The question I’ve been asked the most this week, amid record high temperatures, is “What can I cook for supper that won’t heat up the kitchen?”. So I whipped up one of my favorite pasta salads to post for ya real quick. This one is filled with smoked ham (the smoked part is important), tomatoes, cucumbers, English peas (I guess that means they talk with a British accent), cheese, and bow tie pasta. It’s all tied together with a creamy dressing.
I’ll show you how I made this in a minute and you’ll have plenty of time to whip it up for supper tonight, but first I wanted to go back to the subject of this heat wave.
I know it’s hot. I’ve been outside pretty frequently, walking on the crunchy brown grass and watching the temperatures climb indoors as the air conditioner loses the battle to keep up. Yes, it’s hot.
Still, I can’t help but be grateful in the middle of this heat. In fact, the heat reminds me to be grateful for a great many things. I thought I’d talk about a few of them today in hopes that you’ll help me expand the list by joining the conversation in the comments section below. Remember, there is always something to be grateful for!
My top things to be grateful for in this heat:
Air conditioning – In many parts of the country this is still not a common thing to have. In Alabama, you better believe it is! If you think it’s hot now, try living here fifty years ago when we didn’t have air conditioning. Our ancestors are up in heaven now just a rolling their eyes.
Water – over 884 MILLION people do not have access to clean water. Eight Hundred Eighty Four MILLION. That is nearly three times the entire population of the United States! We can walk to our kitchen sink. Seriously. That in and of itself is a luxury to a great number of the world’s population. We have that, and ice cubes to top it off. Talk about embarrassment of riches.
A home – No matter how big or small your home is, you are blessed to have a home. As you read this there are families literally wandering in a desert, who would give all they had for a shelter the size of your bathroom. Perspective is everything.
Luxuries – Television, internet, computer, etc. If you’re reading this, you most likely have all three. Based on that I can go out on a limb and assume you have food on the table (most people wouldn’t forego food in order to pay for internet access). These make you among some of the wealthiest people in the world. Feeling rich yet? Well if you’re reading this, billions of people consider you to be. How do these luxuries relate to the heat? Distractions and things to do indoors. Plus, it also means you’re not out picking cotton. Back in the day, THOSE people knew about heat, just ask my Grandmother.
These are just the basics but they are a great start to finding gratitude in the heat. I’d love for you to add to my list of things the heat reminds you to be grateful for in the comments section.
Also, if you are looking for more recipes that don’t require your oven, stay tuned to your inboxes later today because I’ll be sending out my latest newsletter filled with recipes and ideas for meals that won’t heat up your house. I send it out every week and all you have to do to receive it is subscribe by email by clicking here. No one will ever see your email address but me and I generally send 2-4 emails per week. If you don’t sign up in time to get today’s newsletter, you’ll get next weeks, which is almost just as good 🙂 Just click it and sign up real quick and I’ll try to put off sending it until late afternoon or early evening. If you’d like to see an example of a newsletter, click here to view one in pdf. Please note that the links are not clickable in the example but will be in your email 🙂
Let’s make supper. Or lunch..or mid day snack…
You’ll need: Bowtie pasta, shredded cheddar, grape tomatoes, frozen peas, bell pepper, cucumber, ranch dressing, green onions and some smoked ham*.
These are just my ingredients. Feel free to alter the recipe to use up what you have on hand or to suit your personal tastes. If it doesn’t suit your family’s tastes, don’t fret because they’re not the ones making this ~grins~. It’s good to be the cook!
*Whenever I need smoked ham for a quick recipe, I just go to the deli counter and ask for a single slice that is about 1/2 inch thick. That is the perfect size for dicing up and using in recipes. The smoked ham adds a wonderful flavor to this meal.
Note: you don’t need to cook the peas, just let them thaw a bit while you prepare this and they’ll be fine.
Dice up your ham in nice bite sized pieces or smaller.
I just cut it until I’m tired of cutting it and then declare that how it is cut is how it is supposed to be.
It’s good to be
After your pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander and run cold water over it while you stir it to stop the cooking process and cool it down so you don’t have to wait as long to eat your salad 🙂 Gotta keep our priorities straight here.
Combine everything in a big ol’ bowl.
This is a rare yellow Amish Butterprint Cinderella Bowl by Pyrex. If you’ll notice, each handle is a different size. They are designed to be spouts to allow for easier pouring from the bowl. One is larger and one smaller. A lot of the Pyrex patterns were offered in regular bowls and Cinderella bowls. Cinderella means it has the spouts on it 🙂
Add in your dressing.
Stir it up really good. Cover and refrigerate until chilled and ready to serve.
If you’re hungry, eat some now and I won’t tell.
(and be grateful)
- 1 pound box bowtie pasta
- 1-2 cups smoked ham, diced
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed slightly
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
- ½ bell pepper, diced
- 1-2 cups grape tomatoes
- 1 Cup Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in colander and pour running cold water over pasta, while stirring, until completely cooled. Allow to drain fully before pouring in large bowl.
- Add all other ingredients and stir until well combined.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Keeps well for three days in refrigerator.
In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.
Brother David Steindl-Rast