Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Heat Wave

I love summer. Seriously, I've always been a fan of the warm season, but since becoming a stay-at-home mom, my preference for summer has been magnified many times over. Life at home full-time with small children is infinitely more enjoyable when you don't have to spend most hours of the day cooped up inside, and when going outside does not involve a minimum twenty minutes of bundling small, wiggly, inept bodies in snowpants, boots, parkas, hats, scarves, and mittens. Only to have to take them all off again ten minutes later when the children come to the door saying they're too cold and they want to come in.

Plus there's the whole issue of how in recent years winter has threatened to abscond with my mental health. Oh, did I say "threatened to?" I meant, DID.

And how I'm a runner, and running outdoors year-round in Minnesota is a recipe for frostbite. I know, because I've gotten it, twice.

So I really do love summer. Sun and warmth make me happy. However. The last few days have been about 100 degrees where I live, and so humid that the heat index (how hot it actually feels outside, because of the high humidity) has been around 110*, and it's supposed to be this way for at least three more days. My daughters have outdoor soccer (Julia) and swimming lessons (Genevieve) this week. (Lessons during which I SIT OUTSIDE IN 110 DEGREE WEATHER, OMG.) You can't play outside in this weather. (Except at the pool.) And last evening, due to the heat wave and extreme demand for electricity to power everyone's air conditioning more than usual, our electricity went out at just after five, and stayed out for several hours.

I looked it up, and that means we should probably trash our perishable groceries today. Our milk smells sour. The eggs and mayo and yogurt look fine, but have an air of death threat about them. Of course I'm testing out the half-and-half even as I type. Because I'm not going to drink my iced coffee black, people!

So I'm dragging my girls to the grocery store today, after soccer and swimming, for emergency food replacement.

At least the grocery store is cool. Unless they lose their power too.

*[Yes, it's true: I live in a state where it can be thirty below zero in January, still snowing in April, and 110 degrees in July. The seasons here are EXTREME.]

[Edited to add: It suddenly occurred to me that, if I replace my groceries today, and the heat wave is supposed to go on for a few more days, the power could go out AGAIN. Spoiling yet more groceries. Perhaps I should wait? Sigh.]


Mom said...

If your milk is smelling sour, it was probably ready to turn anyway. The rest of the things should be fine for up to six hours if the refrigerator door isn't opened very many times. Don't throw out your eggs! They'll be fine!

Rita said...

This doesn't happen very often in OKC... maybe because our grid is more prepared for this sort of weather? Or maybe because it's not really a very big city (and not very many people using power? I don't know.

But if I were you, I'd just shop for groceries today, and while you're at the store, buy a bag of ice and stick it in your freezer... if the power goes out, just put the necc. items in a cooler on ice until you have power again.

Shannon said...

@Rita: I'm proud to say that's EXACTLY what I did. :) Oh, and Mom--I didn't throw anything out except the milk. (It was an older jug and there wasn't much left and I know that's why it spoiled; it was near it's exp. date for sure.) But I'm still a bit nervous about trying those eggs....

Mnmom said...

Your Mom is right, your eggs will be fine.

I read somewhere that no other spot on earth gets the extreme of temps like we do except SIBERIA! This state's weather keeps us on our toes that's for sure. But the winters here have made me a looney-tunes.

Donna said...

To test your eggs, submerge your eggs in water. Any egg that does not touch the bottom of the bowl/cup (i.e., that suspends, but doesn't necessarily float to the top) should be discarded. Best to do this test in a glass/transparent container.

You have my sympathies about power outages. I am so paranoid about these things. We had an outage back when I was breastfeeding and I threw a TON of breastmilk from the freezer. (The outage lasted 16 hours.) That was so sad and aggravating.

Oh, and be glad that the outage was isolated to just your part of town because you know that the grocery stores still had power. We've had the experience of having island-wide outages that have lasted 12+ hours (one was 16 hours the other was nearly 20) and so we were eating non-perishables for at least a week because I didn't trust that the grocery stores (who didn't have power either - the generators don't last that long!) had fresh food!

(A freezer that is 3/4 full is ideal for energy efficiency as well as prolonging the time that the food will last in the event of an outage. Also, each time you open the fridge/freezer, you lose at least an hour of time that the temp is kept cold. Best not to open your freezer/fridge to put things in a cooler, unless the outage has been over four hours.)

Shannon said...

Who knew so many people knew so much about power outages and refrigerated food?! Thanks, Donna, for the tips! :) I will never forget the DAYS long power outage C. and I lived through in 1999 in Chicago. It was longer than a full weekend that we were without power. I don't remember at ALL what we did for food/meals/etc. at the time although I remember getting some sort of reimbursement from the city at some point (? really??) for the fridge-full of lost food?!? It was insane. It was a really, really bad heat wave.

Donna said...

One more tip...
Leave an ice cube in a dish (or baggie) in your fridge. You'll know whether the contents of your fridge started to defrost if the ice cube is in a different shape. Be sure to check on the ice cube every once in awhile esp if it's in a dish (vs baggie) because it'll slowly whittle away due to sublimation.