Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Four New Things That Are Rocking Our Summer

 I can't take credit for the first summer-rocking idea.  My grade school friend mentioned it on instagram, (Hellooo, Catherine!) and I latched on to it and won't let go.

#1 . Balsamic vinegar on watermelon.

You guys, Kyrgyzstan is brimming with watermelons.  They sell them in front of the fields where they grow, on the side of the highway, at every street corner and in all the stores and markets.  We love them!

But how nice it is to shake a little zing on this heirloom fruit.  (There's no such thing as a seedless melon in Kstan, so I can call it heirloom.)

Sometimes, I get all fancy and forage basil from my flower garden and cube some mozzarella-esque cheese into the mix.

But mostly I just sit with a fork and a balsamic bottle and have at it.

# 2 . Wonder Bag
It looks like a tuffet.  Or a pouf.  I know.  But it is Saving. My. Life.

Because there are no crock pots here.  And the oven and gas stove produce a lot of unwanted heat in the kitchen.  Also--the electricity is sometimes out all day.

The Wonder Bag is like a slow-cooker without electricity.  You just boil your food for 5-15 minutes and stick the pan in the bag for 2-8 hours, depending on what you're making.  Then voila!  It's ready. 

Have you heard of that?  I am not in the know, so maybe you all are rolling your eyes straight up in your heads going, "Oh, Wen, that is SO 2016."

But, if you live in the boondocks like moi, here's the cool history behind the Wonder Bag. (Thank you sister-in-law, Joan for sending it.)

So far, I've made Filipino Beef, rice, and Indian red lentils in it.  Let me know if you have fun recipes.

#3 . A Bigger Pool
Last year's model got a hole.
This girl goes swimming five times a day.  We've been hitting 95-100° every day.  Self-explanatory.

Last and most summer-rocking...
Any guesses?

#4 . It's a heat exchanger.  

We ordered it from China sight unseen.  Curt and some friends here spent umpteen hours figuring out how it could work.  

There are water pipes running under all our floors.  This contraption cools the water and the water cools our house.

Basically, it exchanges the hot air in our house for cooler air outside.
It doesn't feel like there is any cool air outside.

But my house is pleasant, sweat is not dripping in my eyes, I'm not grumpy, and I baked a quadruple batch of brownies this afternoon.

It must be working.  

What's rocking your summer?  Do tell.  

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