Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cooling Off

Betina here. I don't know about where you are, but it's HOT down here in Sunshine Land! Mid 90's all this week. You see, usual June temperatures down here are mid eighties with about 60% humidity. Bearable. But now it's mid 90's with 90% humidity and it's downright hard to breathe outside.


And when I looked up get-aways on line (just for a mental vacation; I'm not going anywhere. sigh) I learned that the rest of the country is under the heater, too. Record high temps all over the west and north-- I'm reliably informed that even Minnesnowta is suffering the mid-nineties! And if I were tempted to call an editor in New York this week. . . well, I'd rethink that whole idea. Their temperature is inching toward 100. And imaging that place at 100 degrees is enough to make ME cranky.

Hot, hot, hot.

So I'm staying in the air conditioning and keeping the critters inside and making sure everybody is well hydrated. But I remember a few heat waves from the old days (pre-AC) and remember cold drinks, room fans, sleeping with the windows open, using a cool washcloth on face and neck, and of course, the old community swimming pool. And church fans. . . remember when they stuck those fans on tongue depressors into every hymnal rack? (Kathy and Cindy-- it's your fault that I'm thinking retro these days!)

Lemonade. . . or something a wee bit stronger. . . lots of ice. . . shorts and halter tops. . . flip-flops. . . ceiling fans turning slowly. . .

Of course these days lots of people often head for an air conditioned mall or movie for a dose of cool. Which means your "cool" can turn pricey in a hurry unless you have better sales resistance than me!

And I'm thinking about all those cool drinks that we take so for granted these days. In years past, the ice was a precious commodity. And in Europe cool drinks are hardly ever served with ice unless you specify(and pay for) it! I usually don't recommend alcoholic beverages during heat waves, but I have a Lemon Rum Punch recipe that makes risk-taking worth it. It's also a 4 ingredient wonder.

Lemon Rum Punch

6 oz frozen pink lemonade
6 oz rum
6 oz beer (any kind, but I'd use the low carb "64" type
or something similarly low-cal)
Ice cubes

Blend on high speed until slushy. May be kept in the freezer, if there are leftovers. I've never had that problem. Enjoy!

What about you? What's your favorite technique for cooling off? Your favorite "hot" memory? Wait, that could be taken several different ways. Oh, heck, go for it. What do you like to do when the temperature forbids doing the usual? (I've heard some people actually like to sweat!)

And what's your favorite icy drink-- alcoholic or not-- fancy or simple--?


Playground Monitor said...

I'm a sweet iced tea girl -- with a slice of lemon please. It's hotter than hades in Alabama too and I just stay inside. With this cast on my leg I can't stand too much heat because I start to sweat and itch inside the cast. It's a good excuse to pile up with a book or watch a movie I've taped on the DVR.

My A/C started making noise and I had the repair guys out yesterday. Seems I need a new compressor and since it's still in warranty we're going to go ahead and have it replaced since it will be about 1/4th the cost of letting it go and having it break down completely after the warranty expires. We have ceiling fans in every room to help keep the air stirred up.

When I was growing up we'd put the box fans in the windows at night to pull in the cooler air. I remember my sister and I would sit in front of the fans, get close to the grating and talk because it would make our voices sound funny. Hmmm... I wonder if the tower fan we have upstairs will do that? Might make good grandbaby entertainment if it does.


Kathleen Eagle said...

Yep, yesterday we were shocked-- SHOCKED I tell you--with record-breaking heat and (ick) humidity yesterday after coasting along on a cool wave all spring. I really hate humidity. I'm a sweater. Sweat-er. I'm told that's a healthy trait, but I'm always the one in exercise class who's soaked by the end of warm-up.

I like lemonade and sweet tea. Oh, and at cocktail hour, a mohito is very nice.

Kathleen O said...

I am a iced tea kind of girl.. I make my own now, I always bought the premixed stuff. But now that I have to watch my sugar intake, I make my own and can had the artificial sweetner to it and a nice bit of lemon to add to that tartness. Then I fill up a really, really tall glass wtih ice and drinker her down... And if I have been a good girl and watched my diet, when I go out I love to have a Shmirnoff Ice or two....
And I keep cool in my nice cool basement...

lois greiman said...

I always wonder on days like this if it's just the normal highs and lows or if it's climate change caused by...well...us. I don't particularly like the heat, but I don't get hot easily, so air conditioning is usually too cold for me. I haaaate going into restaurants in July and freezing after spending 9 months freezing through the winter. In fact we only got air conditioning a couple of years ago after we were able to find one that didn't deplete the ozone.

Wow, we're so nostalgic lately.

Michele Hauf said...

I didn't go outside at all yesterday (though I was toughing it out inside; hadn't turned on the AC yet). So when the hubby got home and we went out for a bite to eat, I was slammed by the monstrous heat when I got out of the car. Had to suffer it for the twenty seconds it took me to get inside the restaurant.

Man, do I know how to rough it.

My fav drink? Well, I recall a certain group of woman getting me interested in Cosmos. Hmm,,,Betina? Lois?

Cindy Gerard said...

I'm an iced tea girl too. My new fav is Chia green tea. No lemon no sugar, thanks. Just the pure stuff.
Oh - and a marguerita in a chilled glass is something I'd rarely turn down.
Hotter than blazes here in Iowa too. i remember a lot of summers like this when I was a kid, Lois, when it was too hot to even move so I wouldn't be real quick to blame global warming :o)

Kathleen Eagle said...

Just came inside from a little gardening. I tried to get it done early before the heat dug its teeth in, but I had two little ones helping. which meant it took lots longer. I was dripping when I came in. Hair soaked. Did I tell you I sweat? Dunked my head under cold water right inside the door. (Did you know Paul Newman used to soak his face in ice water every morning? That was his only beauty treatment.) Now I'm hitting the shower.

Kylie said...

As Cindy mentioned it is HOT in Iowa. Went out to walk four miles before 8 and came home nearly melted. I HATE to sweat!

Central air is usually too cool for me. I travel with a sweater all summer because hotels and restaurants are too darn cold. But I'm thankful for it now.

When the twins were starting to crawl we had this old wool carpeting and no air. Poor little things would stick to the carpet and I thought that looked so uncomfortable. I took a couple flat bed sheets, put each in a brown bag and stuck them in the freezer. Then I'd switch them out so one was always on the floor of the family room so they'd have something cool to crawl and sit on.
Necessity really is the mother of invention.

I've already posted the ingredients for yucca (best alcoholic summer drink evah!) I do like my vodka lemonades with crushed ice. Oh and cherry schnapps with 7 up is mighty refreshing on a hot day, too. I've heard...

Caroline said...

Snapple!! All the way. It's heating up here in Cali, too. Aaarrrggg.

I love cold showers and to wash my hair and leave it dry on it's own. Keeps my head and neck so nice and cool. But, that's only if I'm not going anywhere!! LOL

Thanks for the fun post...


Helen Brenna said...

This is funny, but I don't remember being too hot when I was a kid. Have no memory of lying in bed too hot to sleep. Hmm. That's odd, especially since we didn't have air conditioning. Must've blocked it all out.

I drink lots of water when it's hot. Cool showers, swimming, sitting in the shade. I take the dogs to a nearby lake for a swim. They love it.

I'm trying that punch recipe, Betina. Sounds nummy. I'll take an ice cold beer, margarita, gin/vodka tonic. Heck, just about anything will do, now that I think about it, as long as there's ICE.

Betina Krahn said...

Marilyn, sweet tea is God's special gift to Southerners. . . except I can't have the sugar, so I drink plain iced tea with lemon and lots of ice. And those box fans! We had a huge one that we put in the central bathroom window and ran at night to pull cool air through the house. And LOL-- it did make us sound funny when we talked into it! I had forgotten about that!

Kathy, I was talking to my son yesterday (he's in Minneapolis) and he was gasping for air. My sympathies! And I've developed a Mohito-tooth myself, lately.

Kathleen, I hear you on the iced tea and on the basement. I sooooo wish we had basements in Florida.
For the storage and the cool!

Lois, I'm wary of attibuting too much to global warming. The science isn't quite there yet for systems as big and complex as climate. But it is tempting to see trends when you're suffering through heat waves. And yeah, we are nostalgic lately.

Michele, I like your kind of roughing it. And I remember our Cosmo Days quite vividly. I'd love to give a party at RT again some day! You suppose we could get Lois to bring another gaggle of hot guys?

Cindy, Margaritas. . . chilled glasses. . . whew. . . sounds great. There is just something about limes that makes me feel cooler all over. One of my favorite summer drinks is fresh limes squeezed into Sprite Zero (sugar free Sprite). Now that's refreshment!

Kathy, Paul Newman chilled his face? What did that do for him? Did he ever say why it did it?

Kylie, cool sheets for the babies. . . you were one devoted mom! Me, I'm more likely to take a page from Marilyn Monroe in Seven Year Itch and put my undies in the icebox! Hey, there's a tip!

Caroline I LOVE Snapple! And I like letting my hair air dry. It is cooling and leaves the hair with a better texture than blow-drying. But I seldom have time to wait. Sleeping with wet hair to cool off-- that might be an idea.

Helen, I drink a lot of water, too. In fact, I drink constantly. . . a habit from waaaaaay back in Weight Watcher days. But I love swimming in it, too. And with temps what they are down here, the pools are all in the mid to upper 80's! Talk about luscious and decadent!

Debra Dixon said...

Aye yai yai!! It's hot here.

High 90's. Might have hit a 100. I know the car thermometer said the outside temp was 108 but I take that with a grain of salt because a car generates heat in addition to the normal temp.

A slushy sounds fabulous! I'm going to go make one of those. Might put some strawberries in.

Venus Vaughn said...

I'm a purist, it's ice-water all the way. But I live in Southern AZ, so it's ice water all day, every day from about April to October.

I usually take an empty Gatorade bottle (they have the big mouths) and fill it half full of water, and lay it sideways in the freezer. When I'm ready I fill it with water and drink away. The nice thing is, on those particularly hot days (105+), I can lay the big chunk of ice against any pulse point and cool down my blood as it runs through me. Shade helps too :-)

Betina Krahn said...

Venus, I like the idea of laying an icy water bottle against pulse points. Someone told me the other day that plunging your hands into cold water or holding an icy cold water bottle between your hands will cool you off faster than just about anything. Except a full-body plunge into a cool pool, that is.

I'm going to try that icy bottle thing, Venus. Thanks!

Betina Krahn said...

And the heat just keeps on coming!

Now we're about to get torrential rains out of the Gulf. Well, maybe it will cool things down.