I just returned from a bike ride on a beautiful day, 64 degrees outside. Still, I got a bit warm, and the coffeepot was still hot when I got home, and that reminds me of the general rule of thumb that Dad used: coffee is good for cooling down.
There were so many hot days when we'd be baling hay and Dad and my uncles would have their mid-day refreshment of a piece of cake, cookies, perhaps some Norwegian delicacy - and coffee. And they all swore that coffee was an effective coolant. Even though it flies in the face of logic and science, coffee seemed to be just their ticket.
And they weren't the only ones. The corners of my mouth had to turn up as I was reading the stories of the Norwegian Lutheran Farm Boy, who reported the very same thing.
The old Norwegians I worked with believed hot coffee was a great coolant and seemed to drink gallons of it in the summer. The hired man of our neighbor really gave me a good tongue lashing for putting ice in the water jug, which I had brought out to the hay workers. He made me put the jug, without the cover on it, out in the sun so the water could warm up. No one was going to drink cold water when he was around and get sick on him so he would have to do all the work. I can still hear him talking to himself the rest of the afternoon about "dumb kids nowadays."
Some years later I decided that beer was a much better coolant, and it certainly enhanced the esprit de corps, not to mention fueled the imagination of a group of twenty-somethings. Now that I'm old enough to know that water is the true hydration system I also am inclined to avoid the situation for which it is well suited.
Unlike the practice of ample hydration followed by today's athlete, all through high school we were charged with "making ourselves tough" by not having ANY water during football practice. On more than one occasion that theory made me sick when I gorged on the water we were allowed to have once practice was completed.
I just wonder - do those Norwegian farmers still "cool" themselves with coffee today?