Wednesday, July 13, 2011

No AC = Better living?

Just a thought. While our AC was down and out and it was hot I was reading about how to cope. I've had no AC before, but being pregnant put a whole new spin on it at night time! My favorite coping skill turned out to be taking a cold shower and going to bed soaking wet. I didn't learn anything new in my research, but I did find out there is a whole movement of people who are choosing to have no AC because of the benefits of being acclimated to the environment you live in. Even our AC repairman doesn't use his! Interesting! Apparently before we had widespread AC, the government took the Summer off. I remember going home from school early because our schools didn't have AC. It all made sense and we've gone without AC for years in the Summer but night times are especially difficult with two little ones and a prego mama! But one thing I did employ during that time was cooking without cooking: making dinners without using the stove or oven. I've done this a little before when I was young(er) and on a macrobiotic diet before going strictly vegetarian (for 12 years!) to try and ease some digestive issues. It's a lovely concept. But I'm not strictly on any kind of diet these days. I have to have my artificial flavor and coloring popsicle in the evening! We did a lot on the grill, which was fun, and tried to find recipes that didn't require heat and included produce from our yard. I've continued the practice a bit since the AC has come back on (hooray! *see left side of photo above). So I've included my favorite recipe for a chilled dish at the end of the post. It was adapted from a recipe in the Nourishing Traditions book. Tip: make extra and freeze to enjoy the yummy freshness all year round!

In other news, Jordan is at 4-H camp this week. It's a camp where they learn about hunting, fishing, canoeing, and more outdoor stuff. And it's so hot! Poor thing. We miss him and wish there was a webcam where we could see what he was up to! But we pick him up Friday and will hear all the stories through the weekend I'm sure. In the mean time, Darryl has been working on finishing the basement, along with a small crew. Har har! They love love love helping Daddy do stuff. And I enjoy watching from the stairs near the draft of AC.

So since we DO have AC now, we've been indoors a lot more than normal. I tell Zeke, it's too hot for mama! I'm sad I can't take him outside as often as they both would like, but it's hard enough staying hydrated and keeping my blood sugar up without all the heat. So we've been finding lots of fun things to do inside like dance to Putumayo Playground music, blowing the best bubbles ever, and lots and lots of playing, reading, and crafts. And..... I cracked open the dress up chest I've kept for years. I've collected vintage dress up items for years (since I was a teenager) hoping one day to watch my little ones have fun with them. Today was the beginning of that fun! The photo above has Haddie dressed in a dickie and Zeke has on white gloves. The photo below is of super fun cat eye glasses frames. I have about a half dozen of those and should really sell them, but I had to keep this one pair for times like these.

We're enjoying the Summer and hope you are. Stay cool, with or without AC! <3 The Russell Bunch

Pink Gazpacho
6 ripe tomatoes, peeled, quartered
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 green peppers, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 cup whole grain bread crumbs (I used oatmeal as a sub)
5 Tbsp red wine vinegar
5 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp tomato paste (I just used sauce as a sub)
sea salt and pepper
croutons, for garnish
green onion, finely chopped, for garnish
cucumber, peeled and finely chopped, for garnish

Mix ingredients to salt and pepper and blend adding water as needed to make a puree. Chill well before serving. Serve with croutons, finely chopped green onion and cucumber.

I like to also serve with steamed shrimp and cocktail sauce and a nice summery beverage. Enjoy!