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July 15, 2012
Bernice Volkens , Reinbeck Courier

Another 4th of July in Reinbeck is over, and I have to admit we didn't take in as much as we usually do, the heat was just too much. Summer seems to be too much. I don't know if it was the heat or not, but I had the summer flu this last weekend and I'm still fighting the dizziness and blah feeling. I even had to miss my class reunion, something I always go to, but I was going no where. These hot days have been pretty bad for a lot of us. It's just too darn hot and for some reason I've been miserable, sweaty and cranky most of the time. I know the dog days of summer are really here.

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, summer is sizzling at it's most intense right now. However, today a front went through and I would call it just a nice summer day, but it still is dog days. The term dog days comes from the ancient Romans, who called these hot and humid days, days of the dogs after the star Sirius, or greater dog. Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. In fact it is so bright that it once was thought it produced heat in the summer, but not true, but Sirius rises and sets with the sun, beginning in July. So therefore - Dog Days. The heat comes by our proximity to the sun. Earth is actually furthest away from the sun in the summer. We have our hot weather in July because of the tilt of its axis in relation to the sun, we are blasted by a direct hit of fiery heat. The entire planet is heating up right now, literally. Is it really global warming. On that I'm no expert, but I do know it can get pretty darn hot.

So far it has been a hot summer, but most of us in the midwest are more concerned about the lack of rain. About 50 percent of the corn producing area in the midwest is running short in rainfall. The problem is that the plants are entering their pollination phase; the time when the corn silks are pollinated and begin to grow healthy kernels. Without water the corn doesn't fill out completely and you can lose several bushels an acre per day. The hot weather we can take, but the lack of rain is very critical.

If your house has been like mine, very little cooking, or baking is going on. Something we especially like are salads and cool drinks. Linda Rickert gave me a delicious pasta salad. However, when I received her recipes our daughter was sorting out her recipes and filing those she wanted to take with her to their move to Germany. I found out a few days ago that recipe is now at her home in Germany. However, I will get it again and print it next week.

This slush recipe is cool and refreshing and kids love it.


1 cup water

1/2 cup sweetened Kool-

Aid drink mix

3 cups ice

1. Place 1 cup water, 1/2 cup of your favorite flavor of kool-aid and 1 cup ice cubes in a blender-cover

2. Blend on high speed until smooth. Add additional 2 cups ice cubes- cover and blend until smooth.

3. Serve immediately. Store left-overs in the freezer

4. Makes 7 (1/2 cup" servings




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