Carolina Hurricanes In NYC.

I’ve been through a fair number of hurricanes. Some of them good and some of them gruesome. These of course all took place in North Carolina. I didn’t think I would be getting anything bad up here in mighty Manhattan.Irene wasn’t as devastating as originally planned—and let’s all thank our lucky stars for that. The mass hysteria that I endured while going to work on Friday morning was enough to give me a coronary. Every hardware store, Duane Reade, and bodega was out of D batteries. Beer was getting bought by the case, while water not so much (odd). Then I started getting the phone calls from friends and family back in NC.“Are you getting the hell out?”“How are you holding up? The news reports are crazy!”Why is my Mother shouting the word “catastrophe” into the phone? Get a grip, Linda! We’ve been through this before!

Then I remembered, we live on an island. And we have flood zones. And high buildings. I then offered up my apartment to any of my friends that had to evacuate from Zone A or they just wanted some company. Some of them took that offer, and preparations went underway.

First stop: Duane Reade. Must get water and cat food so Astor could eat! Oh. And toilet paper. I was out. Much to my surprise, there was plenty of water. The beer aisle, however, looked a little depleted. Ah, necessities.

Stop Numero Deux: Union Square Greenmarket. Jackie and I head down to the market after our Friday morning meeting to pick up any produce we thought would be a delight to our cooking extravaganza that was to take place on Sunday Funday. We bought almost all kinds of produce and an exceptional pound of bacon and cheese from an Amish farmer. Thank you, kind sir. My BLTs were a delight.

This stuff is serious.

Final Destination: Nut House Hardware. Jackie bought the means to make oil lamps. Being from Vermont and used to power outages from snowstorms, this was the norm for Madame Sainsbury. It’s kind of a shame that we never got to use them.

We left work on Friday with our mass quantities of produce, water, and wine to make way for a fabulous weekend of cookery and shenanigans.

Saturday morning was dark and horribly damp. I set out for my 19 miler feeling good albeit rather hot, and met up with Elyssa afterwards to get coffee. What? Whole Foods is closed? Bouchon Bakery, too? What’s going on with Columbus Circle? Wait wait. Starbuck’s isn’t open either?

Mighty Manhattan started to look quite creepy at this point. We got in the subway to assure that we could get home before all services were suspended at 12:00. Out of the subway and the down pour began. I hit up a bodega on the way home for any last minute items (who forgets lettuce for a BLT? This girl.) and made my way home for a very necessary shower and caffeination.

E called. She packed her go bag and would be heading up shortly. It was official. The Lewis Refugee camp was open for business. Amanda and Stephan stopped by as they were evacuated from Long Island City. Christopher made his way down from the UES with his luggage and was ready for a hurricane party. We made our way to newly opened Highland Park for French fries, sliders, and wings. Let’s talk about those Black Angus sliders—seriously baller with Gruyere and caramelized onions. And the fries. Sweet Moses, the fries were dusted with Parmigiano and garlic. Down side? Might have been the only bar in NYC that wasn’t doing some kind of hurricane special.

Back to my house was followed with afternoon wine and naps, a home cooked meal involving salmon and his Lordship’s famous kale, and asleep we were by 10:00 pm.

Hangin’ Tough Like the New Kids.

I awoke on Sunday morning to the eye of the Hurricane—nay, Tropical Storm—just to the south of the city. Apparently, Irene decided to pick up speed in the middle of the night and make landfall on the Pennsylvania coast early in the morning. After making coffee, E and I walked out to the front stoop of my building to take a look at the damage. Tons of rain and twigs and leaves were the only things seen down on my block. Not so bad, but the rain was quite abundant. We decided to head out to the East River right when the eye was coming through Manhattan. There were actually giant trees down on my block! And the river was insanely flooded and up onto the street. CRAZY.

Truth be told, it was a nasty rain storm up here, and we’re all quite lucky that it wasn’t worse. The same cannot be said for those that are still without power in the Tri-State area and cannot commute into work because of suspended trains.

The rest of Sunday Funday was filled with loads of cookery—BLT’s, orzo salad, eggplant rolatini, and the pièce de résistance, chocolate rice krispy treats. And we made them in my Calphalon non-stick skillet, which may or may not be the best tip I could ever give anyone. Seriously.

What did we learn this weekend?
1. Our city did a pretty stellar job of preparing for a hurricane (and let’s be honest, we haven’t had one make landfall in a century up hear), regardless of mass hysteria in local bodegas. Even most subways were running on Monday morning for early morning commuters.
2. Don’t underestimate the power of rain. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how the East River covered up parts of the running path downtown. Jackie’s parents were not so lucky in Vermont as the rain carried away the bridge to get to their house.
3. Make sure you have your necessary items (toilet paper, water, coffee, beer) as stores may be closed when you are in dire need of said items.
4. Bunking up with friends for a weekend makes for a lovely (and slightly nostalgic) staycation.

So, with that, I will leave you with Jackie’s Skillet Rice Krispy Treat recipe, a truly necessary component for any and all hurricane preparation lists.

Ingredients:   

Sainsbury Pie in all her glory.

1 large box Kellogg’s Rice Krispies
1 bag marshmallows
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 cup chocolate chips
pinch of salt

Procedure:
1. In a stock pot, melt butter and marshmallows over low heat, stirring continually. Add in chocolate and continue to melt.
2. Pour in Rice Krispies and pinch of salt and stir to combine. Pour into large (preferably 12-inch) non-stick skillet and spread until even. Set aside to cool.
3. Cut into squares and serve!

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