Turn Down the Heat

Living in a 120+ year old house, we don’t have the best insulation. Nor do we have central air conditioning.  Luckily, we’ve come up with a handful of strategies to keep the house relatively cool in the summers.

We sleep with the windows open, bracing a box fan between the sill and edge of the window, blowing cool air onto us and throughout the house. As the mornings start to warm up, we close all the windows and shades and curtains to keep out the heat and sun. Fans run throughout the house all day, including the whole house fan that kicks in whenever the upstairs gives above 76F.

On the hottest of days, the ones where the humid air settles heavily around your face and weighs you down, when you hope and pray for a rainstorm for a break in the humidity, we run our single window air conditioning unit in 20 minute intervals.

Whenever we can, we avoid using the stove and oven, especially during the day. If we must use them, we try to cook everything we need for the next day or two at once.  If I’m canning raspberry preserves, I’ll go ahead and bake some quick bread or some chicken. If we’re going to heat up the house with the stove anyways, we might as well make use of the oven.

This is where the crockpot and grill come in handy. The crockpot produces very little heat and we’re willing to face the humidity to grill if it means we’ll keep the house a few degrees cooler.

This week has been one long string of those heavy hot and humid days. I scratched my dinner plan for lentil gratins and instead opted for pork chops, green beans and roasted potatoes. They were exactly what we craved on such a steamy summer evening.

Herb-Grilled Potato Wedges

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Herb-Grilled Potato Wedges

I love the combination of rosemary and sage in these potatoes, but feel free to use whatever you'd like -- oregano or thyme would be great as well. I also can't wait to try mashing these after grilling this fall for a new Thanksgiving side!


  • 5-6 Yukon gold potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh sage
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high.
  2. Line a 9x13" baking pan with a long piece of aluminum foil. It should be double the length of the pan.
  3. Wash the potatoes and slice them lengthwise into quarters. Divide each wedge in two to give you 8 wedges per potato. Spread the potatoes out in the pan, as close to a single layer as you can.
  4. Slice the butter into 6-8 pieces and distribute them evenly over the tops of the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper, at least a teaspoon or two of each, or more to taste. Lay the fresh herbs evenly over the potatoes.
  5. Fold the aluminum foil back over the potatoes and crimp the edges together to seal the packet.
  6. Grill over medium-high for about 12 minutes, then peel back a crimped corner to check on the potatoes every 3-5 minutes after that. When they are fork tender and browning, they are done.


  1. says

    oh man. i’m such a baby about being hot. this wisconsin girl is NOT a fan of the summer heat!

    the herb grilled potato wedges look delicious! i’ve been trying to use my fresh herbs more often. 🙂

  2. Elisabeth says

    I am NOT a fan of being hot! I love summer (and hate winter), but I’ve got to have my central air… We only ever had a window air conditioner until I was in college & I did just fine, but now I’m used to have central AC set at 72 and can’t stand it hotter. However, I will say I sleep during the day (work nights) and that’s part of why I want it so cool in the house. 😉

  3. says

    I think potatoes and rosemary is one of the best combos around. I make rosemary olive oil sometimes just so I can have it around the kitchen to drizzle on roasted potatoes. Great recipe! I understand you guys have really been suffering from the heat this summer!!

  4. says

    I roast potatoes in the oven all the time, now I’m wondering why I never thought of cooking them on the grill. I’ll have to get my husband (griller in chief) on it. These look great with the best potatoes (yes, Yukon Golds are the best) and the fresh rosemary and sage.

  5. says

    I have to say, I’m not really a big potato person, but right when I saw this photo, I had to click! I love when potato wedges get a little browned 🙂


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