Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Cattail Bread

It's hot. Too hot to think or be creative or venture down to the pond for a look around. It's a hundred degrees day after day after day. We stay indoors with the shades drawn, the air conditioner on, and the ceiling fans whirling overhead. Retirement has its perks. We don't have to go out. We don't have to do anything until this heat wave nightmare is over. We feel lucky that we have the freedom to hide.
I did go to the pond for this photo. It was 99 degrees.
Our neighbors M & C arrived for their vacation time at the family cabin up the hill from us. They're here for the week. The cabin has no air-conditioning. It's VERY HOT inside. We've offered them some respite from the heat; they have joined us for dinner; they have come by just to cool off.

This photo was borrowed without permission from the internet.
When M came by on Monday, he brought a plastic baggy of cattail pollen that he had collected. It's a beautiful rich yellow pollen that people have used as flour for baking. He had been fantasizing about collecting pollen and baking something with it for years. So, despite the crazy heat, he decided to do it. We looked up cattail pollen recipes and found that most people use about 1/3 cup of pollen added to a cup of flour. He wanted to be a purist and use just pollen, but that didn't seem right. After he looked at a few recipes and had cooled off sufficiently to head back up the hill, he left saying he was definitely going to bake something.

M came by on Tuesday with this beautiful little cattail pollen bread. He had used the pollen, plus flour, baking powder, olive oil, eggs and cranberries. He had taken the little toaster oven out on the deck and baked the bread outside. Smart idea. Much too hot to turn an oven on indoors. We were impressed with this bread. It's sweet with an interesting, earthy taste. Beautiful color and wonderful consistency. Such a cool thing on a hot hot day.

M said that he and C were going to take a drive up to the high country to a lake to go fishing. We said "Have a good time. We're going to hide here until the heat wave passes. Stop by after if you need to cool off." We walked him to the door, waved good bye, and then went into the dark room to wait for saner temperatures.

13 comments:

  1. Yummy! We got to 86° last week and thought we were going to die!galzin

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  2. I can't imagine their place with no air conditioning. That's life-threatening heat. Ugh. How lovely they can come down the hill to you for relief.

    It's awful, isn't it? I escaped to the movie theater today -- so cold inside I longed for a shawl. The heat outside felt good afterwards - for about a minute.

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  3. Welcome to the Midwest -- almost. That cattail bread sounds wonderful.

    My son in Portland says the heat is terrible there too and that most people don't have air conditioning.

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  4. Goodness, that is Arkansas heat and we are getting west coast cool. We are having perfect weather-- high 50 nights, low 80 days with low humidity. Weird when I look either East or West. I do feel for you. It makes you as much a house prisoner as a brutal winter.
    Good thing your neighbors have you as a place for relief.

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  5. Wow, that's hot. And it's hard to imagine trying to stay in a cabin with no AC in that kind of heat. It really could be life-threatening. Does it cool off at night? You are lucky you are retired and don't have to go out in it. I'm in the process of retiring, so I hope before long I can say the same thing.

    Back here in Georgia it has been a pretty mild late June and early July. The local TV weatherman showed our average highs for the first week of last July. It was 100. With high humidity. This summer the average has been about 13 degrees cooler. We're now supposed to get a good bit of rain over the next few days.

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  6. It's been really hot in my part of Oregon too and worse it's quite humid. The latter is something we started getting a year or two ago and makes it a lot more miserable even when not quite as high of temperature. We bought room a/c unit a few years back and they might think about that for their cabin. They have a tube that goes out through a window to discharge the heat. For a small space, they do a good job as we used to rely on one in Arizona also whenever we'd be there in June. That one wasn't as handy for how to discharge the heat. This one we have to dump a little drawer as it fills up with water and in the humidity right now, that's every couple of hours which means it's only useful for someone who is around. Otherwise it helps a lot on both humidity and heat. Here we have it in the living room as by night the outside air begins to cool enough that a room fan is enough. In Tucson, where night never got that cool, we'd stick it in a bedroom window.

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  7. Never heard of pollen used in bread! I'm going to do a little research. Hope your weather moderates.

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  8. outside baking is a great idea!

    sorry you are stuck in the heat. fortunately, the evening cool + fog came back -- so yesterday was tolerable.

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  9. Beautiful bread! I really hope your heat wave abates (I know, you do, too.) While I'm not retired, I have the luxury of working in an air conditioned office; the heat (and our humidity) are just stultifying and enervating.

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  10. We haven't had that kind of heat here lately, but I remember a year when it got to 105* every day for 2 weeks. It was when our pool deck was being built - so I remember it very well. I felt sorry for the men who worked on it, and we let them jump into the pool at the end of the work day.

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  11. It is so hot that even a lightbulb is too much. It was 107 inland!

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  12. And I was feeling sorry for myself with our mid-90s, high humidity and heat index at 100 degrees. Yikes!
    I don't have air conditioning in my house, but I do have a nice collection of fans, which are getting a good workout!

    I *love* the idea of pollen bread! Wow! Do you think that someone with allergies to pollen would have an allergic reaction eating it? That's not a problem I have, but if I ever have a chance to make some, I wouldn't want to harm a friend.

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  13. Wow - I am surprised you are having such heat up there, too. It has been a cesspool of unhealthy feeling air in the NorthEast as well. I had never heard of pollen in bread - I wonder if this would be bad for those with pollen allergies (myself)? Not sure how allergenic cattail pollen is, but think I should probably avoid sampling, although the idea of it is delicious!

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