When it's over 100 for days on end, I just don't feel like turning on the stove. So what's for dinner?

I’m NOT Cooking

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?

  • Danielle Beaty
    Posted at 02 August 2015 Reply

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

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 02 August 2015 Reply

      Why didn’t I think of that? Couscous cooks in no time at all — just bring the water to boil. Okay, added to shopping list!

    • Danielle Beaty
      Posted at 02 August 2015 Reply

      Crock pot meals? They don’t put off much heat. Not sure what your energy status is but there’s lots that can be set and forgotten. 🙂

    • Sherlene Eicher
      Posted at 02 August 2015 Reply

      I do something like that with couscous.

    • Denise Magnus
      Posted at 03 August 2015 Reply

      I make a pasta salad with tuna, hard boiled eggs & cheese in it for protein.

  • Cynthia Lyn-Gray Miller
    Posted at 02 August 2015 Reply

    Dock and make reservations!

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 02 August 2015 Reply

      Great idea but doesn’t work for night after night when we’re in the boatyard . . . and the nearest restaurant is 5 miles away, and the second-nearest 15!

      • Ellen
        Posted at 04 August 2015 Reply

        Hum…sounds like a good place for a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant or a food truck business!!

        • Carolyn Shearlock
          Posted at 06 August 2015 Reply

          They’d make a killing . . . except that in the middle of summer there are usually only 6 to 8 occupied boats. No one else is this crazy!

  • Joe Sprouse
    Posted at 02 August 2015 Reply

    Tomato sandwiches.

  • Sherlene Eicher
    Posted at 02 August 2015 Reply

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

  • GaryH
    Posted at 02 August 2015 Reply

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

  • Carol Dean
    Posted at 03 August 2015 Reply

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

  • Mary Batts
    Posted at 08 August 2015 Reply

    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!

  • Jorge Bermudez
    Posted at 29 July 2016 Reply

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

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 29 July 2016 Reply

      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.

  • Maryanne Grady
    Posted at 03 August 2016 Reply

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

  • Lindy Duncan
    Posted at 02 January 2018 Reply

    Funny that this posted on our coldest day ever on the boat. I’m cooking to help warm the boat up

  • Nicola Kamper
    Posted at 03 January 2018 Reply

    Carolyn, we have the opposite problem…stuck too far north and freezing. I want to not cook and go out just so I can sit in a warm room and not shiver while I eat! Actually tonight we worked it out fine….last winter in NC not so much…

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 03 January 2018 Reply

      I get it! Back when it was 100, I dreamed of winter . . . now I’m dreaming of those 100-degree days. Can’t win!

  • Chris Nichols
    Posted at 03 January 2018 Reply

    I’d take that over where I’m at being in the negatives for the passed week

  • MaryBeth Lambert
    Posted at 04 January 2018 Reply

    I habe a recipe for a shrimp salad that we love and is super easy to make with the simple hack of already cooked shrimp. It uses avocado, cucumber, jicama and tomatoes along with the shrimp a simple dressing based on ketchup. Great to make up on hot days.

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