Man oh man. Austin is hot.
People up in Seattle liked to remind me that it was hot down here. “It gets to be 100 degrees Chelsea! Can you handle it?!?!”
It may seem obvious that Texas is hot. These warnings came from my people. These are the people who know me. They know me well. They are privy to the fact that every time summer rolls around (Pacific Northwest summers to boot), I break out in a heat rash. Or I get a sunburn. Or I get heat stroke. Basically, I was made for temperate weather.
So all those who know and love me were concerned for my well-being with my somewhat irrational plan to up and move to Austin. I think they all thought I would just melt. Instantly. I would step out of my car in Austin and become a puddle on the ground.
I didn’t. I thought about it for a second, and then rallied like a champion.
Here is what you do to beat the heat in Texas:
– You drink your body weight in water. If I leave the house with out a water bottle I get a little bit panicky. Like how you feel when you leave behind your keys or your wallet. I may or may not carry around a jug of water that holds the amount of water you are supposed to drink in a day. I drink about three of them. HYDRATE!
– You swim. A lot. There is this place called Barton Springs down here, a place I highly recommend. It is a spring fed pool. It is huge. It is refreshing. It is like a little bit of heaven for these hades like days. We also spent a whole day floating down the river in inner tubes. Now if that isn’t summer, what is?
– You stay inside. This is a weird concept to me. You know you are a true Seattle-ite when you see a sunny day and your mind INSTANTLY jumps to all the ways you can avoid being inside for the day. The difference is that in Texas it is sunny. A lot. So if you were to spend every day outside that was sunny, you would be spending 9 months of your life outside. Which sounds like a great plan, except 2-3 of those 9 months are days where the temperature creeps over 100 degrees and just meandering down the street leaves you drenched. So you stay inside. And write a blog. Or something.
– If you have a dog, you walk them EARLY in the morning and LATE at night. And they are still hot. And if you have a dog that is a HUGE goober and can’t seem to do anything normally, you will get irritated with the panting that sounds like a fighter jet. To combat said panting, you can soak a bandana in water, pop it in the freezer for a bit and then tie it around their neck. Not only do they look SUPER hip, but it cools down their body temperature. Win, win.
– You try to avoid making food that involves being around things that are warm. I have made a lot of salads (see below). Things that just involved chopping vegetables. Recipes that make giant batches so if the only energy you can muster is rolling off the couch and crawling to the fridge, you will have something to shove into your mouth, cutlery optional.
I have been here less than two weeks and this place is already starting to seep into my skin. I am coming down with a sort of routine. I am exploring and tasting and taking the city in. I am planting roots, one way or another, and making this hot, hot city a place of my own.
Wild Rice and Kale Salad
Adapted from Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook
1.5 cups wild rice
3 3/4 water
Pinch of sea salt
6 leaves of kale (your choice on which kind.)
red bell pepper
2.5 cups wild rice
1 bunch green onions
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 olive oil
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste.
Bring water, rice and salt to a boil in a 3 quart pot with the lid on. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 50-55 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for about 30 minutes until you mix in the veggies.
Chop the kale, green onions, bell pepper and grate in the carrots. Mix all the veggies in with the cooled rice.
Prepare the dressing by mixing the lemon juice, olive oil, cumin and salt and pepper. Whisk together. Stir into veggies and rice.
Top with avocado for some delicious fat… mm. Avocado.