Summer Eats and Heats

comments: 101












Oh, they were good. Thank you again, so much, for all of the wonderful recommendations. It was hard to know where to start because they all looked so good! But I wound up tossing some cabbage and carrots with a lot of fresh lime juice, some chopped cilantro, and a glug of olive oil (and sea salt and pepper); adding three minced (seeds removed) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to mayonnaise (along with some minced raw garlic, more lime juice, and more salt and papper); making this grilled corn salad; and then these homemade tortillas. Andy grilled some tilapia (in a fish grilling basket) rubbed with a bit of olive oil and a little Mexican spice blend (it was already in a bottle in my spice rack, from Penzey's).

Man, it was good. I think the homemade tortillas were the best part. I highly recommend the whole menu!!!

On Sunday morning, Andy went back to work after being off sick for about a week. I had finished several projects I'd been working on and was amazed to find myself with a whole day alone and nothing to do. I was both excited and confused. I was so excited that I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do (confused). Unfortunately, I hadn't slept at all the night before because it was so hot in our room, so everytime I sat down to think about what I wanted to do, I fell asleep (including during the fourth set of Murray-Federer — I know! — I slept through the entire set! I woke up to Andy Murray crying, which got me really choked up. I had been rooting for him [even though my new favorite player is Tsonga]). Then I made pancakes for myself to cheer myself up.

Swedish Pancakes

4 eggs
1 c. flour
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt
1 c. milk
a little bloop of vegetable oil

Whisk eggs, flour, sugar, and salt together into a smooth paste. Slowly whisk in milk until just combined, then add a bit of oil (just to keep them from sticking) and stir again. Ladle or pour the batter onto the griddle over medium heat, and tip pan to swirl batter into a thin circle. Flip when edges look dry.

That worked. Then I fell back asleep while crocheting on the couch. It got warmer and warmer outside. Unfamiliar with this unusual meterological phenomenon, I failed to register its effect on my already floppy hold on the day. I rode my bike to the grocery store and almost passed out. I think it was 83 degrees (but 83 and hilly?). No, feel free to laugh, seriously. I was in first gear, going about 1 mph. Wearing a dress. People were passing me and I'm pretty sure they were laughing. I would've laughed if I could've breathed. When I got home I stumbled into the kitchen and made an enormous pitcher of raspberry iced tea and drank almost all of it, along with another gallon of water (and limes — I really love limes). Then (somehow) I made a version of this superfood salad (but I made the quinoa with vegetable stock, used the leftover corn salad, and skipped the vinaigrette [didn't need it]). Then I went upstairs and laid directly under the ceiling fan. Outside I could hear neighbors in every direction having barbecues and speaking in normal tones, and not about the weather. I assumed they were also wearing actual clothes out there. HOW??? In bewildered awe of them, I fell asleep during Inspector Lewis. When Andy got home he said I looked flattened, like the cats, trying to expose as much surface area of my body as possible to the overhead fan breeze. My contacts had turned into dried up little shards of plastic. I think my hair had dreadlocked itself. I was a hot mess.

I'm not sure if it's because I slept nine or ten hours last night or if it's because it's currently only 59 degrees, but I seem to have recovered all my faculties today (so far). It was really only one of our first hot days here all summer (it did get up to 88), and that was enough for me. I honestly don't know how anyone survives temperatures in the 90s and 100s.


Your food is making my salivate. :) As far as surviving the 90s and 100s - you adapt pretty quickly. The body's just remarkable like that, I think. For example, it's been in the upper 90s here for weeks, and suddenly it's like 85 degrees and we're saying, "Wow! So nice and cool today!" Dorks.

Making ME salivate! Where's that coffee!

I have no idea how people live in such hot weather. I couldn't, I just couldn't. I need rain, I need breeze, I need cool air - I'm British!

Your food looks utterly divine. The pancake with dusting photo is fantastic I tell you.

We survived the 100s with air conditioning, and staying inside as if we were snowed in, not going out for anything, making do without. Honestly, I'd rather be snowed in than heatwaved in.

Oh Alicia, we hit over 100 degress almost every day last week-- in MILWAUKEE of all places! It was hot down in your beloved Oak Park, too. I basically stayed inside all day, every day, thanking God for central AC. No rain for weeks. All the grass in brown.

I do an awful lot of complaining. I work outside as a landscaper in Oklahoma and its dreadful. A 90 degree day is a cool one around here. :( Do Oregonians not have air conditioning?! I would die here with out it! lol Luckily I'm coming to Oregon in September to cool off. I can't wait!

Ok Alicia, I'm tired of carrying my knitting around in a plastic bag...when I see your beautiful straw bag I go bonkers! This is what I want, this is what I need. You have to tell me where I can buy one too(bending a knee). Why do I never see theses around the Dallas/FW area??? Ok I'll calm down..

90s and 100s is what I have all summer here in the south of France, and I cannot survive such temps!!! That's why I like coming to Portland ;-) But guess what ?? On my last but one visit in 2009 at the end of July and early August we got an amazing heat wave in Portland!!! Around 75 is what I like best.

Julie G. in Iowa says: July 09, 2012 at 10:38 AM

I laughed my butt off at everything you said after "Inspector Lewis". So nice of Andy to point out you looked like a hot mess (and not in a good way).
You described perfectly how I feel on hot days. I'm such a 'houseplant', on some weekends I don't step foot outside to even get the mail or water the plants.
I invite you to come visit here in Iowa where it's been 100+ for the last week. It's cooler today - only in the lower 90's!
The area of our yard we leveled off for our pool is almost ready *SQUEE!* We'll be filling the pool with water tonight. Of course all the work was done on the very hottest days, go figure.

We just got through four straight days of 100+ weather (and several other really hot days) - in Northern Indiana! It finally broke yesterday and we only had high 80s - such a relief! I worked in the yard for five hours yesterday and still need to place 170-ish edging bricks. I better get on that before we get back to the 90s in a few days.

You got me hoping it doesn't get too hot here... too hot to cook, after being visually-gastronomically assaulted and tempted into cooking EVERYTHING you've shared... it would be tragic.
And thank you for not only making everything beautiful and tempting, but also being funny and dear while you're at it.

Be glad I don't visit Oregon. The last time I visited Seattle I brought our Utah heat. Standing on the pier at Pikes......102 :O

Loved the description of "flattened" - it's a very apt description for when the air is so stifling you feel as if you are melting and it takes too much energy to even breathe. I live along the Texas Gulf Coast, and it's in the 90's and 100's from April through October. You adjust and adapt. We were in the Pacific Northwest in late April/early May and nearly froze. Now I'm hungry for fish tacos!

I live in the south and work on a farm in an un-airconditioned room about 3 hrs. a day. It has been in the upper 90's for quite a while now. You get used to it, trust me. It is not always fun, and you do get tired out quickly, but it is all ok. Hang in there~cool weather will be here soon. ; ))

You made me LAUGH...oh my....images in my mind of you on your bike...thank you. first laugh after a 30 hour long migraine. love you girly. xoxo

you food looks amazing.....send some heat over the pond its been grey and raining here for weeks!!!

oh it sounds lovely.
But I did giggle a little of the thought of you and the bike ride :)
it is record heat here today in the desert, warning us to stay indoors. :(

I agree with other hot climate readers. I would rather be snowed in. My poor AC could not deal with the 100 degree heat--inside temp at 79-81 degrees most days. So what I do not do is cook. I just have to be satisfied with looking at your lovely photos of nice food while eating salads and plates of raw vegetables.

Must have been on the same (hot) wavelength because on Saturday morning, I suddenly had the urge to make your Swedish pancakes and looked the recipe up on your site and whoosh-flip! Swedish pancakes!(They were delicious.)

We survive only because of the ac my dear. For this Michigan gal the south is just too hot!
Missing the shores of Lake Superior

sara-hare says: July 09, 2012 at 11:14 AM

59 degrees? I could weep with jealousy. (I'm in NC. And unlike some other people here, I do NOT adapt. I've suffered through southern summers for three decades now, and hated hated hated every single one.) My body is not good with heat, to say the least.

But, er, sorry for the rant. Your photos are so clean and fresh and the food looks delicious.

I totally LOL'd at your misery. Not in a bad, mean-spirited way, though. Honestly I think it was a moderately unhinged jealous cackle. Here in Central Texas (with no body of water in sight) it's 100* on a good day.

Must have been on the same (hot) wavelength because on Saturday morning, I suddenly had the urge to make your Swedish pancakes and looked the recipe up on your site and whoosh-flip! Swedish pancakes!(They were delicious.)

You are like I was on the first really hot day this year (which was, like, in March or something insane) - totally wiped out.

I had to play my harp at a wedding on Friday and it was 100 degrees, humid as the swamp and pretty miserable. I felt flattened after that, indeed.

I love your coping techniques!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at