24    Jul 20160 comments

How Did Our Ancestors Beat the Heat?

While cooling off in my comfortable air-conditioned home, I wonder what summer was like for my ancestors. How did they attempt to keep cool during intense heat waves without the modern advancements we enjoy? How did they make the most of their summers?

Farm boys eating ice-cream cones, July 1941 (Credit: Library of Congress)

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17    Sep 20120 comments

Family Food: Beat the heat!

Now that summer is almost a memory in many places around the globe, we’re wondering what your family ate to keep cool.

In the US, ice cream is a popular go-to choice, while some like nothing better than a well-chilled slice of juicy, sweet watermelon, or even an ice-cold beer.

Elsewhere, people prefer foods with their own heat - hot, hot peppers - and claim adding that heat makes them feel cooler!

A favorite Persian drink is sharbat, made with fruit syrup mixed with water and served in a tall glass filled with ice. My favorite is sour-cherry, although there are many others, including rose. And you will likely connect the word sharbat to today’s ice confection called sherbert.

So take a few minutes, think back to what you ate or drank to keep cool this summer. Did your parents or grandparents have other favorite beat-the-heat remedies?

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