Friday, July 30, 2010

The Hot Days of Summer

There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

Even in the Midwest the summer days can be uncomfortable, especially if the humidity is up in the 70's, and the temperatures in the 90's. I tend to avoiding using the oven when at all possible, and IF I have to use it I bake in the early morning. We have ceiling fans which really help a lot around the house, and last year we put one in the kitchen. I've noticed a big difference since using it to cool things off. I know the tips I have below mention that fans only circulate rather than cool, which is true, but that circulation makes things seem cooler.

By the way, yesterday I was apparently thinking of winter when I chose the picture of the woman dressed for travel. It was nice of you all to ignore that and not email me asking why she was dressed for the cold:)

Below the heat safety tips I have two reader tips that were sent in. Thanks ladies!

Red Cross Heat Safety Tips:
Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's energy. It is also a good idea to wear hats or to use an umbrella.

Drink water. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.

Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid high-protein foods, which increase metabolic heat.

Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 and 7 a.m.

Stay indoors when possible. If air-conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine. Remember that electric fans do not cool, they simply circulate the air.

Be a good neighbor. During heat waves, check in on elderly residents in your neighborhood and those who do not have air conditioning.

I grew up in New Jersey, very similar to Florida in the summer time, and of course now I am where most don't even want to think about in the summer. One thing which will work in both conditions is a type of cloth hat like a swamp hat which you can soak, wring and wear - it works best in lesser humidity, but still works in the high humidity places sort of okay.

~Catherine, The Herb Lady

Last time I went to Disneyland, I have a small microwave that goes with me. Just set it on the table and plug it in. Kids are there for the park not the restaurants.
~Kristi M.

I also have an article on OFL with summer hair care tips.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vintage Household Tips

Home ought to be our clearinghouse, the place from which we go forth lessoned and disciplined, and ready for life. ~Kathleen Norris

For my birthday in June my dad gave me a very neat vintage binder that has imprinted on the front Home Makers' Handbook , Women's Service Bureau, The Detroit Free Press. It's full of printed pages with recipes and tips on cooking, entertaining and household tips. I couldn't find a date but the phone number to call is Randolph 8900, which is way before my time:)

I thought today I'd share some of the household tips from the binder. I try to only share the tips that don't use chemicals or things we've since discovered were not good for us.

To Clean Candles: A cloth dampened with alcohol will clean dusty candles without taking off the luster.

Grease Spots on Wood: to treat grease spots on unpainted wood, moisten with a paste of cold water and baking soda before scrubbing clean.

Washing a Clotheslinee: Wind the line around a long board and scrub the line with a brush. This prevents it from becoming tangled and makes it easy to wind when dry.

Cork Flower Holders: If there aren't quite enough flowers to fill a vase without looking straggly, put a few corks in the water. They have a tendency to hold up the flowers and keep them in place.

Tea Stains: To remove tea stains from china , rub spots with salt and baking soda.

We have more tips at OFL on cleaning vintage fabric.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cooling Off With Iced Beverages

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. ~Sam Keen

One of the first things health and nutrition experts will tell you is "Don't drink your calories." They usually are referring to the coffee drinks which can have as much as 800 calories. The whipped topping adds about a 100 calories all by itself. A friend gave me a recipe that I adapted to make the frappé below, and I also have a few other beverage recipes to try this summer. It's MUCH cheaper to make these drinks at home than buy them at a coffee or fast food place, give them a try.

Quick Frappé For One

1/2 cup of milk
2 Tablespoons Hershey's chocolate syrup
1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar
1/2 cup coffee, cooled (I used leftover)
1 cup ice (4-5 cubes)

Add all the ingredients to the blender and process until all is mixed and frothy. The ice cubes can be a little chunky if you wish.

Notes: I use low fat chocolate milk sometimes, and skip the sugar, which is really good too. This makes one bigger glass, and is SO good on a hot day.

Berry Tea Cooler

2 cups boiling water
2 strawberry or blueberry tea bags
4 cups Diet Cherry 7-Up
Lime or lemon slices for garnish

Pour the water over the tea bags and brew for 10 minutes or so. Cool. Combine the tea and 7-Up in large pitcher. Serve tea over ice.

Notes: I used strawberry flavored black tea, but you can use any variety you wish.

Lemonade Iced Tea for a Crowd

2 cans (12 ounces each) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 cup boiling water
4 tea bags, black, green or fruit flavored
3 quarts cold water

Make lemonade as directed on cans in a punch bowl or large beverage jar. Pour the cup of boiling water over the tea bags and brew for 5-10 minutes, then cool. Stir in the cold water and the brewed tea with the lemonade. Serve over ice.

Frosty Mochas

1 1/2 cups 2% or skim milk
1/3 cup chocolate syrup
2 tablespoons instant coffee
3 1/2 cups ice cubes

In a blender, place all ingredients except and blend on medium speed until well mixed. Add ice cubes a few at a time, blending after each addition until smooth. Pour into 4 glasses. Serve immediately.

Notes: I included this recipe for those that might not have brewed coffee on hand.

Caramel Iced Latte

1 1/2 cups strong coffee
2 cups almond milk or vanilla soy milk
2 teaspoons caramel fat-free topping
Ice cubes, as desired

Stir together coffee and milk. Drizzle topping into 2 large glasses. Fill glasses with ice cubes. Pour milk mixture over ice. Sweeten to taste with sugar if needed.

Notes: I included this recipe for those that drink soy or almond milk. You can substitute regular milk, and add a little sugar or other sweetener. I personally like putting it all in a blender and whipping it up, but either method is fine.

We have more Iced Tea Recipes on OFL.