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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

This week's lunch round-up menu: deja vu?

So I'm repeating a few things. But if it works, why mess with it, right? Anyway, here's what's on the lunch menu for this week. I put it all together yesterday morning, and it's waiting in the fridge as I type. (Keeping a week's worth of lunch items on hand is awesome for me, too, as I end up snacking and lunching much healthier than if I have to start from scratch every day.)

  • marinated lentil-barley salad with a mustard vinaigrette
  • hard boiled eggs
  • rosemary-oregano bread
  • rhubarb-blackberry sauce
  • salad bowl of greens w/creamy Italian dressing in a container on the side
  • lemonade
To go with what I made yesterday is peanut butter, jelly, bread, raisins, bananas and yogurt. If something on the "menu" doesn't appeal to any one of us, we can always grab an old favorite.

I was tired and cranky when I got up this morning. It's been far too hot here, with no A/C, and just 1 dinky fan. So I opened the windows, put on some upbeat music, and danced my way to a full fridge.




  1. love your lunch menu!

    wondering if you have the bread recipe to share, sounds yummy!

    1. Hi Cathie,
      The herb bread is simply my regular all-purpose French bread dough, to which I add about 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, and 1/2 clove minced garlic. I use the recipe below. It makes 2 rounds of bread. Bake at 430-440 F, for 20 minutes, or so, until golden and hollow when tapped.

    2. thanks so much Lili!
      this will be on my to do list next week :)

  2. Yummy lunches!

    It's been hot here too. My 12 year old son played baseball tournaments over the weekend. We had a game that started at 12:30 on Sunday and it was 97 degrees. I was prepared to be miserable but was thankful that my husband and I found a shady spot to sit in...and that there was a breeze. We had a cooler to keep cold wash cloths and bottles of water for my son, but he was sweating so much. That kid has drive to play in hot weather like that! I'm not sure I could do it. Lol.

    I was feeling very cranky from the heat, but we had a storm Sunday night that brought in cooler temperatures. The high yesterday was 82...much more pleasant.

    I hope you get relief from your heat wave soon.


    1. Hi Angie,
      The heat can be sooo draining! I'm glad you got a break with a storm.We rarely get up into the high 90s. I don't know how your son's team could even play in 97 F temps.
      Our high over the weekend was about 93. Our heat has already begun declining, but still today it's expected to be around 87-88. Thursday will be the turning day for us. But, as much as I complain about the heat, our garden is loving it!

  3. I heard about your heat wave on the news. We are having an unexpected cold streak right now--since I'm not a fan of heat and humidity, I don't mind. Especially since it's VBS week in our non-air-conditioned church (usually we are the ones having miserable heat right about now!). At least most buildings around here have AC, which I bet is unusual in your neck of the woods. Try to stay cool!

    1. Hi Kris,
      And I heard about the cold front pushing down from the north in your area. I hope it doesn't damage crops in your area. I think, if I understood correctly, that our heat and your cold is from the same jet stream. Funny how that works.

      For us, heat waves generally don't last more than 2 or 3 days, so to have an entire week is rare.

      That is a good thing, though, for you that with VBS this week it's not too hot. I can remember a couple of years for us, when VBS was sooo uncomfortably hot.
      And, nope, no A/C for us. I beg for it every year, but no deal. It's the nights that are so hard to bear, for me. But it beginning to cool slightly, now, so maybe tonight will be better for sleeping.

      Are you helping with VBS this year? Hope your kids are having a blast!

    2. I heard the same thing about the jet stream as well. By us, at least, it isn't cold enough to damage crops.

      We have central air (installed after a hot summer when I was pregnant for my daughter--I worked a lot of extra hours that summer to afford it ... ). We keep it at 77* and use fans if we are in the rooms. Haven't needed it much this summer but some summers it is SO necessary. Still, my daughter gets hot at night so we wrap a cold pack in a towel and she places it by her and that cools her off. Might work for you as well! I've also heard of people putting their pillowcases in the freezer and slipping them on their pillows just before bed. In our area, we get a lot of humidity with our heat and that's a lot harder to take, for me at least.

      My husband and I are helping w/registration for VBS and I helped with some of the staff training for crew leaders before the event. I am also pinch-hitting in different places if they need someone. We are taking my daughter and her best friend. My son has aged out and is helping an adult run games. It's a good event, but frankly, I'm pooped and am looking forward to next week when VBS AND 4H fair are over with (my daughter is in 4H).

    3. You probably need A/C more than we do. We do have the cooling effects of the Puget Sound. Saturday was excruciatingly hot at home, so we went to the beach for dinner. It was so pleasant, at least 10 degrees cooler. So, I can get away from the heat, when I want. And, it is rare to have heat for more than a couple of days. But still, I beg the family for A/C every summer! You know, I don't think I have ever lived with A/C, actually. Maybe I'm imagining more improvement than would really happen!

      I didn't help with VBS this year. I felt like it was getting to be too tiring for me. By Thursday afternoon, I would be soooo tired, I'd have to take a long nap. And then by the Saturday right after VBS, I always had some sort of illness. Good luck surviving the week! At least the kids always have a blast!

    4. Ceiling fans might be a better solution for you, Lili. They make a huge difference for us. Get the longest blades possible so that it can be felt across the whole room, and not just under the fan. We have 10 ceiling fans in the house, which lets us keep the a/c at 79º. We don't have blankets on the bed in summer; just sheets, and those are still rarely used; most everyone sleeps without any covers of any kind to keep cooler.

    5. Hi Brandy,
      thanks for the suggestion. We've considered ceiling fans for the bedrooms. Our ceilings are quite low, and ceiling fans may not feel right in the main living areas. (If I had to describe the style of our home, I'd call it cottage-like, complete with low ceilings.) But the bedrooms might be nice.

      Fortunately, tonight looks like it will be the last super hot night for sleeping, for the time being. A cooling trend is expected beginning tomorrow.

      As much as I complain about the heat, our garden is loving this. I've never had such gorgeous basil before! And I'm hopeful that the pumpkin patch will do well this year. Keeping it all in perspective!

  4. If you are having trouble sleeping at night here's a great way to cool off. Place a wet towel on the bed before you lie down and have a fan blowing on you. You will instantly cool off and you and the bed will be bone dry by the morning. I learned this trick from a neighbor who attended summer college courses. The dorms had no a/c way back in the day and that's how they all were able to sleep on hot, humid nights.

    And those lunches sound so delicious. I'm always amazed at how creative you are!

    1. Hi Linda,
      Thank you for the suggestion. I'll give that a try if it isn't significantly cooler tonight. I inadvertently did something similar on Sunday night. My pjs weren't totally dry from washing by bedtime, but I put them on, anyway. It did help. And a fan really does make a difference. I'll pass your suggestion on to the rest of my family, too. We're all so hot at night. Thank you!

      I have to work at the lunch menus, as two of the family members that I prepare lunches for need to put on a couple of pounds (and one of them is somewhat finicky). I try to make their lunches as enticing as possible. And the bonus is doing this saves us money!

    2. Linda, it was hot again, last night. In the night I got up and got a hand towel wet and brought it back to bed, and that really helped! Thanks for the suggestion!

  5. We used to live in the northeast corner of IL and had no a/c in the bedrooms. I took my neighbor's advice several times in an attempt to stay cool but I used a full sized bath towel. I barely wrung it out after getting it wet. It was a very efficient way to beat the heat. Once we moved to central IL we had central air for the first time ever. Living without central air in these parts wouldn't be fun, not when the temp easily reaches 90+ and the humidity feels like the tropics! But the tomatoes love it! LOL

    We feel like we've all died and gone to heaven with the cool weather this week! It feels like late September/early October!
    So glad you had a more comfortable night!

  6. I grew up without any air conditioning in a place that certainly needed it. Actually, we did have one window unit in my parents bedroom. We weren't normally allowed in there, but got to go in on hot days to cool off. If I were you, I would put a window unit on my list of things to budget for. You can get a small one for under one hundred dollars and they are much more energy efficient that they used to be. That way you could have at least one place to escape to in the house when it gets really hot. I bet the rest of the family has some air conditioned areas at their work and school they can go to. You deserve the same at your job at home. No one works harder than you do. Remember how you always say how good it is to do something nice for yourself? This is a chance for that.

    Can you tell that I'm getting tired of really hot weather, too, even though we have ac?

    1. HI live and learn,
      I like the way you think! Yes, I do think we'll add 1 small air conditioner some place here. I think my family would appreciate a less cranky me, so really this would benefit the whole family! ;)

      My dad used to tell us about growing up in Salt Lake City, UT, w/o air conditioning. His bedroom had a west-facing window and in summer his room was terribly hot. I can't imagine what it was like for my grandmother, cooking for a large family in a hot, hot kitchen w/o A/C. I think we'd eat sandwiches all summer long for dinner.

      The hot weather wears me out. It sounds like it's doing the same to you. I hope your area gets a break from the heat soon! I woke up to a marine layer this morning, so it feels a lot cooler today.


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