It’s too hot and we know it . . . 

So today, I’m going to do my very best to give you a break from it and fix the “inelegance” . . . with images of , yes, COOL things!

Starting with something cold and juicy . . . This is one of my favorite summer treats: spread a slice of ice-cold watermelon with thick Greek-style yogurt; sprinkle it with good granola; eat it with a fork, barefooted in front of a fan, or on a cool porch; joy of life will return forthwith. 

It will be a wonderful weekend if you make this ↓ and pop it in the fridge for later . . .

For even more coolness to this delicious Cantaloupe Soup, add ice cream croutons  . . . drop melon-ballers-full of vanilla ice cream in each dish . . . chill soup bowls and spoons before serving.  Or try my nice cold . . .

If you keep this icy Gazpacho in the fridge, you can eat from it for a couple of days and never have to heat up the stove!  It’s the most delicious way to get all your healthy, organic farmer’s market vegetables in one cold dish. It’s STILL the best Gazpacho I’ve ever tasted  — sometimes I like to add a little cilantro garnish … or I use balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar, but truly, they both taste wonderful in this cold, crunchy, frosty soup!

And here’s something else that should help bring the temperature down:


Too much?  Hope you put your shoes back on!

BRRRRR, just feel that chilly wind coming off the snow . . .

Mmmm, cool, calm, and collected . . . Hear those sleigh bells ringing? A breeze off the ocean would be wonderful too but if you can’t get to the beach right now … give yourself a little treat … keep cologne and hand cream in the fridge and then have a . . .

  . . . nice cool shower.  Afterwards make yourself a  

. . . take it to the porch. . .

. . . and drink it near a bubbly little water fountain . . . because it’s the weekend and . . .

Is it working?  Do you feel cooler?  I hope so!  And one last thing . . . I would like to invite you to join me in a little celebration for this/our

Because while I was in England, I forgot to celebrate that on June 9, this blog, our blog, celebrated its first birthday!  It’s still a BABY!  Only one!  Let’s give it cake!

Everyone grab a cupcake! Light your candle and let’s make a wish!!!  And I actually have a wish that you could make come true!  My wish is that if you like this blog, you will nominate it for Country Living Magazine’s Blue Ribbon Blogger Awards.  We still have a window of opportunity — the contest entries have to be in by July 29, two days from now!  And if I go to New York, I’ll be sure to bring you with me!  Of course I would anyway!  OK, all together now,

B L O W !

Happy Summer Day Girlfriends, stay cool! XOXO Tomorrow is Beatrix Potter’s Birthday!

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462 Responses to TOO DARN HOT…!

  1. Nancy B says:

    I’m so glad I came back to finish reading this blog or I would have missed the deadline to vote! Whew! Just made it. It was a pleasure to vote for you in the Lifestyle category. I mentioned that your blog covers ALL the categories. So I hope you win because then I can go to New York with you. Yaay! Here’s hoping…..

  2. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan!! after that…I am FREEEEEEZING!!!! it’s like Christmas in July..loved that post and boy oh boy do we need it in the midwest!!! Back home after a fabulous trip out West….but back to the heat..must be some sort of a record for number of 100+ days…MV looks wonderful as usual…thanks for the coooool menu ideas…i use SUMMER BOOK all of the time, so i am spoiled as is my family…my favorite is the cold…with Arnold Palmer’ a nice cool breeze…stay cool!!! love, cindy
    p.s. Pimm’s Cup with cucumbers….aaaahhh….very cool while watching TEAM USA!!! : )

  3. Randi Bault says:

    Nothing like a cold shower and Ice Tea. Ahhhh…..

  4. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    Happy birthday sweet wonderful blog!!! I am so glad to be a part of your “blog family”. I do hope we win! We have to. It is the sweetest blog ever!!! xoxo Joy

  5. EsSuzy (from South Carolina) says:

    Hi Susan, Isn’t it amazing how a snowy picture can make you feel cooler? I keep trying not to complain too much about the heat because I know this winter I’ll be missing it! But I’m really glad we finally got out of the triple digit temps for a while.
    Happy Birthday Blog!! Can’t believe it’s been a year already, proof once again, that time really does fly when you’re having fun! That’s what your blog is Susan: FUN!! Thank you for sharing your happy gene.
    Finally I HAVE to share part of a text my daughter sent to me last week, in which she is referring to your Onion Pudding recipe: “BTW I made your pal Susan Branch’s onion casserole and it was AWESOME”
    Happy Monday my pal! Happy Monday Girlfriends!! XO

  6. Dawn from Minnesota says:

    : .} hahahaha!!! oH Susan, you are TOO funny!!! This post really is a “mental
    vacation!” But, ooooooooo…..the scritch-scratch of that blue shovel hits a little
    too close to home! LOL! With the winters here in Minnesota….me and my
    red shovel are best friends in the w i n t e r….Not July!!! 😉 Well, you sure surprised my day with this post! 🙂 Watermelon……have you seen the utube video rubber bands vs. watermelon? It is made by the Slo Mo Guys (who have English accents) sitting in the countryside with a watermelon and well,… could eat some watermelon and watch what happens….. 😉 I am excited to make
    your cantaloupe soup recipe for my Mom……wondering, what it would be like
    with really BIG BIG croutons and the soup drizzled over the top?
    Susan, your blog truly is a Blue Ribbon Winner!!!….. YoU make us laugh, cry, wonder, appreciate and learn. You sprinkle every post with little bits of your
    heart and we are encouraged to go out into this world and sprinkle a little
    bit of ours too! I hope you feel the “love” and Happy, happy, birthday Babie blog!!! You will always be a Blue Ribbon Winner to us ! But, to me…..I like to think of YoU as Yellow…….HAPPY!!!
    (slo mo guys rubber bands vs watermelon)

  7. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Good Morning Susan! What a beautiful summer morning!!!! Got up early and went to have my annual mammogram done today. Just wanted to remind all of you special girlfriends to remember to get yours, too….you deserve it! Life is wonderful with you Susan!!!!!! Have a sunny and happy last-Monday-in July!!!!!!

  8. Karen Saunders says:

    It’s funny Susan…..I play “Where’s Jack” on your blog. (Like ‘Where’s Waldo’…get it?) I don’t know why, I just look for the ‘blue.’ I guess it’s because no. 1, I like the relationship between the two of you and no.2, he’s a good writer. Sometimes it takes me awhile to find the ‘blue’ and then I say……”Where’s Jack?”

  9. Vonnie says:

    Hi Susan! I just made your cantaloupe soup from your “Summer” cookbook two weeks ago! And it did indeed get us through a heat wave with some elegance. Loved it! Thank you! ~Vonnie, NH

  10. Michelle says:

    Oh, what levely treats for Olympic viewing…

  11. pat addison says:

    good morning everyone, its getting warm outside, another warm day for here. just watched our local bee keeper set up his honey stand for the day, he’s quite a character and very smart about bees. he’s selling blackberry honey, blackberry because around here we have blackberry bushes growing everywhere and i am sure his bees were all over them doing their busy bee thing. actually that blackberry honey is delicious and it smells just like blackberries……love it!!!! but he sets up his stand everyday on the highway and sells to whoever stops and wants to buy, the tourist think its the cutest and quaintest thing they ever saw. and the tractor parade just rumbled through on their way to the gas station, and i see the local kids are setting up their lemonade stand…got to to get those last few dimes and nickles for the Labor day holiday and carnival before school starts. well off to get the clothes out of the washer and hung out on the line, hope the turkeys leave the clothes alone today, i really don’t feel like chasing them around to retrieve the laundry they yank off the line. hugs everyone………. 🙂

  12. Cindy Stokes says:

    “Our” blog is a year old already!! Where did the time fly off to?? Well it’s a great blog Susan and sooo deserving of the great award! So much to be proud of.
    Thank you so much for the cooling photos/music and video clips. It’s been in the three digits here lately. Last week we had major pop up storms come through. We LOST many trees…tulip (6), oak (2) and maple (1). My poor DH has had his work cut out for him getting them cut up and halled to the GROWING wood pile. I hate to see him out there working in this hateful heat. He’s a trouper though!! I think I’ll make him the Cantelope soup this week…that will help cool him down : )
    Thank you for all the work you do to brink us a bit of sunshine every day : )
    Cindy from Cinci!!

  13. Cindy Stokes says:

    Oh…I’m assuming that of course you will win!! Voting now : )

  14. pat addison says:

    hmmmmm just remembered a song ” it’s too darn hot” i think anne miller sang and tapped to it and it was from Kiss me Kate , a good movie to watch on a hot day!!! anyone else remember that????

  15. Bobbie Ann Picard says:

    Happy Birthday to the Blog, Susan!!!! Much love to you and all the staff!!!!!

  16. Hi Susan,

    I thought you might like the link to a fabric sample book that Beatrix Potter used for some of her characters’ clothing. It was posted on Diane Shepard Johnson’s Blog “Corgyncombecourant”:

  17. becky says:

    Im loving the snow pictures cant wait for it lol.

  18. Angela Sweby says:

    Oh wow, Susan, I love your gazpacho recipe. I was in Spain staying with a friend a couple of weeks ago and I had it a few times. It was tinglingly deliciously refreshing and your recipe sounds as if it’s going to help me repeat that experience.
    What a great idea to help everyone cool down with some amazing visualizations! Sadly, we don’t need that here in England….haha!
    I love your wonderful shower drawing and concrete poetry!! And to add to all the wonderful treats in your post, you also started with one of my all time favourite Jane Austen quotations 🙂
    Thanks for a fantastic treat.

  19. starr miller says:

    Happy Birthday Joe. I know you will have a fabulous party. Enjoy.
    And thank you for your wonderful blog–oh those photos–and love, love Willard.
    Kitties too !!

  20. ilona says:

    Susan, i love your books So Much! Kinda new to your blog, so i missed the voting. Just want you to know that your drawings and the wonderful thoughts and photos you share give my soul a little thrill and inspire me to do simple, lovely things in my home that don’t cost a lot. Your whole website is like a gentle breeze. I could sit here and look at it all for hours – except, my family and our kitties need my attention. 🙂 Blessings to you, Joe and the kitties! (our Martin looks a lot like your Girl Kitty)

  21. Kathy Weedon says:

    Just enjoyed your latest from Williard and visited your BLOG at the same time. Wanted to leave a reply and jus say how much you bring me back to my inner self when life bombards us with everything else.

    Any chance of being able to purchase some receipe card pages for your 3 ring-notebook. I have tried to find replacements but no luck and do not find them on your website. I LOVE your calendars and look forward to reading its pages everyday. I have bought many copies for my special friends.

    Loved your visit to England and since our recent viewing of the Olympics I would love to be able to visit this country. Later!

  22. Francie Huffman Lorey says:

    Hi Susan… I am a ’64 alumni of Reseda HS… I can remember you all bubbly and fun back then, and I knew you had wonderful things in your future. And now we know! I enjoyed reading the post about the blue moon on August 31st. Since I, too, love full moons, I want to plan something special for my new boyfriend! I’ve been widowed for 7 years and he and I met on a blind date 3 months ago. On August 1st, we drove up into the Rocky Peak mountains in the north part of the San Fernando Valley, had a picnic and watched the moon come up. Now I want to plan surprises for him on the blue moon. One of my surprises is burning a CD with old and famous “moon songs.” I also found a beautiful card about the moon. Now my question. I’d like to cook a meal at home… any ideas for my menu? Any other suggestions to make our “blue moon” evening a romantic success? Keep up the good work… Francie

    • sbranch says:

      Good for you Francie, how fun to find new love! Nice to hear from you . . . you must have graduated with my girlfriend Janet Campbell? I was in class of ’65, but I definitely remember your name! It’s hard to know where to begin for a romantic moon dinner, there are so many ways, and of course it depends on what you like to eat, and where you’re going to eat it . . . outside under the moon on a blanket, or sitting at a table . . . I love your idea for the cd, that will be fun. Isn’t there some sort of cocktail that uses Blue Curacao? I looked it up, and there are .. . maybe you could start with a cocktail called “Blue Moon!” Men love steak, that’s my understanding and experience, but every so often you find one that doesn’t. Steak Au Poivre sends my Joe to the moon! I know you will find something wonderful.

  23. Kathy Murphy says:

    Do you have a similar soup recipe using Honey Dew instead of canteloupe?

  24. Heather Roberts says:

    I love your blog and every so often I go into it and just drool over the beautiful pix, esp. of the snow-covered scenes and the beautiful homes.

    I love your art work Susan – what a beautiful and God-given talent to possess

  25. Deborah Dowling says:

    I love your artwork. I can’t wait to get the new book you wrote. I already bought the heart teapot and cups to match . I love the big cups for tea. You are so talented. I am a calligrapher and a jewelry artist as well.

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