People are predicting that “Sandy,” the perfect storm with the lowest pressure ever in combo with cold air coming from the north and warm gulf stream air entering from the south might become the biggest storm EVER. You know it’s serious when they shut down public transportation in New York City; evacuate people along coastal states, close schools and say you can work from home. Even the Court system in NYC will be closed today.
So, what I began doing when I woke up in the middle of the night around 3 a.m. was to start cooking the ten-pound ham that is not spiral-sliced, but an old fashioned, honest to goodness semi-cooked ham. I glazed it with Poupon mustard, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar on the outside. Baked it for almost three hours in a 325 degree oven while browning baby brussels sprouts in a skillet and steaming broccoli and cauliflower in another pan.
On the stove, I rinsed out the navy beans that had been soaking the day before, sauteed vidalia onion, carrots; put in a hambone from the freezer, adding spring water and chicken broth to make a hearty bean soup. There’s a head of lettuce and three asian pears for salad to offset the ham. Oatmeal bread and rolls should hold us for ham sandwiches or peanut butter too. There’s enough to share with family next store and tenants who live in the house.
In the freezer is a ten pound bag of ice which can go in a cooler to keep all this food chilled and safe to eat for a few days in case the power goes off.
While the vegetables were simmering, I brought in the wind chime that has sturdily kept going for almost ten years out on the back landing. And piled the flower pots together in the pantry too. There are a couple of Stanley tripod torches to give us light in case the electricity goes off. If it does, there’s always knitting or reading to do, and it will be a good test of how long we can live without being online!
So, this is about all I can think of to prepare for this impending storm. Maybe we won’t need it after all. Let’s hope so. I think it’s humbling to do what we can to prepare for this potential emergency, while recognizing that the magnitude of this storm (and its impact) rests completely in the hands of Mother Nature!
Afternote (31 Oct. 2012): Unlike many less fortunate, we were spared a power outage. So yesterday, slices of ham, vegetables, rolls, biscuits and soup went to family and friends. The ten pound bag of ice waits in the freezer for another day.