With the summer season upon us, we are trying out different ways to keep our cool and to look cool in soaring temperatures. But one place that always eludes our cool zone is the kitchen. Fire from multiple burner stoves, heat from the baking oven, latent heat from the fridge, and trapped heat from the steam of pressure cooker ensures that we all have a nice n steamy time in the kitchen, and not in a nice way! 😬
And God help you if you enter the kitchen to poke around when Mom is at her sweatiest best, with hair and temper both flying high…
So here are a few quick ways to keep your cool, your Mom’s sanity and to restore the balance in the universe this summer! ☺️
- Ventilation: Throw open your kitchen windows and switch on your exhaust fans as soon as you enter the kitchen, even before you start with cooking. If you have a fan, or a chimney switch it on while you chop vegies, marinate, use the blender etc… actions that don’t require the flame to be on. Basically keep the cool air circulating for as long as is possible.
- Hydration: Keep yourself hydrated at all times. Make yourself a jug of lemonade and keep sipping a glass while you cook. And since it’s summer time, no one will fault you if you guzzle down the bright red, rose-flavoured Rooh Afza by the glassful. I personally prefer the Kokum Sherbet, while I know quite a few friends who are still crushing on Rasna! Whatever your drink, keep it non-alcoholic (just in case alcohol blocks your judgement of salt in your cooking, just saying!) and chug away. Alternatively, you could snack on a few sticks of cucumber with a little bit of black salt sprinkled on, or a few cubes of fresh, juicy watermelon which will cool you down instantly!
- Timing: Morning hours are cooler for cooking, so finish all your cooking and prepping, even for dinner, by around mid-morning. This will cut down on the discomfort you face cooking in higher afternoon temperatures, and will keep you looking and feeling cool in the evening for dinner too.
- Multi-cooking: Use as much of the table top/kitchen top appliances as possible to prep, chop, blend, steam etc. Stack up those bowls inside your pressure cooker or steamer and boil or steam your vegies, meats etc. at one go. This not only lessens the heat in the kitchen but also saves time and fuel/electricity. Get clever with the oven too… throw in your jacket potatoes, casseroles, roasts, breads etc. all at once, in different racks to keep track of time. This way you can leave the kitchen and sit under a fan or in the nice aircon room nearby, and count the number of pressure cooker whistles, or keep track of the timer in the oven without baking yourself up in the kitchen heat!
So thumb your nose to the heat outside. Try out these quick hacks this summer, and watch your cool quotient and your cooking rise up in the cool factor, even as the mercury levels rise! 😀