Here we are at Fourth of July, or at least breathing down its neck. Hard to believe half this year is gone already. Sometimes lately the hands of the clock seem to be whizzing by like a scene from the Time Machine. Fireworks shows are planned all over the Sacramento area. I’m a bit confused at this choice. To me it smacks of the same intelligent thought process leading a man guarding a pile of gun powder to light a cigarette. Not that I’m trying to rain on anyone’s parade, rain being the word of the day here, but with the tinderbox atmosphere of this water starved state it seems a bit risky. Again, this is just my opinion.
This has been a hot week. Our air conditioning is buzzing along filling up PG&E’s coffers most of the daylight hours. Truly I am missing the pool we had in our last house. Love our new home but the pool definitely was a bonus during the summer months. I spent a good part of my days doing laps once the triple digit numbers moved into the area. Certainly we saw our grandchildren more often when the pool was available. Of course we lived closer to them and they don’t drive so I have to give them that.
Humidity is hanging around as well with dry lightning storms hitting the mountain areas. As I’ve mentioned many times I lived in the southern states over a period of time in the 1990’s. Arkansas and Alabama, specifically. We arrived in Arkansas in the dead of summer. Before going I’d steeled myself to facing humidity, or so I thought. However, coming from California with little humidity, I was totally unprepared for what oppressive air I was to find on our arrival. Air conditioning isn’t a luxury in the south to my mind, it is a necessity. I imagine there are homes without it but was I to live in one I believe I’d plant myself on a block of ice and sit there until fall arrived.
Ashdown was the small town we settled into, located in the tri-state area of the Arkansas delta. Tri-state because in the southern end of the state it rubs noses with Louisiana and Texas to the south and west respectively. My husband at the time was scheduled to start work at the lumber mill. While he got settled in at work, I was to locate housing and get us moved in. Like snails, construction workers working the mills and refineries move along the chain carrying their belongings on their backs from town to town. Ashdown was a small town, even by small town standards. It had a Wal-Mart, several markets, a gas station, the lumber mill, and a Dairy Queen. After living in the south for a while I was to find a town might not have a stoplight, but by God a Wal-Mart sign could be seen poking through the trees. Although a quaint and rather lovely little place, Saturday night the joint definitely wasn’t jumpin, if you get my drift. One neighbor told me “most people around these parts when it gets hot, are happy to just sit around and watch the grass grow”, and grow it did. The humidity allowed for a daily rain shower to douse the hot ground making in steam and sizzle like water on a hot griddle. Abundant water contributed to the lush overgrowth present everywhere you looked. The lingering smell emanating from the rotting vegetation was to become a familiar visitor to my nostrils.
Locating a house to rent proved to be more of a task than originally thought. There were houses available, but in the area we wanted to live, fewer were listed on the real estate roster. Finally, I found and secured a house in good condition, with an air conditioner, and a huge yard at the back of the property. There were three bedrooms, a dining area, two bathrooms, and a massive kitchen facing out towards the street. Good to go, we welcomed our furniture arriving by van several days after the deposit was laid down. Yea.
The day we moved in was brutal. Temperatures moved far beyond the 100 mark and 98% humidity. I’ve been in saunas that provided less moisture. Not one to think things through to their logical conclusion, when I’d originally looked at the house I’d asked about the air conditioning and was assured there was a unit in place. “A unit” being the optimum word in this sentence. One unit, in the living room, protruded through the window. When turned on it rivaled a jet engine in decibels and laboring along managed to provide cool air for the room it was in and slightly beyond. As for the bedrooms, you could fry an egg on the pillow case if the stove top wasn’t working. For that first month we lived in the living room, appropriately enough. We ate there, we slept there, and if we could have put a porta-pottie in there, well, you know. Even the dog and cat moved their bowls in there, hesitant to step into the rest of the house. On the way home from work my husband would pick up a huge bag of ice which we’d chop and deposit in our portable cooler. While cooking I wore a wet towel full of ice either around my neck or on my head. Making me sweat just writing this.
At the end of a miserable month I contacted the landlord. Either he needed to do something or we were going to have to move. Sigh. The thought of moving all that stuff once again didn’t appeal to me, but the heat was getting me down. A man arrived the following weekend in a white van. I was to find out aside from installing air conditioning and heating units he was a lay preacher traveling from one church to another spreading the word. While in our house he left a volume full of shared thoughts for us to enjoy. What a character he was, but with all his postulating came blessed air so I was glad to have him there even if I did have to wear earplugs to reduce the noise level.
Thankfully, we have a great A/C in this house so I will enjoy it today I’m sure.
The beginning of the year I went to a restaurant with my daughter which served the most delicious deviled eggs. Now, I see you nodding your head. How many versions of deviled eggs can there be? I’m telling you these are delicious. I came home and worked on recreating them and this is what I came up. Just yummy. I’m sure you could use a regular purchased barbecue sauce but I like this one.
Have a great and cool day!
Barbecue Deviled Eggs
1 dozen eggs, hard boiled
1 1/2 tsp. prepared mustard
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 slices of cooked crisp hickory smoked bacon
Barbecue sauce (recipe below)
Peel the eggs and halve lengthwise. Remove yolks and mash well with fork. Add mustard, mayonnaise, and salt and pepper to taste. Fill eggs with prepared yolks.
Break the bacon up into 2″ chunks. Push one piece into the top of each egg. Drizzle barbecue sauce over eggs and bacon.
1 cup catsup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Kentucky bourbon
2 1/2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together ingredients. Allow to sit in refrigerator for 2 hrs. before using.