said:

When I was a kid, we had no air conditioning. House had a lot of windows, high ceilings, and white asbestos siding that reflected the heat. Still, in the kitchen, it would get HOT when Mama was canning or freezing and had all four burners on the stove.

 

Our solution was to go to town to the ice house, and get a 50-pound block of ice in the No. 2 washtub. We'd set it in the middle of the kitchen floor, set the box fan on top of a kitchen chair, and aim it across the ice at the stove.

 

Made things bearable! 

Thanks for the memories! Until I was 12, we still had the old wood stove so things were doubly hot.

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I wear a wide cloth headband while cooking to keep my hair off my face and out of the food.  When I get hot while cooking I put an ice cube or two under the headband.  It works wonders in cooling my whole body off.

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I drink lots and lots of icy aguas frescas to stay cool and hydrated. 

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Here in central coastal Florida, I'll turn on my oven without a second thought in the summer. That's what A/C is for.   My wife thinks I'm nuts for doing my long walks in the middle of the afternoon.  Works for me.  I like to ease into the day and don't mind the heat 

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33 minutes ago, scubadoo97 said:

Here in central coastal Florida, I'll turn on my oven without a second thought in the summer. That's what A/C is for.   My wife thinks I'm nuts for doing my long walks in the middle of the afternoon.  Works for me.  I like to ease into the day and don't mind the heat 

Yup. Me too.

The BSO/CSO does offer some advantages in the summer....

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My best heat beaters are my IP, freezer and microwave. When I make soups, stews and sauces I always make more than enough for one meal and put it in the freezer. Then when it's hot, I can thaw out the extra meal in the microwave and it's quick and cool.

I also have the advantage (?) of getting up at 4:30 in the morning to get breakfast for my housemates before they go to work. I do a lot of cooking and baking then and just reheat it at dinner time. For frying things, I use my electric skillet and I do make a lot of stir frys in my wok.

I don't have much luck serving salads. My housemates are from Central America and to them, a salad is a side dish. They would never say anything, but the times that I have served salads I can sense the puzzlement, as if to say “is this all we get”. Soups and casseroles that I can finish up at the last minute as they come home from work seem to be more practical.

I do wish that the idea of cooking naked would work for me, it would save me a lot on laundry.

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39 minutes ago, Tropicalsenior said:

My best heat beaters are my IP, freezer and microwave. When I make soups, stews and sauces I always make more than enough for one meal and put it in the freezer. Then when it's hot, I can thaw out the extra meal in the microwave and it's quick and cool.

I also have the advantage (?) of getting up at 4:30 in the morning to get breakfast for my housemates before they go to work. I do a lot of cooking and baking then and just reheat it at dinner time. For frying things, I use my electric skillet and I do make a lot of stir frys in my wok.

I don't have much luck serving salads. My housemates are from Central America and to them, a salad is a side dish. They would never say anything, but the times that I have served salads I can sense the puzzlement, as if to say “is this all we get”. Soups and casseroles that I can finish up at the last minute as they come home from work seem to be more practical.

I do wish that the idea of cooking naked would work for me, it would save me a lot on laundry.

I like using my crockpot when it's hot or just when I want time for other things.  There are more and more recipes that can successfully made that way without losing flavor, texture or appearance.  

I make my mac and cheese that way now and it's still good.

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When it's hot I definitely start pickling and stop baking. Pickled/quick fermented salad = good. Or boil at night, marinade overnight for next day's lunch or dinner.

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4 hours ago, Tropicalsenior said:

I do wish that the idea of cooking naked would work for me, it would save me a lot on laundry.

 

And I can attest skin grows back in time.

 

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I simply go out to well air-conditioned places even more!

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Posted (edited)
On ‎2‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 9:09 AM, Kim Shook said:

I have never understood folks who do all of their cooking outside in hot weather.  The last thing that I want to do when it it 90+ degrees is step one foot outdoors, much less stand over a grill.  I just crank the AC and try to do things that won't require long oven cooking - stovetop, slow cooker and large toaster oven food.

 

We have homes in FL and Mexico (and a previous home in AZ). 

 

I disagree about grilling in hot weather (or any inclement weather). 

 

I use a gas grill.  It is so well-seasoned that I get a good flavor off it. And by 'seasoned' I basically mean I never clean it.

 

I rarely stand over the grill.  My grill is 5 steps from my kitchen.  I walk out, preheat it and come back inside until it's hot enough (usually 5 minutes on this grill).  For salmon,  I take a fillet with skin (I use my own dry rub on flesh side), throw it skin-side down and go back in the house.  8 minutes later I go out, shut off gas and come back inside to ready the plates, etc.  3 minutes later I bring the salmon indoors.  It is always perfect. 

 

For pork tenderloin and lamb racks I grill 6 to 8 minutes on each side, let rest another 6 to 8 minutes, lid up.  I do not monitor these grill items...I could do them blindfolded.  

 

The only items I do watch are veggies....but the cooking time is so much less for grilled eggplant, zucchini, etc. that I am rarely outside for more than a few minutes.  

 

I also use the grill to reheat pizza.  Preheat, then all burners to low, slices on grill for exactly 5 minutes.  EZ PZ and the grill flavor improves the original flavor x10.  

 

Though our temperatures in Ajijic are mild  (under 80F) for 10 months, we can hit 90 in May until the rains start in mid June.  We don't have much humidity even in the rainy season.  Now FL...that's another story, but still I prefer grilling there...for the flavor and general lack of mess.  All my splatters go onto nearby bushes that seem to thrive on grease! 


Edited by gulfporter (log)
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Maybe if I start this topic the air conditioner people will install our new system this week.  We've hung in here for about a month with no AC on the main floor.  Well, none is not the right term.  At night the AC used to be able to catch up and get down to 70F.  Then around 10:30 a.m. it would begin to creep up.  By 5 -6 p.m. it was at least 81F in the kitchen.  I like it cold.  68F is about right for me.  Anyway, long story short, the AC people are completely overwhelmed and to tide us over the sent a person out on Saturday to refill our AC with whatever the coolant is called.  While doing that another part broke and now no AC at all on the main floor.  The upstairs is still limping along.  

 

I'm sweaty.

 

I've searched here to no avail--I swear there was a topic about cooking in hot weather.

 

I found the Cold Noodles Cook-Off which will hopefully give me some ideas. 

 

I know that some like to grill or cook outdoors but when it's this hot outside, that is not for me.  I'm looking for ideas for things I can prep in the morning and then serve for the evening meal.  

 

I don't mind using our CSO, the IP or the SV machine but I'm out of ideas and need some EG inspiration.

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With those gorgeous tomatoes, I'd forget about cooking at all. I'd slice some of those tomatoes, layer them with slices of mozzarella, slices of a good salami (maybe you could substitute a good deer summer sausage, if you have it), juliennes of basil, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Bread to soak up the juices would be good, so if you had the stamina you could bake some in the CSO. 

 

We've been sweating through a hot spell, and even my darling - who usually insists on a chunk of meat, even if it's a grilled sausage or hot dog - thinks this Caprese salad is a real treat. I just wish we could do it with good local tomatoes. They aren't in quite yet, but the basil's going gangbusters.

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3 minutes ago, Smithy said:

With those gorgeous tomatoes, I'd forget about cooking at all. I'd slice some of those tomatoes, layer them with slices of mozzarella, slices of a good salami (maybe you could substitute a good deer summer sausage, if you have it), juliennes of basil, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Bread to soak up the juices would be good, so if you had the stamina you could bake some in the CSO. 

 

We've been sweating through a hot spell, and even my darling - who usually insists on a chunk of meat, even if it's a grilled sausage or hot dog - thinks this Caprese salad is a real treat. I just wish we could do it with good local tomatoes. They aren't in quite yet, but the basil's going gangbusters.

GOOD idea.  Perfect.  I have some good salami --Ronnie is also an insister of meat lol.  

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I'd also give thought to salads like tuna salad and chicken salad - in sandwich form or atop greens. @Jaymes's cornbread salad is a wonderful thing, if you've made cornbread when it was cool, but you'd need to figure out a meat to go with it. Mix in salami or bacon? Serve it on the side with smoked chicken? Similarly, @kayb's tomato cobbler sounds like a fine summer dish that you could make earlier in the day, and accompany with said smoked chicken.

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How about some gazpacho, cooling and if you need meat, add some steamed shrimp right as you dish it up.  Sometimes I cut some fresh vegies and serve with hummus.   Some tabbouleh topped with grilled chicken from the store.   I'm with you on the heat, it has been hot and muggy here.  My garden is starting to suffer and so am I.  Another idea, how about a charcuterie plate with some pickled vegies on the side. 

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1 hour ago, Shelby said:

By 5 -6 p.m. it was at least 81F in the kitchen.


Unless I have chocolate work in the plans for the day, I generally set my ac at around 80 - 81 F when I'm using it at all. That and a fan blowing on me when I'm on the couch is always plenty for me to be comfy even on the hottest days we get here. If it's a really bad day, I may drop it to 79 F until the house cools down then I bump it back up. Still cooler than the kitchen at work. So hot kitchen cooking for you may be just cooking for me. It actually was hot enough last weekend for me to make a concession to it though. I made a chicken salad with chicken I cooked outside in the smoker and a cucumber salad to go with it so there was no heating devices used indoors that day.

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4 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

A zombie.  And maybe something after there.

 

 Or reservations.

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Stir fries are quick and easy.  I also like cold Asian noodle salads.

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I kind of think I would look upstairs for a little corner for a temporary table for two that could be a little refuge for an evening meal. I like salads, pickles, deviled eggs, cold cuts. Things like a quiche, that could be baked in the morning, then reheated in portions, for the little corner table upstairs, where it's cool. Prosecco or wine in an ice bucket would be fun too. Just my 2 cents.

HC

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7 minutes ago, HungryChris said:

I kind of think I would look upstairs for a little corner for a temporary table for two that could be a little refuge for an evening meal. I like salads, pickles, deviled eggs, cold cuts. Things like a quiche, that could be baked in the morning, then reheated in portions, for the little corner table upstairs, where it's cool. Prosecco or wine in an ice bucket would be fun too. Just my 2 cents.

HC

You know, you may be on to a great idea.....a king size bed picnic.....  FUN

 

Also, quiche.  Yes.

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