It’s Too Hot to Cook

The recent heat wave in Middle Tennessee reminded me of the heat I experienced during my overseas missions career. I was first introduced to real heat during my two-year term of service in Ivory Coast, West Africa. Heat and humidity had a very close relationship in that country, and it affected the rhythm of life and how we cooked. This was my first time living on my own, and I learned a lot about cooking and was introduced to the More with Less Cookbook which has now traveled over thirty years and multiple countries with me.

It was in Ivory Coast that I learned that eating spicy food, like sauce d’arachide actually helps you to cool down, and so began my love for all things spicy, as I would later enjoy much of the same in Tunisia, in North Africa.

To Cook or Not to Cook?

When you have no electricity and it’s a hundred and twenty degrees outside, you may not want to pull out the pots and pans to cook on your gas-powered stove top. Instead, one option is to offer family or guests meals that require no heat. Consider a huge tossed salad or even a crudité platter with sliced veggies and sauce for dipping. Salad and bread are filling and can feed a crowd without heating up the house.

Another option for a stoveless meal is cheeses, jams, fruits, and vegetables. Offer as many varieties as are available, along with local or homemade bread. Add some hummus, eggplant dip, or a variety of other dips to enjoy with the vegetables.

Some heat required.

Keeping to the theme of salads, use your stove only to prepare shredded chicken or ground beef, spiced with taco flavoring or a local equivalent, and you have an easy taco salad bar for guests to make their salads. If you can find local chips like tortillas or Fritos, they make an easy foundation for the salad. If no chips are available, add cooked rice. A pot of black or refried beans adds a nice touch as well.

Another easy meal for a crowd is baked potatoes and toppings. You’re turning on your oven, but if you time it right, you can have them done in time for the kitchen to cool off a bit before your guests arrive. Toppings can include cheeses, cooked mushrooms, onions, and peppers, plain yogurt or a creamy dressing, spices, or whatever might appeal to the tastebuds of people in your country.

True cooked meals.

If you need to cook on a hot day, the best thing to use to do it is a pressure cooker or couscoussier. I preferred the pressure cooker, because it cooked meat quickly, and I could make a nice stew that would go over couscous or rice or even noodles, without too much heat and definitely without the oven.

Rice cookers also help minimize the heat, as do crockpots. When it’s too hot to be in the kitchen, put your meal into the crockpot and leave for the next 5-8 hours! Some great recipes can be made in a crockpot for large crowds or big families. This is an easy way to make spaghetti sauce or sloppy joes.

Cool down with dessert.

Whether you’ve had to use heat or not to cook your meal, it’s still hot by the time you finish eating, so treat yourself to an even cooler dessert in the form of ice cream, a frozen pie, or chilled fruit. It might be too hot to cook, but it’s never too hot to eat and enjoy the fellowship of family and friends.

Grace and Peace

4 thoughts on “It’s Too Hot to Cook

  1. Thank you, I needed to hear this! I am in a similar predicament. I know that the Lord will use it for whatever that He wants. I have been seeking his leading for 2 weeks and will continue to do so as a result of your comments. I have not heard from Him but know that He will speak through however He wants and show me His desire!

  2. Thank you for this post!! Great ideas. I do use my crockpot a lot. Taco and potato bars are tasty ideas for serving guests, especially in hot weather. Love reading your blog!!

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