Summer Survival: Cooking For Your Family Without Actually Cooking Your Family

Welcome, Summer. Is it sweltering where you live?

I know what you’re thinking: Montana = snow, but it actually gets quite hot here during the summer months. Factor in our current lack of air-conditioning and shade trees (trees here are like shrubs to this native Oregonian), and you might get a picture of just how sweaty we are.

We’ve become a family of cave-dwellers– closing doors and windows tight during the heat of the day, constantly running fans to keep comfortable. Routine dinner preparations can seriously thwart efforts to maintain a temperate home… it amazes me how much heat a simple pot of boiling water or preheated oven actually puts out!

Since cheap, greasy pizza every night just doesn’t jive with our lifestyle, I’ve modified my culinary approach to avoid unintentionally cooking our selves right along with our supper. The following are some of my best tactics for feeding the family without cooking them alongside the meal:

Outdoor Crockpot (and rice cooker): Utilize your outdoor electrical sockets. Let that chicken curry simmer all day on the back patio– just keep it out of the reach of animals and children.

i know you’re jealous of my hobbit door

BBQ: Handsome Husband is our resident barbeque master, praise be to God. So long as I provide him shade and a frosty beverage, he is happy to tend the grill even after a grueling day at the office.

cilantro lime marinated chicken

Portable Camp Stove: We recently dug out our camping stove to prepare a favorite noodle dish.

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singapore shrimp noodles

Firepit: For Independence Day we gleefully roasted hot-dogs and marshmallows over the open flame, and called it dinner. (because, ‘merica) We’ve also been known to set a can of beans right in the coals to heat up.

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Cold Dinner: Big Salads are a favorite. Sandwiches are the bomb. It doesn’t have to be a hot meal to be a healthy one.

greek salad is my kryptonite (shout out to bestie courtney)

Make Ahead Meals: Cook in the morning, reheat in the microwave at night.

enchilada extravaganza

We’ll see how long we can hold out on central air. In the meantime, if you spy our kids eating popsicles for dinner please don’t judge. 🙂

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