Last week we had our first heat wave of the summer. You know what they say, “It’s not the heat it’s the humidity.” Well they’re wrong. It’s BOTH. It’s the HEAT and the HUMIDITY. After our incredibly mild winter, I hope this early heat wave is not a premonition for a hot hot summer to come.
For now, I’ll stay positive and just assume we’ll have no more than our usual share of dog days. But just in case, I’ve put together a few tips on how to survive a heat wave. Let’s hope we don’t need them too soon or too often!
1. Follow Nana’s advice. Leave the windows open at night and put fans all over the house to get the air circulating. In the morning, close the windows and pull the curtains to keep the cool air in and hot air out.
2. Get one of those big, beautiful fans. The kind you see geishas gently fluttering in the movies. If it’s too hot to leave the house in search of a fan, fold a piece of paper accordion style, staple one end and flap away.
3. Stand in front of the open refrigerator or better yet the freezer until a voice in your head (I’m betting it’s your mother’s) shouts for you to SHUT THAT DOOR.
4. Eat and drink cool. That means lots of ice water. And then some more. Be sure to eat plenty of ice cream, gelato and sorbet. Heck, munch on frozen peas it you must.
5. Hang out in the freezer section of the supermarket. If the manager gets suspicious and throws you out or you get tired of standing around, take a trip to the library. If your town library is not air-conditioned try the book store. Of course you could go to the movies but that would only kill a couple of hours. Besides there are always lots of nice people in libraries and book stores and they have comfy chairs.
6. Find a tree and a breeze. Park yourself under the tree and don’t move except to sip a frosty drink. Daydream of igloos and Eskimo pies. Snooze often.
7. Go to the beach and float in the water for hours and hours. If you don’t live near a lake or a pond or the ocean, find a pool or run through a sprinkler. If all else fails fill the bathtub with cool water. Floaties and fins as well as a rubber ducky or two are optional.
8. Move to the basement. Hot air rises so the basement is usually nice and cool. Even if it is a little damp and musty.
9. Buy an air-conditioner, at least for your bedroom. Yes, I know we always say it never gets all that hot in New Hampshire. But we lie. It does get all that hot, if only for a few days, two, maybe three times every summer. And please take note; wrestle the air-conditioner into the window before the mercury climbs to ninety-five, not after.
10. When all else fails, book a flight to Antarctica. Leave your flip-flops at home.
Stay cool, have a wonderful summer and bon appétit!
(p.s. … and remember … if you start to feel faint or ill, call for help!)
A cool treat for chocoholics. Enjoy!
Makes about 1 quart
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup freshly brewed espresso
2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon Irish whiskey, coffee liqueur or rum (optional)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet
chocolate, finely chopped
Put the sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk in the hot espresso and whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk in the hot water and continue whisking until the cocoa powder and sugar dissolves and the mixture is smooth.
Add the Irish whiskey and vanilla. Cool to room temperature and then store in the refrigerator until very cold.
Freeze the sorbet in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions, adding the chopped chocolate in the last 1-2 minutes.
Transfer the sorbet to a plastic container and freeze for 1-2 hours or until firm enough to scoop.
The sorbet will keep in the freezer for up to one month. If it comes out of the freezer rock hard, put it in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes. It will soften a little and be easier to scoop.
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How do you stay cool during a heat wave? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.
Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook as well as a day in the life photoblog! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2012