“Stranded at the Drive In”

I am not in any way discounting the severity of any hurricane, including Miss Sandy, however don’t all the preparations and actions citizens must take fall under common sense? If you are in a low-lying, flood prone area, you leave. If you often lose power, shouldn’t you already have candles in your home and enough non-perishables to make it through a few days? And if you are in the direct path of the hurricane and the government recommends that you should leave, hmmm, what exactly should you do? Should you get on a wave runner and ride through the Hudson River, probably not.

In my life, I have experienced numerous hurricanes. Here’s the list of the ones that had the most impact on me – meaning the ones I remember: Gloria 1985, Bob 1991, Bertha 1996, Floyd 1999, Isabel 2003, Ophelia 2005, Irene 2011

I’ll get to the food part of this post but CB asked me yesterday about why hurricanes are named and I thought a little history might be fun. To my credit, I actually knew the answer but it seemed too simple to be accurate. But alas it is. Storms are named in order to keep them straight should there be more than one storm brewing at any given time. It was less complicated than giving their longitude-latitude coordinates. Another interesting fact is that the US only started alternating men and women’s names in 1979 (in the Atlantic). Prior to that only female names were used starting in 1953. Now, the list of names repeats every 6 years and names are retired if they do tremendous damage. As of 2011, 76 names have been retired including Bob, Gloria, Floyd, and Andrew. Sandy may be the next.

My thought process with hurricanes is much the same with snow days, be prepared (always) and take full advantage of not having to go to work. In recent years, say Bertha through now Sandy, a hurricane means lots of eating. I’m pretty sure we cooked a meal similar to Thanksgiving dinner during Isabel and then drove as close to the harbor in downtown Annapolis as we could get without putting ourselves in danger. I definitely remember Mexican food and margaritas in the Outer Banks of NC during Ophelia while we waited for the sun to come back out. And most recently Rolling Rock in the basement of a friend’s house during Irene – there was a tornado warning, which is why we went to the basement…

And so this hurricane day two main feedings commenced.

In the morning I had a bit of mixed emotions. I was grateful that there was a significant amount of coffee shops and restaurants open. But I felt really bad for the people who had to work. I used to be that gal. Not this year! Being that this was the first time I have ever not had to work during a hurricane I felt it only fair to leave exorbitant gratuities, first at La Colombe and next at Famous Fourth Street Delicatessen for breakfast. Famous Fourth Street is known for its extravagant portion sizes. CB fell right into the trap asking repeatedly if there were smaller sizes of everything he wanted to eat. I figured if I did lose power, a few leftovers wouldn’t hurt. But to be honest, when my salami and eggs arrived, I did not feel overwhelmed. I didn’t finish my hash browns but that was more because I didn’t really care for them. They were under seasoned and a bit dry but my eggs were cooked perfectly and the salami was yummy and delicious. CB had some of the best corned beef hash I’ve ever tasted and the latkes were spectacular. Dare I say better than Honey’s? Maybe just as good. Only because they are two different creatures and cannot be compared side by side.

salami & eggs

corned beef hash

We wandered a bit downtown after breakfast and while you could tell it was more than just a rainstorm, the city seemed to be faring pretty well. A nap, writing the beginning of this blog post and a few cocktails later made me hungry again. I tried to promote a hurricane party but only CB was brave enough to make it out. I will admit that by 8:30PM or so, the wind was pretty intense but only in spurts on my street. I can only imagine what it must have been like for others. In seeing the news today, Sandy reeked havoc in too many places on the eastern seaboard. So we just tried to make the best of it by eating a well-rounded, wholesome meal. CB brined, rubbed and roasted a whole chicken while I sautéed Brussels sprouts, zucchini and red onions. It may not seem like much but it was incredibly satisfying and the meal certainly suited the weather.

roasted chicken & sauteed vegetables

Indeed, I never lost power and even attempted to go to work today, only to be sent home. Another day of eating will certainly ensue as soon as I find someone to join me. I hope everyone made the most of the day yesterday and is safe wherever you are.


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