Welcome to Growbox Hill

Welcome to Growbox Hill
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Heat wave...

It's been warming up around here. It was balmy yesterday, then we got in an evening rain shower- it was refreshing. And kind of nice since I knew I wouldn't have to water the plants this morning, lol.

But it looks like we are entering into a heat wave. I was upstairs in the workshop sweating my butt off dealing with garb for faire this year- had to make myself a new bodice, just sick to death of what I got. So a couple hours of sweating and now I got a new bodice, yay!

Came back downstairs... just had to, it was just too darn hot upstairs.. And it was hot down here too. Figured it was time to cool down. So I went out to the solarium to grab the boards for the basement door, and was struck by how holy shit hot it was out there- did the math, and it's a heat index of 116- I opened a couple of windows to help cool it off a bit, and the 90 degrees outside felt like AC coming in, whew.

We don't have working central air- there's a unit there, but it's trashed. So we set up a box fan on the basement door and draw that chill air right on up. 10 minutes after having the fan running, and it is already noticeably cooler around here.

Warm showers are the thing in this weather- no one wants a hot shower, and a cold shower sounds great- till you get out of the shower and are smacked by the heat again. Those packaged face cloths are pretty nice for a mid-afternoon wipe down too- sometimes ya just can't take a half dozen showers a day, and these are lovely to do a quick smarm removal. Dry skin and hair can be a problem- wouldn't think so in all the humidity, but we got hardwater, and using it a lot can dry ya out. So hair oils and moisturizers are a must.

Pasta salads, and more pasta salads.. When it's too warm, eating kind of sounds gross, but a nice chilled pasta salad out of the fridge always hits the spot. Chilled veggies and cold sandwiches are ideal too. Some salty foods to help with water, and pickled foods to help keep up electrolytes too, yum!
Right now in the fridge is my tuna salad...
1 lb box pasta- I prefer elbow macaroni for tuna salad
4 small cans water packed tuna, drained
4-5 ribs celery- about 2 cupsish
1 large onion, chopped
1 can of small peas, drained
1 cup or so of mayo or miracle whip- more to taste if needed
1 tablespoon dill
1/2 tablespoon each salt and black pepper

Liquids- must have plenty of liquids. We have an icemaker in the freezer, so that helps keep up the cold water. We usually have a pitcher or three of stuff on the top shelf of the fridge too. Iced tea- I tend to do sun tea most often- I often do up a pitcher for the fridge, but when the heat is coming on, I sometimes use my 5 gallon glass bee skep server. Kool aide- yeppers, we adults drink the stuff. It normally calls for 1 cup sugar per packet and 2 quarts water- grossly sweet. I make it 1 cup sugar to 2 packets in a gallon pitcher, much better. And of course, lemonaide is a staple, I make it by the gallon. 1 cup sugar, 1 cup lemon juice, and more often than not I slice up a lemon and a lime or two to toss in there, occasionally a sliced up grapefruit- the fruit adds a something that's yummy.

So it's another hot day- the morning wasn't too bad, but boy it heated up by noon!

More beans are picked- something tells me with the way all the rest of the plants look, beans might be the only thing that comes out of the garden this summer. Next month I'm going to try planting in some stuff for fall harvest- hopefully that will work out. The tomatoes are puking out- one is sort of drowning, the other ones have end rot, probably from uneven watering. The squashes are not doing so well either. But the luffas are taking off in this weather, hooray!
Picked another pint of raspberries and some mulberries- if I get one more picking like this, I will have two quarts in the freezer for jam making, yay!
Had a couple fuuul bags of beans- I didn't want to pickle them, I wanted them for regular eating. Since I don't have a pressure canner, a must have for canning beans, the freezer was the option. Since it's so stinky butt hot, I didn't want to steam up the kitchen blanching and shocking, and guess what? You don't have to. I now have 2 1/2 pounds of beans bagged up and in the freezer. The big trick is that you have to suck all the air out of the bags before freezing.

Took a hike out to the back 40 to check the wild blackberries- I was hopeful, and my hopes were dashed. They are not ripe yet. But there are shittons of them back there, I'll likely be able to pick a couple gallons of the things in a week or two. I want to make up a batch of blackberry jelly and perhaps a batch of blackberry syrup. Also want at least a pint or two in the freezer for next time I make berry preserves. I kind of re-ganked my foot- it wasn't quite healed up anyway, and tromping around like that for sure hurt it again. Would have been worth it if I could have comeback with berries, lol.

And my love is the sweetest man on the planet- he got in the new printer. He surprised me this morning with a heart bigger than my fist that's made of gears. It's very cool!

It's another hot day. We had the windows open last night to let the cool in, and turned off the basement fan- no sense wasting that cool air. We shut up the windows first thing when we woke up this morning- even before making coffee!- and turned the basement fan on. So it's another sit around and not do much kind of day.
I finished off the tuna salad yesterday, so it was time to make another pasta salad for the fridge today. I was kind of bored with what I usually make, and so I decided to experiment, hehehe.
Started out by making a sour cream base this time. I took about a half cup of dried cucumbers and powdered them up, some black pepper and salt, garlic powder, dill, and parsley, and stirred it all into about a cup of sour cream. Let that chill in the fridge for a while.
Took about a third of a cup each of dried slaw mix and peas and rehydrated them. Just cover with a lot of water, nuke for a couple minutes to heat the water, then let the stuff sit till hydrated.
While that was going on, I defrosted a chicken breast. I usually poach from frozen for pasta salad, but that seemed boring today. So instead I sprinkled it well with kefta seasoning, seared it in garlic grapeseed oil, then let it simmer on low till it was done- using some of the water from rehydrating the slaw and peas. Then I diced it up
Diced a medium onion fairly fine
Halved a can of medium sized olives
Drained and rinsed a can of Roman beans
Finely sliced about a half cup of celery
Decided to go with fusilli for the pasta this time, a half pound- half a box.
The sour cream mix was too stiff, so I thinned it out a bit of ranch dressing.

And it's the last sweltering day of the heat wave.  Made mushroom quesedillias yesterday- just a matter of burbling up some dried mushrooms with some fajita seasoning and some yummy cheese. The pasta salad I made turned out good as hell, we had it for lunch today, and there's enough there for at least part of the weekend.
Went upstairs and got my garb together for Sunday- by the time I was done, I was drippy with sweat. Since today was the peak day, and my love had tried to tough it out, but too much heat is bad for electronics- he finally gave in and set up the portable ac unit in the great room. You bet your booties I spent some time there chilling out during the hottest part of the day.
Had to figure out a way to hang the awesome gearwork heart my love printed out for me- good thing I had a tiny screw eye sitting around, and yay for dremmel- I plan on using it for a fan fob on Sunday. It's steampunk weekend out at faire, and I figure hey, should have a little something like that going on :) He printed me out a cool spring bracelet this morning, so I will be wearing that as well.

Well, the temp has already dropped two degrees- woot! Guess it's time for me to get some dinner together.. 

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