Saturday, November 3, 2012

Superstorm Sandy Recap

We survived Superstorm Sandy (or hurricane or Frankenstorm or Nor'easticane - whatever you want to call her). Three days without power, heat, landline or internet. As temperatures dropped, we holed up in our bedroom with the dog every night, trying to conserve heat and do bedtime reading by candlelight. The house dropped to 53 degrees on the last day, which is far too cold for me. How do people survive power outages in the actual winter?

Everything wasn't terrible, though. Jeff and I agree that we ate like kings all week. Our gas stove worked, although it was difficult to truly cook by candlelight. We learned to do most of our cooking, or at least the prep work, during daylight hours. Washing dishes, too - I normally feel like we're constantly washing dishes in this house, but that's nothing compared to when the dishwasher isn't operating. And that had to be done during daylight as well (please, don't try to wash sharp knives in the dark).

I already had a meal plan in place for the week and only the sequence needed to be altered to fit our new unplugged lifestyle. On Monday, during the storm, we ate delicious sausage, kale and white bean saute from Simply Recipes alongside my favorite Indian-spiced cauliflower and tomatoes. We finished cleaning up just before the power went out that night. On Tuesday we ate the leftovers for dinner. For breakfast and lunch, we began clearing the fridge - Cherry Grove Farm's Chili Jack cheese went into omelets and later grilled cheese sandwiches. On Wednesday we made a giant fried rice that served for lunch and dinner, with a pile of vegetables from our crisper - bok choy, kohlrabi, carrots, a leek and some other odds and ends (that's what you can see in the above picture). We also grilled some chicken pieces that came out of our freezer (most of its contents had been sent to a neighbor's house that morning, but some things were too warm already) and tossed some on top.Thursday saw an awesome breakfast/lunch hash featuring sausage, spinach, some scrambled eggs, red onion, white beans and Parmesan cheese. For dinner, we finally made the amazing tortellini soup with chard and white beans from Annie's Eats that had been planned for earlier in the week. I'd been putting that one off because it made too many servings and I didn't know how well they'd keep overnight. But it turns out that I planned things perfectly, because the power came back later that night and the soup was saved through the magic of refrigeration.

This was the first time in my life I'd ever had to deal with a sustained power outage. It was a stressful experience, though not as terrible as it could have been (let that never happen to us in the winter, please!). Next time such a storm comes through, I won't do my regular grocery shopping mere days before (and buy extra cheese - what was I thinking?), but will stick to less perishable items. Still, despite my inexperience, we didn't lose much, and nothing we really cared about (like the freezer full of produce we'd been laboring over for two months).

I am glad we've recovered and things are pretty much back to normal. My heart goes out to those who had, and are still having, a much harder time, particularly all those who lost their homes in this catastrophe. Let's just hope the Nor'easter projected for next week decides to miss us - we've had enough weather drama for a while!

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