Has it been unusually and unbearably hot where you are this weekend? It definitely has here. The air conditioner stopped keeping up on Friday afternoon. It was set at 71 and stayed at 79 through most of the night. We thought that was probably at least due in part to me turning on the stove to make dinner; according to the thermometer on the refrigerator it was 85 degrees in the kitchen.
After that I decided I wouldn’t be turning the stove on for the rest of the weekend. It’s very tempting just to go out for dinner, especially if that means an hour or two in a place where the air conditioning works better than ours, but that’s just not in the budget, especially in thinking what the power bill will be like after the air conditioner’s struggle to keep up. Instead I’ve been using some of my summer slow cooker recipes. Here’s one for a wonderful chicken salad:
Summer Chicken Salad
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley for cooking)
½ cup seedless green grapes
½ cup seedless red grapes
1 medium apple, chopped
¼ cup honey mustard
2/3 cup Miracle Whip
Place chicken breasts in slow cooker with spices and cover with water. Cover and cook on Low for 3 – 5 hours. When chicken is fully cooked remove from water and shred with a fork. Allow chicken to cool to room temperature. Combine chicken with remaining ingredients, mixing well.
We had this on croissant rolls, along with salad and fruit last night. It was a nice light dinner in the heat. Despite not using the stove the house stayed at 81 degrees for most of last night. We told ourselves it would have been worse if I had turned on the stove and/or oven.
I also made sure to hang up all of the laundry outside to dry yesterday instead of running the dryer. I’ve been making more of an effort to do that this summer. It just makes sense; it’s more earth friendly, it saves money, and we’re hoping that by not heating up the house as much with the dryer we can help our air conditioning unit (which our Realtor joked was probably brought over on the Mayflower) hobble along for another couple of years.
The only problem in hanging up the laundry outside is that we don’t actually have a clothesline yet, so it involves some creativity in hanging the clothes on the porch and a little accordion clotheslines meant for drying delicates inside. I am proud to say, though, that I managed to dry four loads of laundry outside this weekend.
We’re pretty sure we need to go with an umbrella clothesline (my husband calls them collapsible clotheslines; we think possibly umbrella might be the common southern term and collapsible the common Yankee term) due to the size of our backyard, the location of the trees, and where the sunny parts are. I’ve looked at some online, and most of them aren’t reviewed very well. The consensus seems to be that they’re fine if you only hang one load of relatively light-weight laundry on them, but most seem to bend or break if you hang towels, comforters, or jeans on them. So I’m still on a mission to find an umbrella clothesline that’s reviewed well, or at least not terribly. Does anyone have one they’re happy with and would recommend? Or a suggestion for finding a good one?
It also looks like the temperatures will be going back down to the high 80s here starting Tuesday. They’ll be in the low 90s tomorrow, instead of the high 90s or 100, so that’s definitely an improvement. The air conditioner seems to be able to keep up as long as stays below about 94 degrees, so we’re pretty excited about the drop.
So what about you, how have you been faring in the heat? What tricks have you been using to keep cool?