101 Ways to Avoid Heatstroke in the Kitchen

The New York Times has run a fabulously timed feature (registration required) that wrestles with the annually vexing question of how to enjoy good eats while suffering through 90-degree temperatures plus 90 percent humidity. The piece is not a recipe, or even a collection of recipes; it’s a swarming horde of 101 minirecipes that cover an entire page of broadsheet.

Each recipe is a few sentences long and designed to minimize the amount of kitchen heating involved. And for those of us miserable wretches without central air conditioning, it’s a welcome idea, well executed.

Granted that many (if not most) of the ideas are for salads or sandwiches, and at least one involves buying an entire lobster, but the sheer variety is powerful in its ability to inspire low-wattage eating.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t a few duds.

69 Buy good blintzes. Brown them on both sides in butter. Serve with sour cream, apple sauce, or both.

In a similar spirit, here’s my quick meal tip: Buy a microwavable TV dinner. Microwave it, and serve with beer, or Oreos, or both. It’s a little less Zabar’s, and a little more Cub Foods, but hey. We don’t all live on the Upper West Side.