Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Slowing Easing Back into the Cooling Kitchen

If you live in the U.S., chances are that it has been a hot dry summer. It has been here. Hot and humid weather makes me think of the native Americans and then the pioneers who came to Illinois and how completely insane they must have been. Why live in the Plains? No ocean, no mountains, and lots of inhospitable weather. Our house is over 100 years old and has no central A/C. I think about what people must have felt like on hot and humid days (or weeks) back when the house was built. At least we have electricity, fans, a couple window units (the only one that really makes a difference is in Rob's attic office where his three work computers would suffer without the cooling), and a refrigerator/freezer stocked with cool tea and ice. Our computer which is no where near a window A/C had to be shut down for a couple days to prevent over-heating. Even Parker's laptop, which was being used in Dema and Josie's bedroom where a window unit was keeping it around 80 degrees, started to overheat after a couple hours of use. Our oven alarm kept beeping (even though it was off) because of the humidity. Vegan chocolate chips normally stored in a glass jar in the cabinet had to be put in the refrigerator to keep them from completely being a big melty mess. Our refrigerator almost went kaput during the heat wave. It seems to be coming back, but it could not deal with the mid to upper 90's in our kitchen. The females in our family are especially irritable during heatwaves. We sit around sweating and it doesn't help so I try to get things done and that just makes me crankier. It hasn't been pretty. Thus, not a lot of cooking and not a lot of pictures.
Josie cooling off with a mulberry juice popsicle.
 We don't usually eat granola for breakfast, but I just couldn't bring myself to make breakfast during the intense heat. Love Crunch to the rescue. The kids do love it and it isn't insanely sweet like most packaged granola.
 Josie usually has her hair wild, but the temps made her frustrated and sweaty so she asked for braids.
 A cooling front finally moved in and brought some much needed rain so we spent Sunday on the porch reading during the mild calming thunderstorm.
 Usually Persephone can't hang out on the porch (she has dog aggression issues), but I figured with the rain (she doesn't seem to like to get wet) and no one out walking their dogs, it was good time to let her out with us.
 Rob playing the guitar while the boys read. Rob gave their shaggy manes a bit of a trim on the porch so they would be cooler.
 I eased back into cooking with Dreena's Mac-Oh Geez (you can find it in her new cookbook, Let Them Eat Vegan!). I've made this before, but this time I omitted all of the olive oil, added cauliflower, broccoli, peas, and a little Field Roast Mexican Chipotle sausage. I used whole wheat gobetti for the pasta.
Dinner last night was Vegan Dad's Salisbury Steak. I have a lot of tempeh in the refrigerator and I found this older recipe on Vegan Dad's blog. I wrapped the mixture in a clean dish towel instead of making patties before steaming and it worked fine to just slice off part of the steamed loaf and fry (I ate mine pre-fried). We'd never made it before, but we will definitely make it again. It was quite delicious. I served it withe sauteed kale over quinoa and topped with Rob's gravy. I doubled the recipe (everything except the water which I kept the same) so we could try the "steak" as a sandwich for lunch today. A great way to eat tempeh for people who think they don't like it.


glutenfreehappytummy.com said...

great pics! that pasta looks delicious! love that granola too!

greenveggies said...

Food looks great, but I am in love with that big porch of yours! We have a deck but I'd much rather have a wide,wooden plank porch!

Lisa said...

I am thoroughly enjoying the heat! My husband, not so much (he works outdoors). Persephone is beautiful!! I hope you are able to work through the aggression. I also want your front porch. We just remodeled the outside of our home, and added a front porch. It's my new favorite place to be!!!