Monday, June 8, 2009

The Summer Kitchen

Hi Fronds!

It's pretty much summer here. Temperature got up to a toasty 89 degrees today, and the humidity is currently at 83%.

I do not find this comfortable. I never DID find heat and humidity comfortable, so I can't blame it on me being a woman of a certain age. Therefore, one of my main goals is keeping the house cool.

But how to do this when I cook darn near everything from scratch? Like the soup and the corn bread I made today?

This is where having a summer kitchen comes in - cooking away from the main house, so you don't add heat to where you don't want it.


Having a summer kitchen goes way back. It was standard for mansions back when the USA started. A trip to Mt. Vernon (which is a great place to visit for SO many reasons!) includes a tour of the detached kitchen there. That kitchen features a covered walkway to the house. Mine is not that fancy.

My kitchen appears under the maple tree out back. The shade is good there, even if the breeze is sometimes blocked by a neighbor's fence.

The standard parts of the kitchen are one aluminum folding table, one comfortable chair, the rocket stove, the BBQ grill/smoker, the hay box cooker, an extension cord, and any electric appliance I may need. Maybe the toaster oven. Maybe a one burner electric hotplate. I may have the day's ingredients out there in a cooler, too.

And, of course, a cold drink is part of the set up. Maybe an entire pitcher of cold drinks.

Benefits Of Summer Kitchen Cooking

The official benefit, of course, is having cooked food and not heating the house. But being outside is a benefit in general. (I'm thinking of going an entire week of outdoor living sometime soon, coming in only to hit the washroom, but that pagan and survivalist experiment will wait until later - I can still work out there on the laptop, at least.)

And the back yard comes with it's own floor show! Well, floor might not be the best word - birds are all around, the world's fattest squirrel thinks s/he owns the yard, the chipmunks are alway fun, and once we had a huge possum come sniffing around.

Our previous house also had the chickens a neighbor family kept for a few years, and their occassionally escaping bunny, several visiting cats, and a much smaller possum.

If the mosquitos get bad this year, I'm considing adding a screen house that I picked up at a garage sale to the kitchen set up. I certainly will use that if I spend a week outside camping.

Come away with me, darlings, to the Great Suburban Outdoors!

Frondly, Fern

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