Thursday, May 8, 2008

Can't stand the heat....

We all know the cliche, but what do you do when you can't stand the heat (and don't want to turn on the AC), but can't get out of the kitchen?

Answer: Cut the heat.

Last night brought the annual decree that our house has entered the summer salad/sandwich season, a decision spurred by a skillet of cornbread and a pot of simmering rice. We always wait as long as possible to turn on the central AC, and that's a hard stand to stick by when the oven (425 degrees) is putting a golden crust on cornbread. I also hate our oven, because it seems as though it keeps pumping heat in the room HOURS after it's been turned off.

The spousal unit came home about 6:30 and was greeted with a blast of heat. A box fan whirred as much cooler, outside air into the kitchen as possible, but it seemed as though it was the fifth inning of the Cardinals-Rockies game before the room got bearable.

Ergo: The oven is off-duty until October, unless it's early-morning.

Seriously. The only exceptions will be birthday cakes I have to make in July and August. I'll have to re-adjust my sourdough starter so the bread rises overnight and bakes first thing in the a.m.

That means we'll be grilling out three or four nights a week. The electric press grill will also get, um, pressed into service. Salads and sandwiches -- we get creative with those, as well. I've got an arsenal of chilled soup recipes, some of which are more popular with the family than others, but it's too hot to cook. Whine. Whimper.