July 8, 2010

Hot Days in July

Posted in Children, Family, Food, Holidays, Home, Weather tagged , , , , , , at 7:04 am by Liliana

Pleasures of hot weather

Pleasures of hot weather

This week has been hot. Very hot.

The temperatures and the humidity in our part of Michigan have been in the high 90’s.

Our cottage near Lake Michigan does not have air-conditioning.

Somehow, in a small house full of people, we persevered. I cannot deny that there weren’t moments when we discussed breaking into our neighbor’s house (he was away on a camping trip) to enjoy the coolness of his whirling machine, but we didn’t actually do it.

And for the most part, we weren’t miserable either. Except for my husband Jeff who cannot stand heat at all, even though he grew up in St. Louis in the steamy humidity of the Mississippi river. Or maybe because of it.

The rest of us handled the heat just fine. We spent part of each morning sitting on the front porch, in the shade of the tall scotch pine, watching birds come to the feeder. Inside the cottage, while eating, napping, reading or playing games, we used ceiling fans and window fans to move the air around. The windows were open for the air to circulate, but the shades were drawn creating a drowsy darkness even at noon.

Branka, Joe and I took long walks on the beach, the breeze strong and refreshing, the water warm. Peter, Nena and Jeff went on bike rides on the shady wooded paths of the nearby trail. All exertion demanding activity was completed by midday.

To keep cool we lunched on salads, fruits and vegetable soups. Then everyone quieted down and people read, or napped or played computer games. I found a shady spot on the hammock in the backyard and dozed happily. Around three in the afternoon, I could hear Jeff starting to practice his violin and smell the powerful aroma of Turkish coffee.

Everyone slowly assembled on the back deck. Now, the front porch was sunny and hot, the back deck shady and inviting.

For dinner, we mostly barbecued. Chicken, fish, hamburgers. We made potato salad with fresh dill and steamed new corn. We made piles of green salad with apples, raspberries and refreshing vinaigrette.

And when it started getting dark, and we walked towards our favorite ice cream store, no one complained about the heat any longer. It seemed like the perfect background for waffle cones and a variety of flavors. Sam and Nicole wanted chocomania, Nena tried dark cherry with vanilla, Joe got strawberry sorbet and I – French silk.

Cool and delicious.