Tuesday, July 17, 2012

it's not the heat...

We southerners like to say that it's not the heat, but the humidity that makes it so miserable to be outside in the summer. It is generally true. My husband went out the front door the other day, turned around and came back inside and said, "It feels like walking in a wet sweater out there." He was right. The air was heavy with moisture and burning up the mercury on the temperature gauges outside. Of course, when it is 108 degrees (as the digital bank sign read the other day as I drove past), it is just plain hot.

Of course, as I have survived several southern summers I do know a more than a few ways to cool off on a day when the air feels like soup.  Iced (sweet) tea helps. If you must get out sauntering, not rushing, where you need to go is the best idea. Dipping your feet in a pool, even a baby pool often does the trick. And then there is the ever cooling cucumber.

I have received several in my CSA already this year. I love slicing them in a simple salad with tomatoes from my backyard and a few onions (also from my CSA). I dress them in a simple vinaigrette of olive oil, red wine vinegar, a few sprigs of fresh oregano, kosher salt, and cracked pepper. I let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour so it can be extra refreshing.

I also like to sip a simple cucumber cooler on a hot day. I slice up a lemon and a cucumber and place them in a large pitcher with a few mint leaves from my herb garden. I top this with ice and water. I then let it steep for at least overnight in the fridge.

A nice creamy dill cucumber sandwich can make a lovely lunch. I have a simple recipe you can find here. And the cucumbers in a pita chip salad are crisp and cool. Click here to see that recipe.

Of course, my carnivore won't have any thing to do with any of these cucumber concoctions. It's not his fault. He was raised up north most of his life. But with this heat wave, maybe even his brain with melt and he will change his mind.

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