Sunday, July 12, 2015

To Bake a Cake or Not Bake a Cake? That is the Question . . .

Yes . . . this could have been a picture of me this week, but I would have been 
wearing a tank-top, not a bikini top . . . 
there's even a Diet Coke depicted--wow, this artist knows me so well.  :)
(photo courtesy of

It's been VERY hot here this past week.  We have no air-conditioning in our house, so I use a strategy that I learned from my parents when I was growing up:  Open windows at night.  Close windows (and blinds and curtains) during the day.  Opening the windows at night lets the cool air in and circulates it through the house, since temperatures at night are typically lower than they are during the day; Closing windows (as soon as the sun hits them is my method) traps in the cool air.  With the addition of oscillating fans and ceiling fans, we've managed to keep our house at a similar temperature to that of people having A/C in their homes.  The other thing we do is turn on our summer fan on the furnace, which draws cool air up from the basement and circulates it through our registers.  So, for the most part we've had relief from the outdoor temperatures because we've managed to keep our house fairly cool. 

One morning last week I woke up to find my thermostat reading 13 degrees Celsius!  That's pretty cold; however, I knew that later in the week and into the weekend, the forecast said we'd be having temperatures in the mid 30's.  So, for the sake of keeping the house cool to prepare for heat later in the week, we opted to dress warmer on Monday and Tuesday.  I even did a little bit of baking on the mornings when I was feeling like an ice-cube.  The baking only increased the temperature by about 2 to 3 degrees during the day, so it was still much cooler in the house than it was outside.

Fast-forward to yesterday.  It was Saturday night, and after two days +36 degrees Celsius, the house was beginning to feel the effects of the external temperature creeping its way into our house.  Not to mention, we've had zero precipitation for well over 4 weeks, and if you saw my lawn right now you'd understand why it looks so incredibly brown.  I've been focusing on keeping my outdoor flowerbeds and plants happy, but since we live on 17 acres of property, it's impossible to water the grass as well, just for the sake of keeping it green.

Last night, as per our usual routine, we opened all the windows in hopes of drawing in some cooler air overnight.  Then three of us woke-up to banging and clanging and thunder and lightning and a very fast downpour of rain.  Unbelievable to me, Ty actually slept through the storm.  Three of us got out of bed to assess the damage--two screens blown out of their windows . . . water in places it shouldn't be, and the realization that our downspouts on the eavestroughs were not in place.  Wayne had to run out in the middle of the night to pull the downspouts into position to prevent flooding in our basement; Mitchell and I scattered throughout the house to replace screens and close windows.  This was around 1:00 a.m., so the windows were closed the rest of the night in order to prevent further damage and wetness creeping into the house.

When I got up this morning around 7:00 a.m., the house was HOT and HUMID (some of my least favourite words).  It was already 21 degrees Celsius outside, and due to the fact that our windows had not been open for most of the night, our house felt much warmer than it usually does first thing in the morning.  We are now only a few degrees away from our internal house temperature matching the temperature of the outdoors.  Thankfully we are no longer sitting in the mid 30's outside . . . just the high 20's, but for me, that's hot enough.  Actually, that's too hot.  I am hoping and praying that tonight we will have some reprieve and our "open windows" technique works so that we can get the temperature down in the house again.

So, what does this have to do with the title of my post about baking cake?  Well, I love baking, and I really, really wish I could bake a cake right now.  But I can't.  It would heat the kitchen up way too much, and since my kitchen faces south, I'm already fighting a battle for keeping it cool without the addition of turning on my oven.  So, I made Chocolate Macaroons instead, which don't require baking.  I only needed to use the top of the stove for about 3 minutes, and now I can at least eat something chocolaty to satisfy my craving.  What I really want is a chocolate cake or brownies, but that will have to wait for a day that's cooler.

Chocolate Macaroons
photo courtesy of

Here's something fun and interesting to help you decide whether or not to bake a cake today, or any day for that matter . . . Enjoy!

And, finally, for deciding whether to start:

1 comment:

michelle said...

We are in our first house ever that has air-conditioning (not counting a couple of apartments we owned that had inefficient wall units we rarely used). I soooooo feel for you. We lived in this house for about 4 or 5 years with no air conditioning at all before finally succumbing to the high heat and humidity that our area gets in the summer. We just could not imagine raising a baby in those conditions.

One of the things that we used to do in the evenings was stand large fans in front of our open windows and use them to draw the cool air into our house from outdoors at night. It is much more efficient on a breeze-less night than waiting for air to circulate. I also used to plan a summer's worth of baking in the spring and bake all kinds of muffins, prep freezer meals, etc., because once the summer conditions hit, the last think you would want to do is turn on the oven or even stand upright for more than a few minutes to make supper. It used to be a race against May and early June to see how much more I could get baked before the temperatures sky-rocketed.

I am sorry that you got some water in your home, though the blessing of finally getting a bit of moisture hopefully out-weighed that. It seems like it has been a dry summer so many places, and Saskatchewan definitely needs some relief.