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Heat Wave

Eve Kidd Crawford

Theresa Cassagne Photograph

I think summer starts at different times for different people. For some, the season runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. For more literal-minded folks, it begins precisely on June 21. For those of us with school-age children, it begins whenever their respective schools shut their respective doors for three months. But no matter how your personal calendar runs, there’s no doubt that when you step outside these days, it’s hot!

With temperatures in the 80s and even the 90s, it’s hard to think of spending much time in the kitchen preparing stews or casseroles –– but the kitchens we’re featuring this month will have you reconsidering. Full of cool marble and granite and even cooler design choices, these three class-act kitchens make you want to sit and chill out over a glass of iced coffee or white wine.

And in these sticky months of summer, who isn’t taking at least two showers a day? (By August, I want to take another shower about 10 minutes after I leave my house for the day.) And so to go along with kitchens, we’re profiling three of the loveliest bathrooms in New Orleans.

We’re also showcasing something a little nontraditional but still super-cool and summery: the office of architectural design firm Bockman Forbes + Glasgow, the recipient of one of New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles’ 2008 Design Masters awards. If you’re used to a cramped office break room with a microwave, a coffeepot and a sink full of other people’s dirty dishes, prepare yourself for a visit from the green-eyed monster. The office kitchen at Bockman Forbes + Glasgow –– a full kitchen with a refrigerator, stove and dishwasher –– has custom cabinets, a well-planned and--executed color palette and a tile floor from Stafford Tile & Stone. “We host parties here,” Brian Bockman says. “The kitchen is just a great service option to have.”
If you still need more help escaping the heat, we have three recipes in Gatherings that are sure to help. Go beyond the typical treats of summer with such gourmet options as basil-lemon sorbet, passion fruit sherbet and green tea ice cream. We also celebrate iced tea in Last Indulgence –– it’s National Iced Tea Month, after all.

There might be days this month and all summer long when you swear you’re moving to Michigan or New England, somewhere cool and sensible, somewhere without 90-plus percent humidity, daily thunderstorms and the threat of hurricanes all summer long. And then one night you’ll catch a whiff of night-blooming jasmine on the thick air or walk right into an impromptu trumpet solo or devour a chocolate-cream snowball under a sweet, gooey layer of condensed milk.

And you’ll know that no matter how hot it gets, no matter that the air conditioning will be running until Thanksgiving, you’re not going anywhere.

 

On June 13, from 9 a.m. to noon, come stock up on plants at the New Orleans Botanical Garden Plant Sale at Pelican Greenhouse. Bring a wagon and cash or checks (credit cards aren’t accepted), and arrive early for best selection. Pelican Greenhouse is located just off of Henry Thomas (Golf) Drive south of the Interstate 610 underpass. For more information, call 483-9464 or e-mail plantsales@nocp.org. Once you have your plants, you’ll want to protect them. Luckily, also on June 13 from 9 a.m. to noon, Parkway Partners, located at 1137 Baronne St., will present Beneficial Bugs! as part of its Second Saturday program. You can learn about using ladybugs instead of harsh chemicals to combat pests in your garden. Organic gardener Anne Baker will give a presentation, and some of the featured bugs will be for sale. For more information, call 620-2224 or e-mail info@parkwaypartnersnola.org. All month long, The Shop at Longue Vue will be holding its Annual Summer Clearance Sale, with proceeds benefiting Longue Vue’s educational and community outreach programs. Everything is 20 to 75 percent off with no exclusions. The Shop is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 486-7440 or e-mail info@longuevue.com.

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