Still thinking about food, I came across these ancient Roman recipes adapted from Apicius's De Re Coquinaria. I might actually make the dates stuffed with pine nuts or the pear dish with cumin.
And here's a recipe of my own:
Post-Blackout Pasta (for one, with leftovers)
Turn on burner of newly-functional electric stove. Boil a pot of lightly salted water and cook several generous handfuls of your favorite pasta until done. Drain pasta into a colander and set aside.
Meanwhile, go through newly functional refrigerator in search of foodstuffs that haven't spoiled during the power outage. (Assume you've already pitched out the most dubious items.) Chop up the last of a container of marinated green olives (they should be well preserved, right?). Take some leftover steamed baby kale (not fermented! what luck!) and heat it thoroughly with a little broth in the pot in which you cooked the pasta. Throw in the olives and a little of their marinade, some black pepper, and a chopped-up tomato if you've got any. Add pasta and toss until everything is well mixed.
Grate some parmesan (no mold! yesss!) on top of the pasta. Serve with a nice Australian shiraz, and enjoy being able to see your food again.
- I don't know nearly enough about disaster preparedness, and I really need a battery-powered radio;
- whoever decided that electric stoves were the wave of the future has obviously never considered what happens when the electricity goes out;
- I'm seriously addicted to caffeine. This morning, unable either to run the coffeemaker or even to boil water and make coffee the grittily old-fashioned way in my aged French press (a relic of my undergraduate years), I discovered that without coffee, I become lethargic and develop a withdrawal headache that feels like my skull has been scooped out and refilled with wads of cotton soaked in something pain-inducing.
Important life lessons, all three. I wonder if there's anyone I can snarl at about the electric stove thing.
Major triumphs of this afternoon: located today's local newspaper, which informed me that our water is still safe to drink (whew); located only open campus-area cafe, and had the most desperately-needed iced coffee of my life; located only open campus-area grocery store, where I was able to get tomatoes, sliced chicken, and bottled Frappuccinos (ready-made caffeine source! there is a God!). But the best moment was at around 4:15, when I heard all the neighbors' air conditioners shudder back to life simultaneously.
I remember various childhood blackouts as being rather fun: the hunt for emergency candles, the running around the house with flashlights, the general air of being on a camping trip in one's own home, the neighbors emerging from their houses to compare notes. This wasn't as much fun, probably because I'm now the one who has to remove the spoiled food from the refrigerator, and I somehow missed the ice-cream giveaways that happened yesterday afternoon when various local eateries realized that they might as well empty their freezers any way they could. I also missed the one bar that stayed open and served beer in a festive blackout atmosphere. Ah well.
Via BoingBoing, I found a preliminary list of NYC and east coast blog coverage of the blackout. Check out this account of one of the subway cars where people were stranded. Crooked Timber also has blackout reflections here and here. I talked to my friend R. in New York this morning; she and her husband walked all the way from their jobs in Manhattan to their apartment in Queens. R. said that lots of their fellow pedestrians were limping as they crossed the bridge. But they're fine, apart from the blistered feet.
And now I'm very much looking forward to the opportunity to make large amounts of pasta, take a bath with (hopefully) hot water, brew a pot of mint tea, watch something mindless on TV, and get a good night's sleep with the faint reassuring glow of streetlights coming in through the windows.
So if this blog is rather quiet over the next few days, well, now you know why...
Fascinating. I want to work for these people.