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It's not the heat, it's the small talk.
low heat recipes & complaining
I love living in Pittsburgh. It’s great. However, I do not understand the weather here and I never will. Three days after I moved to Pittsburgh in 2010, the city was halted by twenty-seven inches of snow. Had I only known what a gross indicator this would be for the rest of my time here. I don’t understand how a place can see every season in one day but not see every season in one year. I love outdoors in all forms. I love the heat. I love snow. I love the humidity. I love when it’s dark and dank and gloomy. Most of all, I love a thunderstorm. What I don’t love is the discourse. I hate talking about the weather and I hate when other people want to talk about it. It’s constant. No matter what the weather is doing and no matter who you are, friends or strangers. There’s an agreement – “Man, it is hot out!” There’s a disagreement – “My forecast said it was supposed to stop raining three minutes ago.” There’s practically a script for this small talk. I’m over it. For me, when it comes to the weather, I would prefer you just be prepared and go about your business.
All this is to say, it’s been hot as fuck outside. While I hold the opinion that it is never too hot to eat soup (especially if you live with air conditioning) I do feel that it can be too hot to make soup. As a person who makes an obscene amount of soup in a hot kitchen on a regular basis, I’d like to share some recipes that I love that require little-to-no heat.
Every week I get an email from NYT Cooking, usually written by Sam Sifton (king). The newsletter is a collection of recipes from NYT Cooking that is supposed to be relevant to the week everyone (at least in New York?) is having. I hate this email. I find none of the recipes relevant to anyone. It usually makes me mad to read. It would be very easy for me to unsubscribe but I love being a grouch. I have referred to this infuriating email in order to say that this is how I will be structuring this issue. Here’s a bunch of recipes.
Of course we will start with this Peach Tomato Gazpacho recipe that I developed last year. Peaches are coming in now and will be getting better and better through the rest of the summer. It is now also time for tomatoes. This No Cook Puttanesca is one of my favorite recipes from Bon Appetit that is very easy to put together and can usually be made with things I already have in the pantry. Claire Saffitz Ultimate Dinner Platter is one of the most relatable and adorable recipes I’ve seen in a long time. It does use a little heat to prepare but if Claire tells me to heat up my house, I will. If Claire tells me to burn down my house, I will. This one is a fun fruit salad. This one is a fun bread salad. Here are two videos from Alison Roman which provide four salad recipes that continue to be reliable year after year – The Holy Trinity of Summer Salads and Tuna Salad Salad. Trust that I am eating at least one of these recipes every week and this is my general guide to home cooking in the summer months. If none of this appeals to you, just sit in front of your AC unit and eat a cucumber.
I recently bought this neck fan and it has turned out to be a game changer. It lasts for about five hours and has three fan settings. If you spend a lot of time outside, a neck fan is a great way to keep yourself cool from the neck up while also looking cool from the neck up. I am enjoying Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). It’s not my favorite album but I love it as much as a mother loves her least favorite child. Here is my ranking of the original tracks from best to worst.
1 Dear John
2 Sparks Fly
3 Back To December
4 The Story Of Us
7 Long Live
9 Speak Now
11 Last Kiss
12 Better Than Revenge
14 Never Grow Up
I like all the vault tracks but Foolish One is the only one I care about. It’s a real earworm.
Anyhow — let’s give it up for weather.
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