Or: What the hell was I thinking when I thought I could live in a Eichler that has no easy way to install A/C?
No kidding. If you’re unfamiliar with Eichlers (you’ve seen ‘em on TV, trust me), you need to know that they were built without ductwork, without attic, or without a basement, so I have to forget central A/C. Forget a window unit. If you have a room with a regular window (most rooms have sliding “patio” doors), they slide side to side. Forget the swamp cooler or portable A/C. They don’t work with the patio door. They do work in the sliding window in Bug’s room with a bunch of jerry-rigged plywood, but she won’t let us in there anymore, so I don’t even bother to set it up anymore. We could do a couple of those cool “mini split” units, but they’re rather expensive, even if you have a brother who’s in the air conditioner business. And then there’s the “build the window unit through the wall” option that no one in this house will entertain. But I digress.
Luckily when we fixed the house up a few years back, we replaced the nasty old tar and gravel roof with a foam roof. And we have a big collection of fans. Big collection.
So, what do you do when the heat gets excruciating? Okay, I know some of you out there love the heat, but 5 days of 90+ temps give me a headache. What the heck? We don’t usually get this kind of weather until September. I know…NoCal is weird.
Basically we just have to cool the house off at night (which is tricky because I won’t sleep with the windows open), open them in the morning to pull in as much cool air as possible with the fans, (it goes down to the 60s at night here) then as soon as the outside gets cooler than the inside, close it all up and run the fans like crazy.
Yesterday I had a brightish idea and I’d like to share it with you. Likely you’ve heard of it; I had, too, but never did it until day 2 of burning in hell. It’s–drum roll, please–cucumber water! Lovely stuff. Reminds me slightly of the best margarita I ever had, a cucumber margarita, at a little place back home with my other brother in Geneva, Bien Trucha. (This is a wonderful place; here’s another blogger’s take with food pictures!)
Anyway, all you do is get your favorite pitcher and fill it most of the way with good water; then take one pickling cuke, like a kirby (these seem to have the best deepest flavor and are all over the produce aisles and farmstands right now), scrub the outside well, cut off the stem end, cut the rest into thin slices, and drop into the pitcher. Pop it into the fridge for a couple of hours. Then fill a tall glass with ice, fill with your lovely cucumber water, and sipsipsip away the heat. I refilled the pitcher with water midway through the day, and it was still good for the rest of the evening. This morning, the cucumbers were no longer floating, and the water was a little bitter. So, easy fix. Fresh batch.
Tonight, cold soup that I already made this morning.
Step 1: Fill pitcher with good water and wash cuke.
Step 2: Slice that cucumber!
Step 3: Put them the pitcher; cover and put it in the fridge