They called for 90 degrees here in my little corner of the Mid-Atlantic yesterday. Nine-Zero. That’s 32 for my Canadian friends, and well, pretty much everybody else in the world… It’s not an unheard of temperature for our region, but for April, it’s a little, shall we say, prematurely extreme. What’s a person to do with all this crazy flip-flopping of temperatures? I covered one half of my garden three days ago to prevent it from freezing overnight and another half yesterday afternoon to protect tender seedlings and cool weather plants from excessive heat. To deal with yesterday’s temps, I also used my greywater recycling system (I use the word “system” with quite a smirk here) and at the end of the day, we all cooled off with a delicious (and healthy, oh my!) treat that I’d love to share.
So first, the water. I figured I’d give all the veggie children a little extra water so they could bear up under the extra heat of the afternoon. When I saw the forecast, I decided NOT to let the tub drain after my twins took a bath the other day. I’ll start at the beginning. We have a HUGE tub. It is stupid big, and frankly I have little use for it, not being a bath kind of gal (I am far to antsy to simply sit in the water), but my children LOVE it. So, I occasionally let them take a “submarine” bath. This is, admittedly, as much of a treat for me as it is for them as a submarine bath can keep them happily occupied for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. In fact they’ve never announced that they are done and have always been removed at the behest of an adult. At any rate, I digress. They love the bath, but I am uncomfortable with the amount of water that it uses. And so, we use natural soap and when they are done, we do not drain the tub. I use a watering can and a bucket to remove the water from the tub and take it to my rain barrel. Yes, this is a pain in the patootie and yes, I’m thinking about a more efficient way. Regardless of the technicalities, the point is I put a WHOLE lot of water in my rain barrel (which looks to stay empty for a while judging by the forecast) and also gave some extra water to my most recent and tender plantings. As a bonus, I eased my sense of waste related to the ridiculously large tub used essentially for swimming. Giant tub greywater recycling system successful. Check. To complete my heat wave in the Spring garden accommodations, I placed row covers gently over some of those same tender seedlings and moved bits of cardboard around to provide shade in the hottest part of the day and kept my fingers crossed. The kids played outside as long as they could stand the gnats and the pollen and we retreated indoors dirty, but satisfied with our efforts.
The reward came later (which I’m finding 5 year olds are far more able to handle than say, 4 or 3 year olds, by the way) and it was WAY good. Inspired by my pal Somer at Good Clean Food…..
ChocoNana Milkshake Goodness
- 2 cups whatever milky beverage floats your boat (I used a combo of coconut and almond)
- 2 Tbs chia seeds
- 2 frozen bananas, cut into pieces
- 1 Tbs raw cacao (I’m sure cocoa powder would also rock)
- 1 Tbs maple syrup
Put milk in blender with chia seeds to soak while peeling and cutting bananas. Add all remaining ingredients to blender and go to it! Makes 3 generous or 4 modest servings. It IS filling, so if you are inclined as I am to overserve yourself with this kind of thing, I advise you drink slowly. I was a little… urp… full…. but happy.