Hot Days, Cool Cook

For the past week, daytime highs had hovered around 100. While that may be a normal summer temperature for some parts of the country, here in Colorado, at an elevation of 7,100 feet, it’s anything but. (I’m glad we don’t live lower and hotter!) Even with our cool nights and ample insulation, the house was getting pretty warm by late afternoon. At that point, the absolute last thing I wanted to do was cook dinner.

I managed to avoid turning on the stove or oven for several days in a row. However, by the end of the week, salads were getting a bit redundant. What else could I do? Sure, there are other uncooked dishes, such as sandwiches and cold cereal, but I wanted ideas for more traditional dinner fare.

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Weird Meals

I was hunting through my well-thumbed copy of The Joy of Cooking, looking for some meal-planning inspiration. Mind you, a friend gave me this book in college. Even though the original edition was published in 1931, my 1975 version couldn’t have changed much. Let’s just admit that both my book and I are old.

I was at first amused—and then appalled—at the menu suggestions listed. Mind you, these are intended for company meals. If someone invited me to lunch and then served some of these, I’d suddenly begin a very spiritual fast that would last until I could run through a McDonald’s on the way home. Could it be a regional difference or did they really eat these things?

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