When our backyard weather station went north of 40°C a couple of days ago, I went literal not metaphorical on the old saying: if it’s too hot, get out of the kitchen!!! But there is a limit to how many scratch meals you can have before that starts to take a toll, so I have been looking for ways to have real food (not just more salads) without heating up the kitchen unduly.
Yesterday’s inspiration was to use the slow cooking oven in our range. It is both a well-sealed cavity, to retain heat for low energy operation, and it cooks at a temperature that is not creating much thermal load anyway. Very good call – a slow cooked beef pot roast, with lashings of veggies included, was a really nourishing change from minimalist cooking – the oven did most of the work, and didn’t heat up the kitchen.
Today I’ve been over to uni and walked home after lunch in slightly less extreme heat, but was still left at a loss for something to eat. I’ll probably be run out of town for committing pudding heresy, but, in a moment of cupboard cooking cleverness, the actual cupboard and deputy fridge yielded lavender orange syrup (made over Christmas in Canberra to save gorgeous lavender harvested from the garden of my sister Kathryn) to put on leftover plum pudding (cooked by my sister Roslyn) with leftover marscapone cheese (new year treats).
Dieticians everywhere are shuddering, but those who under stand the REAL aromatherapy – which comes from fragrances in cooking, of course – will understand what wonders this did for my soul. In turn, I’m inspired for dinner too – all the great sauce left from our slow cooking yesterday is going to be splendid on some purchased ravioli tonight. Tick that one right now, and then get another cold drink.