I am always somewhat taken aback when Americans make comments such as “I didn’t think it got hot enough in Canada to swim” or “In August I like to read a book set in Canada to cool down.” (Both comments I have heard in the last couple of weeks)
It gets beyond hot, believe me. In Southern Ontario it also gets very very humid. Temperatures of 30 – 35 Celsius are not uncommon in mid-summer, and the humidex can get into the mid-40s. (Maybe that is part of the problem. When we complain of how hot it is – oh, my gosh, it’s 35 degrees!!) Thirty-five Celsius is 95 Fahrenheit, 40C is 104F. In my book Valley of the Lost, cops are fainting in the 42 degree heat (that’s temperature, not humdiex), and in the Gold Rush books, Fiona suffers under her corset and petticoats.
All of which is rather beside the point. I was brought up by a mom who definitely believed that when it was hot it was too hot to cook. Fruit plates, cold meats and cheeses, salads were the order of the day in our house in July and August. Even now, with air conditioning and ceiling fans, I divide meals into summer foods and winter foods. Here is one of my favourite recipes for a cold yet hearty summer dinner.
Vicki’s Summer Chicken and Pasta Salad
(No quantifies given as it really doesn’t matter. Use enough to feed all present)
Cooked Pasta, such as Rigatoni or Macaroni (this is the only cooking part)
While pasta is still warm, toss with dressing.
Dressing: Equal quantities of store-bottled peanut sauce (I use Our Compliments Peanut Satay cooking sauce) and Mayonnaise. Salt and Pepper.
Put in fridge until dinner time.
Store-bought rotisserie chicken, cut into slices
Baby carrots or carrot slices
Other vegetables as desired