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Massaging Kale: Adventures in Living Sans A/C

This will be my second summer in Texas. But some say it will be my first Texas summer, since with all the rains and clouds last year, it never really got hot for long. I prefer cooler climes, but I’m trying to cultivate a good attitude about the heat, trying to welcome summer with grace and acceptance. Fighting it, I figure, will only make me hotter. That’s one of my motivations for trying to live without air-conditioning. There are other reasons, of course, like reduced carbon footprint and a lower energy bill. Those are what motivate my husband, who happily escapes to an over-chilled office each day while I work from home. We were really proud of ourselves on Tuesday. kale-pesto.jpgWhile temperatures soared into the triple-digits, I kept the house cool, sealing it up with blinds and doors when the mercury started to rise. It got to 101° outside, but indoors our thermostat registered only 84°. But then dinnertime came. Cooking would have heated the house beyond our breaking point, so we decided to go raw. We still had much of last week’s Greenling delivery — a bunch of kale, a couple of yellow squash and a zucchini. That’s how we ended up having raw walnut and kale pesto over summer squash “pasta” and sprinkled with pine-nut “parmesan cheese” (recipes here). The recipe called for massaging the kale leaves, which turned out to be kind of fun. And the end result was really, really good — and really local, to boot. Take that, carbon footprint!

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