I had to bake some bread and did not feel well enough to set up the Propane camp oven so it was a good day to test how well the kitchen fan worked at removing the heat of the oven. The microwave vent I use feeds up through the roof rather than back into the kitchen. I was very pleased how well the vent did removing the heat. Only when I open the oven door did heat seem to escape into the kitchen. This was my first use of the vent to remove heat and it was a huge bonus baking bread while it is so hot outside not to heat the kitchen up. The vent helps with removing the heat when cooking on the stove top but not as efficiently when compared to the oven.
I got some of the Progresso recipe starters from Big Lots at 50 cents a can and tried out the basil using a slight modification of the recipe on the can using chicken thighs rather than the cut up chicken breasts. Basically all I did was season the thighs with a garlic and black pepper spice mix, Browned the thighs and poured the basil/Parmesan recipe starter in the pan and let it simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Then you serve it over rice or a pasta of your choice and get about 6-8 servings easily. This should work equally well with canned chicken or even cubed pork for a meal ready in about 30 minutes or less and does not heat up the kitchen a lot. Or you could use this as a sauce for cauliflower/broccoli , potatoes etc. or even a casserole and you know I like multi-taskers. I want to add a few more of these “recipe starters” to the RV as I think it is a great way to make a very nice meal using minimal energy. I have improved on making cream sauces and gravies but if you are still learning the whole sauce thing these starters are a great way to “cheat” time and still have a great meal. Making a good tasting meal is very helpful in maintaining health as well as morale in a disaster situation and I believe cooking from scratch is a critical skill to learn but there is nothing that says you can’t add a few assists to save time and energy.
Bugs especially some types are bad this year and I use DE for most of my insect killing but I forgot to keep applying it. So I added DE to all of the window sills especially the ones that have fans, my A/C unit and around the Doggie door. I used the dust pan brush to sort of spread the DE along the walls and sills to try and get all the bugs. DE does not kill the bugs quickly and needs to be re-applied regularly but it is very safe compared to most other insecticides. I use DE in my bulk food storage and have yet had to deal with a single weevil and it keeps my dog and cat food fresh smelling for months as well as a use as a De-wormer for many animals. Always get “food grade” DE to use in your food storage as cheap DE is used as a pool cleaner and has some added chemicals that are unsafe to ingest. Food grade DE may seem expensive at first but a little DE goes a long ways. I bought one of those 3-4 gallon buckets of DE, I think it was about 10 pounds by weight over 4 years ago and I have used about half to 2/3rds of it and I’m storing 55 gallon drums worth of grain and a whole bunch of buckets for long term storage.
The heat has been brutal this month as it is not cooling off at night that we can usually count on that here in the high desert. The mulch I have added is making a huge difference for water retention in the yard and garden and the little A/C is keeping the bedroom cool enough for sleeping as well as electrical costs somewhat low for a heat wave. Funny the heat in the Inter mountain west is getting very little notice but it cools to 75 degrees F. in July in Chicago and east of the Mississippi and it “polar vortex II”. I suppose the news needs some sort of “hook” to catch viewers and stating the weather will be “mild and temperate” just won’t generate the the same angst as the words POLAR VORTEX even in July.