Outdoor Kitchen Best Bet in Summer Heat

As large parts of the United States and Canada remain under a heat warning, it’s important to begin the day with a plan for keeping cool and preventing heat-related illness.  Seniors are more susceptible to heat stroke and caregivers should check in on elderly friends and family regularly during the hottest days of summer to make sure they have a cool place to rest and are getting adequate fluids.

Keeping the house cool when the mercury soars takes some planning and changing how you cook in the summer is one strategy to keep comfortable indoors.  Besides setting the thermostat at 78 Fahrenheit while you are home and higher when you go out, avoiding using appliances during peak hours and unplugging unused appliances can also save energy.  You can use fans to cool off but remember to turn them off when you leave.

Although summer vegetables are plentiful this time of year, heating up the kitchen to roast potatoes or boil water for corn-on-the-cob is not your only option, an outdoor grill is the perfect way to cook summer meals quickly and efficiently.  And if the grand kids are visiting, the extra help to shuck corn or trim beans can come in handy while also creating a opportunity for generations to connect without the distraction of electronics.

The oldest of the baby boomers are entering retirement and they are an adventurous group willing to try new cooking techniques and recipes. Grilling isn’t just for meats, it can also bring out the sweeter taste of vegetables that may not have been favorites from youth.  Grilled beets with balsamic and goats cheese is a far cry from the bland boiled variety many grew up being forced to swallow.  Try collecting recipes for grilled dishes and hit the farmer’s market early before the heat of the day to gather farm-fresh vegetables, eggs, cheese and breads. Recipes from around the world are only a click away online and usually include reviews, tips and feedback from other cooks.  To get started try visiting sites like this: http://dish.allrecipes.com/grilling-101-grilled-vegetables/ .

If you are lucky enough to be by a pool or lake this summer, take the meal to the water and enjoy a refreshing dip before dessert!  Summer’s short.  Savor it!