I’m NOT Cooking

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2015 • all rights reserved

Days When It's Too Hot to Cook: When it's over 100 for days on end, I just don't feel like turning on the stove. So what's for dinner?

Yes, I have been preparing meals. Just not cooked ones.

The first three weeks we were back on Barefoot Gal — in the boat yard, mind you — it hit 100°F. every single afternoon. To be honest, neither one of us wanted a hot meal and the idea of turning on the stove in the boat just seemed too hot (yes, we have AC but in this much heat and humidity, it struggles in mid-afternoon and we want it cool by bedtime).

So what have we been eating? Mostly salads. A loaf of good bakery bread is a nice and easy side!

  • Greek Salad with Chicken — I either buy the packages of pre-cooked chicken or use a can of chicken and just add it to my regular Greek Salad recipe (page 151 in The Boat Galley Cookbook).
  • Chicken Salad with Grapes — a can of chicken, a bit of chopped celery, a handful of grapes sliced in half lengthwise and a dab of mayo. Sometimes I serve it on a bed of lettuce.
  • Company Coleslaw with Ham — break up a small can (tuna-can size) of ham and add it to my recipe for Company Coleslaw.
  • Waldorf Salad — add a can of either chicken or ham to Waldorf Salad (diced apples, celery, walnuts, raisins/dates/dried cranberries and a dab of mayo). If you have them, grapes are a nice add-in — they’re cold and wet.
  • Rice Salad with Ham — I’ll admit that I have been boiling water every morning. Have to have my coffee! So a couple of times I’ve engaged in Thermos cooking and made rice for a rice salad for dinner (see recipe here).

We haven’t done much in the way of sandwiches for dinner lately but they’re good too. Chilled applesauce is nice as a side dish, and cold dill pickles always seem to hit the spot.

I tend to keep cheese and summer sausage on hand, too, and maybe once a week we just have an “appetizer dinner” — some nuts, olives, crackers and cheese & sausage and a bit of fruit.

Any other ideas for times when it’s just too hot to cook?

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  1. Tabbouleh salad! That’s a favorite when it’s hot as blazes outside.

  2. Dock and make reservations!

  3. Tomato sandwiches.

  4. I make a huge pot of beans and keep them in the icebox and we’ve found they are good hot or cold.

  5. Grilling is a godsend to keep the heat outside. Rice cookers are easy to just leave on deck while it cooks too.

  6. Cold bean and veggie salads, and on occasion a Jello salad with fruit

  7. Mary Batts says:

    Salade nicoise is great for a hot weather dinner—green beans, tomato, hard boiled eggs, anchovies and/or tuna, olives, lettuce with vinaigrette served with good bread. For lunch, I’ll put the salad nicoise on leftover bread, wrap it in plastic wrap, chill it and make ‘pain bagnat.’ Ratatouille for me is basically take all cooked leftover veggies, toss with some tomato sauce and vinaigrette and serve ice cold. Also good on a sandwich. Salut!

  8. Are you guys keeping an eye on the NHC? Tropical systems are starting to form off the African coast.

    • Of course! I’ve talked about it before, but we get Chris Parker by email and SSB, other reports via SSB, NHC via email, weather reports via our DeLorme tracker, and there are lots of VHF weather announcements here with scheduled times and channels. Plus, when we have internet (which is about 90% of the time) we have all the weather websites.

  9. I love your tips on thermos cooking. I even taught it to a guy in the marina. He was pretty impressed!

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