Who isn't hot?? Complaining about it doesn't change a thang! (But somehow, it's all we're talking about... isn't it??) This is what our weather has been like the past few days. I clipped this about 7:00 am this past Thursday morning. It really probably was 77° at that moment but it definitely wasn't raining. Nah... we just had fog. I'm sure it was because the air was so saturated from all the moisture/humidity. (I wish we had rain... my poor lawn and flowers are dying a slow and ugly death.)I know there are places where these kind of temperatures are normal here in the US and abroad (like Iraq and Afghanistan... God bless our troops!). But I live in Maryland... this isn't our "normal"... we're just the pseudo-south, for goodness sake! (Maryland was a slave-holding border state during the Civil War, which means we are still treated like a red-headed stepchild. The North thinks we're the South and the South won't have us.)
I was driving to work the other day and the term "Dog Days" popped into my head. It was something I hadn't thought about since I was a kid and even then, I'm not sure who I heard use it. (Although a quick Google search showed that the term is alive and well... maybe I just haven't been paying attention.) As a kid, this term always conjured up a picture of a poor dog panting and breathless, like this...
and I really wasn't sure what it meant. Well, now that I'm all grown up, I know it refers to the long, hot days at the height of the summer season. What I didn't know, and hence the Google search, is the origin of the term. From the wiki:
The Romans referred to the dog days as diēs caniculārēs and associated the hot weather with the star Sirius. They considered Sirius to be the "Dog Star" because it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog). Sirius is also the brightest star in the night sky. The term "Dog Days" was used earlier by the Greeks.Reading this immediately made me think of 1) Keanu Reeves mediocre band, Dogstar (ewwwww) and 2) the much superior Florence + the Machine's, "Dog Days Are Over".
The Dog Days originally were the days when Sirius rose just before or at the same time as sunrise. The Romans sacrificed a brown hop at the beginning of the Dog Days to appease the rage of Sirius, believing that the star was the cause of the hot, sultry weather.
Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time "when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, Quinto raged in anger, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies" according to Brady’s Clavis Calendarium.
I think our dog days are long from being over but it also made me think about making some sangria! Peach sangria, to be exact. Peaches are finally in season here in Maryland. (YAY!) I get my peaches from my friends at Blades Orchards... check them out if you're local.)
Here's my recipe for peach sangria. It's simple and tasty, which is everything a drink should be to get you through these dog days!
1 (750ml) bottle rose' wine
3/4 cup vodka (use peach vodka if you have it & want an extra peachy flavor)
1/2 cup peach nectar (I buy this in single cans in my local market's Latin foods section. I always have some on hand for Bellinis.)
6 Tablespoons frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 pound peaches, peeled & sliced
2 cups club soda, chilled
In a pitcher, combine all the ingredients together except the club soda. Add club soda just before serving. Float some raspberries on top or garnish with a little mint. Enjoy!
How are you waiting out these dog days? Special drink? Activity? (Personally, my yard is terribly neglected and it shows. Countrymouse is going to attempt to mow our dying grass later since it's only supposed to be in the low 90s. YIKES!) Do you still grill when it's killer hot outside? (We do... but we eat inside.) Will we wish it was summer again once the snow starts falling? Whatever you do, keep cool, my friends.