A New Orleans Summer Recipe

You will need:

-1 bathroom, with a bathtub. Preferably one without windows or ventilation, or, in a pinch, one with a window that never opens.
-1 large wool blanket. Army issue perhaps. The heavier and scratchier, the better.
-1 large bath towel.
-A bucket.


1. Go into the bathroom. Close the door.
2. Take large bath towel and seal off gap below the bathroom door.
3. If bathroom has a window, make sure it is sealed tight.
4. Turn on the hot water tap. HOT water tap only. Disregard impulse to touch the cold water tap, as it will only yield luke-cool water anyway.
5. Once you see the water steaming furiously, plug up the bathtub.
6. Let the steaming hot water fill up the tub. Do not let it overflow, as it will take forever for the floor to dry.
7. Once the tub is full, turn off the tap.
8. Submerge the heavy scratchy Army-issue blanket in the hot water. Make sure it is completely covered.
9. Let the blanket soak. While it is soaking, ignore the impulse to flee the room.
10. Once you are certain the blanket is scratchy and heavy with boiling hot water, remove it from the tub. Do not squeeze out extraneous water.
11. Wrap soaky itchy wet hot blanket around your entire body. Make sure it is sticking to your legs and wrapped around the entirety of your being, head inlcuded.
12. You are now ready for your day – take soaky itchy wet hot self outside. The sun adds an added effect.
13. Carry bucket to catch the sweat.


And that, my friends, is what it feels like down here right now.

This morning, at about 6:35 a.m., I stepped out onto my porch and my phone fogged up. I already had my contacts in, or my glasses would have been foggy too.

I think to myself, “People pay MONEY to go sit in steam rooms at spas around the world. I get it for free!”

It helps a little.

Couple of ways to beat the heat:

SNOBALLS! Cool down from the inside out. It’s funny – I remember my cousins in Mississippi taking me to get these things when I was a kid. They are vastly different from “Snow Cones,” but I’m hard-pressed to find the words right now explaining just HOW they are different. They just are. Come down and sweat some and get one.


Or, my favorite, which is what Infamaus suggested not too long ago (and I quote): “I figgered it out! Ya find a really, really dark and cool bar that has 4 or 5 trucks of ice cold beer. Get four of those comfortable chairs from Charlie Browns and slip ’em in there. Get yerselves in there and don’t come out until November. Oh yeah, buncha bushels of boiled shrimp couldn’t hoit!”

It’s true. Nothing helps the heat for me like a dark corner of some bar somewhere in the AC or at least just under a ceiling fan while it’s hot out and hopefully raining and your beer bottle or your glass of wine or Pimms or whatever your poison of choice sweats and sweats and you swelter and watch the glass trickle in its own heat-stricken malaise while it cures you of your own.


(That’s me and Infamaus on Father’s Day!)

I was chatting at the streetcar stop this morning with an old chap who used to live here but lives in Austin now. After joking about how bad seafood is Everywhere Else But Here, I mentioned how downright Steamy it was out. “Well, just reminds you you’re in New Orleans. Man I wish I still lived here,” he said. Yeah u rite.

Summertime in New Orleans. Something to adapt to. It’s heavy and oppressive sometimes and sticky and itchy and it makes me kind of bloaty and tired every once in a while. And do NOT get me started on the complexion issues I’m dealing with right now! But as the days pass, I find myself strutting around in it like a comfortable half-naked sweaty peacock and it’s all good. And let’s face it, sometimes it’s just downright SULTRY. Languid, and sultry. You can’t beat that.

Happy summer, y’all.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. bayoucreole says:

    I remember 23 years ago,I picked my (ex) husband up from the airport. He’s from Philly and swore up and down he was used to hot and humid weather. As soon as he saw me the first thing he said was,
    “how the hell is it this hot and muggy 10:30 at night”?! Lol

    1. Haha, it’s so true! The huge heat at night is fascinating. And the muggy is ramping up, I’ve noticed. J and I were with some friends in the Quarter last weekend around 10:30 at night, and it felt like walking through a hot mist. Wild!

  2. Oh ya, have tried your recipe already!  My sunglasses fogged over the other day too, thought I had a case of instant cataracts!  And don’t forget the jungle atmosphere, especially over here on the North Shore.  Lush, thick foliage, bushes, trees, vines, until one almost feels like choking.  But, all the gorgeous blooms on everything, like each one is trying to outdo the others for color and beauty….each day is an adventure in trying to adapt!


    1. Yeah! The fogging glasses crack me up. The fogging phone just blew my mind. Every day is an adventure, I swear. I bet you feel like all that “Foilage” is going to creep in your door and get ya! Don’t notice that so much down here in the city-scape except that our vines and things in front of the house are kind of fascinating to watch get bigger overnight!

  3. infamaus says:

    I was laughing about Summer with my Doctor yesterday, who was describing a friend’s experiences after moving here from Boston, wherein she almost passes out when she goes out to the mailbox. Bit extreme. It’s hot, and it’s damp, but if I stay out there awhile I tend to forget about it, just move a bit slower. By next year I probably won’t even notice it.

    1. Ha! Yeah, I can handle a trip to the mailbox. That IS a little extreme! I go back and forth with how it hits me – I think walking and streetcarring in the morning and then doing it again in the afternoons is what gets me, especially in the CBD where the heat radiates off all the concrete. One Shell Square is the worst because of all that white marble! This whole past week I was soaking wet by the time I got to work at 8. Crazy stuff. It’s all good though, wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  4. Phil Brown says:

    My stream of consciousness upon clicking link:
    “Oooh, heat recipe! Maybe Sooz has discovered some super-secret NoLa method for dealing with the summer heat.”
    “Hmm, that’s a weird list of incredients for cooling down, but okay.”
    “Sealing the bathroom? Is Sooz’s ghost trying to tell us how she killed herself.”
    “Exactly how is running the hot water supposed to help somebody cool off. It’s gonna be steamy and hot as hell in there. Maybe it convinces people to kill themselves and thereby they are no longer hot.”
    “Ack! Why would you ruin a wool blanket that way??!!!”
    “Heyyyyyyy, this isn’t about beating the heat and feeling cooler at all.”
    “Oh gods, it’s a sadistic torture mechanism designed by the CIA to get captive Muslims to spill their secrets at Gitmo.”

    1. BWAHAHAHAHA!!! I know, I HAD to use a fake-out title. Couldn’t resist. ;D Sure you don’t wanna come down in August for your chess con? Huh, HUH? ;D

      1. Phil Brown says:

        Gods, After a three hour game here my shirt is soaked. Down there I’d have to bring a change of clothes for between rounds. Still I want to make it one of these years. It is Paul Morphy after all. And, maybe stinking my opponents out is an effective strategy.

        1. There is that! Insta-WIN!

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