Sunday, June 27, 2010

Too Hot To Eat

Too Hot To Eat

At present, we are enduring a smothering spell of hot, humid weather that has chased us all back into our houses, where we send up prayers of great thanks for Willis Haviland Carrier, the genius who invented the air-conditioner.  When the morning air slams into our faces like a wet velvet curtain, whatever buoyancy we might normally possess evaporates like ice on the sidewalk.  As this is happening so close to the solstice, one can only suppose that the new season is eager to announce its arrival by pulling out the most convincing weapons in its grand arsenal.  We get the message.  Summer is here.

Air-conditioning was a luxury few of us had when I was growing up, even though I did that growing up right here, in this same city. How well I remember jockeying for a desk close to the big fan that sat churning away in each of the classrooms at school.  It wasn’t all that long ago, but can you even imagine a school without air-conditioning today?  It would no doubt be considered child abuse worthy of protests, petitions and lawsuits.  Were we that much hardier when we were young, or is it, in fact, that much hotter?

 I love to cook, but when weather such as this is slinking and slithering all round the house, it’s the last thing on my mind.  I barely want to eat - and when I do, my diet of choice usually revolves around salad and fresh fruit.  Some fish.  Lots of San Pellegrino with lime.   
As any of my close friends will tell you, one of my favourite foods is salmon.  I adore it prepared all kinds of ways, and I swear it is great for the skin.  There used to be a wonderful showroom here in the city where I purchased quite a bit of furniture for my design clients. One of my favourite salesmen there once gave me a recipe for the tastiest, and easiest, salmon marinades I have ever tried. ( I think he wrote it down for me one scorching summer afternoon after I had collapsed like a rag doll in his office, whinging away about what to cook for dinner.)
I still have the original copy, in his whirly handwriting, and it bears all the splash marks and food stains of a well-loved and often used recipe.  Indeed, it is a staple at my house in summertime and I thought I would share it with you.  Serve this salmon, baked,  atop a raw spinach salad with a little bit of goat cheese, some sliced strawberries and a teensy bit of fresh vinaigrette and you’ll be in summertime heaven!

Tom’s Salmon Marinade

1/3 Cup Fresh Orange Juice
1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Italian Parsley
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1/2 Teaspoon dry Basil

Mix together, pour over salmon
 and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours. 


Also, Giveaway Winner!!

Also.... I am thrilled to announce that the winner of the birthday giveaway is....
Thanks to all of you for entering, and for your many sweet and encouraging blog birthday wishes.  With so many entries, I cheated and used the random number generator thingy, rather than place all those names in a hat! 
 I wish everyone of you could have won, but we'll do another fun giveaway soon!!

Photo above by Annie Leibovitz


  1. I have been wondering, too, if it's hotter or I'm just more sensitive, but I think it really is hotter. Growing up in New England, summers were pretty mild, with maybe a week or two of blistering heat in August, but these days, we have long stretches of 90+ weeks, and many people, including me, have air conditioners in their homes. I feel a little wimpy, since I lived in both Virginia and Indiana without AC for years. I'll admit, though, that I'm more productive with the old AC on!

    That salmon recipe looks great! I always love using citrus, soy, and garlic with salmon--it's just perfect. Like you, Pamela, I adore salmon. I think it's my favorite fish. Hmmmm . . . think I'll have to grill some this weekend! Hope it cools off soon for you! xo Gigi

  2. Thank you for this recipe Pamela...I too cook salmon a lot, especially in summer, so a new idea is always welcome, xv.

  3. I don't think I could manage in heat like that. It is warm and muggy here and when I look around I seem to be the only one who is red faced and sweltering. But when winter comes everyone is freezing and I am boyant with energy. Thus nature balances itself.

    I am going to try that marinade. Perhaps tomorrow.

    Congratulations Kathleen on your book win!

  4. Well done Kathleen.... a lovely giveaway to win.
    Regarding air conditioning, hardly anyone has it here in the UK. Most people are under the wrong impression that it always rains here but, it doesn't. It's in the 80's at the moment, although we don't get the humidity.
    Thanks for the lovely recipe. Fish is a favourite in our family and we have salmon at least once a week. It's nice to find another way to serve it.
    Try to keep cool, Pamela. XXXX

  5. Hi Pamela,

    This salmon recipe sounds delicious and thanks for sharing.
    Congratulations to Kathleen.

    Enjoy your summer weekend and I hope you manage to stay cool.


  6. We so relate to todays post.After the coldest summer in 200 years the temperatures have started to climb - sharply. Nature has a funny way of surprising us, so after the two week chill a heat wave now seems to be on the cards. The rickety old farmhouse doesn't have the luxury of a/c but it was designed so that the old cattle stalls downstairs are always beautifully dry and cool. Wilf spends most of his day there curled up chomping away at his new squeaky squirrel ( thank you again - he adores it and the squeaker has somehow survived the attention of his jaws). No toy has ever lasted this long and still squeaked! The only place I ever suffered from heat exhaustion was in Atlanta at the end of the Emory summer semester - it has to be the most humid place on earth.

  7. Dear Pamela, Everywhere one hears reports of strange and unseasonable weather. Too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry. In Hungary this June there has been exceptional rain resulting in massive flooding - the same in Poland - with many people having to leave their houses.

    Your salmon marinade sounds delicious and is something I shall try as salmon is one of my favourite foods.

  8. England has yet to discover air conditioning! We have 30' forecast for this weekend, and that's way beyond my comfort zone...Only consolation is, our weather is usually changeable in the extreme, and seldom stays the same for long stretches...

  9. I like the sound of that salmon marinade, great idea!

    Very few of us have air conditioning here in our homes although this weekened is predicted to be a hot one. I have no air conditioning in my little car either but only use it for short journeys.

  10. I just wilt in humid weather! Our air conditioning makes all the difference to me. I can work, cook- whatever I need to do! We eat a lot of slamon as well and I think I'll try your recipe this weekend! When the weather is like this-it's best to give into it and just read-don't you agree? Congratulations to Kathleen-lucky lady and sweet too!

  11. Hello P&E,

    Having lived in the Middle East I know what a blessing a/c can be! I think, however, that we are definitely less hardy than we used to be, even if the climate is changing. It is usually the cold that we complain about in UK but during my childhood no homes had central heating and I remember waking up to ice crystals on the inside of bedroom windows and anywhere outside of the living room was like a refrigerator! These wonderful inventions have softened us up! Well done Kathleen!

  12. Made a cold cucumber soup last nite, perfection, and decided it needed salmon on the side!!

    Thanks for knowing.

    Been having lots of different cold soups for dinner. Ugh, the heat/humidity this summer.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  13. I am SO ready for woolly socks weather.

  14. I don't mind the heat as much as the humidity, which seems to prevail here in the Chicago area. It is the humidity that drives me indoors to the comfort of air conditioning, which we did not have growing up.

    We have had more rain than usual here; thunderstorms, tornado warnings, hurricane gusts of wind, which besiege us every other day. The gardens are lush and for many, the electrical power is out for days on end.
    It seems everyone has extreme weather this summer.

    Ah, but wait . . . salmon in on the menu tonight and I think I will try your marinade. Sounds delicious.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. (Sorry, my syntax didn't make sense, so rewriting a bit . . .)

    It does indeed sound delicious. I love salmon too. I learned from Dr. Perricone (the author of The Wrinkle Cure) that when he meets with a client who wants to go to a class reunion looking younger than her years, he recommends weeks of cantaloupe and salmon. These refurbish the skin from the inside out, like an inside-out facelift. For a while I ordered flash frozen salmon from Alaska (Great Alaska Seafood company), that was wild caught and not too expensive, delivered straight to my door within 24 hours of being frozen. I broiled a filet and ate it for a week, a few ounces each morning for breakfast with berries. Over a matter of weeks I saw the bags under my eyes fill and smooth out. I kid you not.

  17. Love Salmon Pamela and this recipe looks delicious!
    It is going right into my files. Congratulations to Kathleen...a great giveaway!!


  18. The temperature is creeping upwards for us this weekend in the UK. We have air conditioning in our car but not our house so I'm finding cool areas of the garden in which to sit and read - thanks for sharing your recipe and congratulations to Kathleen on winning your super giveaway:)

  19. I shall try that marinade Pamela - I love salmon too and the best I have ever had was in Vancouver - Pacific salmon - exquisite.
    It is hot and humid here too and it does seem to take all the energy out of me.

  20. Pamela,
    I know exactly how you feel. We are wilting from the heat. During the hottest part of the day, we hide behind curtains in the darkest part of the house, turn on the fans because the air conditioner is overworking in this old house, and wear as little, light weight clothing as possible and still remain presentable. I used to play outside in this heat as a child, and I don't know how I did it. Perhaps as youngsters, we're not as affected by the heat as we are as we get older. Our cats hide in the shade of the back porch -- stretched out under tables and chairs, barely moving at all except the slow twitch of the ends of their tails. If it were not for that small movement, you wouldn't believe they were alive. The dogs go out for a few moments, but even they cut their normal frolicking down to a minimum during the hottest parts of the afternoons.

    Thanks so much for posting the wonderful recipe. We love salmon and will have to try this soon!

    Hope you enjoy your weekend.

  21. Right on, I welcome such days, since my current diet is raw food based and such hot and humid days let me usually forget any cooking!!! Light fair is all I want and that's just perfect!
    Your salmon marinade sounds delish! Will try it out!
    We do not have central air downstairs, so we make do with fans and lots of siestas!

    Have a a lovely weekend!


  22. Pamela, your salmon marinade sounds delicious.
    Last summer was one of the hottest on record here, hope you are spared many consecutive days over 100F such as we had to endure.

  23. Congratulations to Kathleen!
    I'm with Derek I too remember ice-crystals on the inside of the windows in our house when I was little. Coincidentally like Derek, I've also lived in the Middle East for a while, and it was 95% humidity, thank goodness for A/c's!! Having said all that I could surely do with one in England right now..we're having a heatwave! Yippee!! Make's a change from all that rain we get up North.

  24. Congratulations to Kathleen!

    It has been very hot & humid here in Kansas City as well....lighter fare is very nice.

    Art by Karena

  25. I agree with Derrick I’m afraid...I think we all got used to the luxuries of AC and central heating. I too woke up to ice on the windows when I lived in England and all we had in my childhood home in Wisconsin was a tiny little fan. I can’t bear extreme temperatures of any kind now....

  26. I hope you don't mind, but I will make salmon for dinner and will use your recipe. I copied it and titled it Pamela's Salmon Marinade, since I don't know Tom. Wishing you some cool breezes. You know, my family in Rome thinks Americans are spoiled with air conditioning everywhere.

  27. Life would be absolutely unbearable without air conditioning - surely this magical thing is one of the world's greatest inventions! Stay cool. Leigh

  28. it's too hot to eat here, too. the heat is kinda okay but, the humidity and heat index??? miserable! hang in there...


  29. mmm.... salmons my fav food too..i will have to try Toms recipe soon..xx try to keep cool!!

  30. Oh.... I'm sooo with you on heat and eating, I pretty much take a handful of salad greens and a bit of fetta, maybe a grated carrot and throw them on a plate with oil when its hot and humid....

    And, you'll be surprised to learn that one of the best art schools in the country doesn't have AC for the summer programs. One studio building might have it, the other not... I taught there for many years and, since it was the painting department, we never had AC. (Graphic Design and Architecutre- anything with computer labs- had AC) Mid-July in Rhode Island can get pretty hot and humid. Add the 5th floor of an industrial building and you start with 95 degrees on the bottom floor and end up with close to 100 on the 5th. It was unbearable! Somehow we survived. But the summer students from the South were always stunned and incredulous and said we were living in the dark ages! It was quite a challenge. And I absolutely loved teaching that class, or wouldn't have put up with that for 10 years!

  31. You are so right, it's (finally) hot in London and when it gets hot here it gets rather sticky and humid. Just like you, all I feel like eating is fruit, salads and easy to prepare snacks. Salmon, grilled chicken and Tuna are all great too plus I seem to drink a huge amount of sweet and strong peppermint tea, very refreshing and it reminds me of Morocco. Have a lovely Sunday. Love from London x

  32. Boy can I relate. Except I still seem to eat. I love salmon on bagels. Of course!

  33. Merci for the salmon recipe and have you tried Sanpellegrino's limonata - a bubbly tart lemon soda with bits of zest floating around it. Perfect poured into a tall glass filled with ice. It was our drink of choice while hangin' out on MLou's beautiful porch last weekend.

    I currently have Dominique Browning's gardening book Paths of Desire on loan from my library.

    xo Missy D, Susan & les Gang

  34. Same is true here. I spent the better part of the day yesterday working on fence fixing. Our high water and rains this spring brought an almost river thru the lower half of the pastures near a natural creek. Too much fence to fix and the heat raged on!
    Love the pic!
    Good Sunday,

  35. Oh my goodness, Pamela!!! I'm beside myself!!! I've never won a giveaway in the blogsphere. And from you? And this lovely book? I feel like a mighty lucky chica!!

    Truly, from the bottom of my heart, I adore your blog. The rich text, your delightful sense of wonder, and all the scrumptious texture of color and illustration. And then there's you. And your heart. And willingness to share what gives you joy. You are a wondrous gift to those of us who are lucky enough to have found you.

    I hope you continue to share for a long, long time.

    Thank you!

    Your pal, Kathleen

  36. Yes, the thought of cooking when it's hot is the worst! But, your receipe for salmon...just might have to suffer through it!

  37. Yes, this blistering heat is awful, we hit 105 on Thur. BUT I'm leaving to cooler northern regions, New England and on up into Canada for a little while.

    Love the sound of this marinade, and salmon is my favorite (no meat for me but do enjoy fish now and then), I will definitely try it when I get back.

  38. Hi, hope its OK to contact you here. would love to include your blog on our giveaway blog network: Giveaway Scout ( Have a look and if interested drop us a line on our contact form ( thanks, Josh

  39. HI Pamela
    Well I have to admit I am a victim to the aircon in the aussie summer.. only started using it a few years back but we really need it here.. ... I just love Annie Leibovitz... and love the fact that you do not shy away from colour.. fabulous!

    Congratulations to Kathleen.. xxx Julie

  40. Thank you for the salmon recipe. We eat a lot of salmon, usually from the Shetland Isles, sometimes from the west coast of Norway.

    Schools with air conditioning are unheard of here, I think. Opening the window is the usual solution.

  41. The salmon marinade sounds delicious but how glad I am that I don't live in the American South with all that humidity!

  42. Hmmm, I will definitely have to try that delicious sounding recipe.
    Well done Kathleen!

  43. Living in New England all my life, it is only the past 10 years that I have had an air conditioner...still not sure if it is me not able to deal with the heat anymore or if the heat is worse...a little bit of both I bet...

    Love that recipe!

  44. This recipe looks divine. It's been much the same here too. Eating is low on the priority list. Not only do I love that this recipe is easy, it looks like a crowd pleaser. Thank you Pamela and congrat's to Kathleen. Such a incredible book.


I love to read your comments! Each and every one! Though I'm always reading your comments, I may not respond in the comment section. If you want to write me directly, you may do so at Thank you for reading!