Come On, Irene!

There’s a certain anticipation unique to storms.  Snowstorms, hurricanes, violent thunderstorms–it makes no difference.  But as the impending storm works its way to your domain, excitement builds.  Conversations pass, “Do you think it will hit? What have you done to prepare? Do you think we’ll lose power? Have you seen the latest predictions? Do you think the kids will have school?”

In the case of Hurricane Irene which is on its way to my hometown (probably more in the form of a Tropical Storm, but I haven’t been glued to the Weather Channel), there are definite, credible fears–flooding being first and foremost; power outages being secondary.  But still, I can’t help being excited by the possibilities and know that I will be disappointed if we were to get by unscathed.  There, I said it.  As much as I dread being without power (it will get hot and humid very quickly and I already hear myself yelling at the kids to keep the doors closed) I hope that we do get one whopper of a storm.  I hope to hear the winds blow, see trees bend and hear rain beat down.  I hope to be hunkered down with my family–“Pajama Day!” is my most favorite declaration–playing games, watching movies and of course, cooking.  I absolutely do not want to lose power because as a mom, I have learned that there is no fun in that.  Let the kids play flashlight tag in the pretend dark.  Build tents and forts for fun rather than necessity.

But…on the inside chance that we do lose power (Pepco is a notorious failure), I am prepared.  I will cook.  And with an electric range I have to be creative, making use of my pantry and gas grill.  With Irene in mind, I have stocked the following storm provisions.  Keep in mind that we just returned, from a 4 week vacation, to a gloriously empty fridge & freezer so in the ice box you will only find the mainstays–3.5 gallons of milk,3 different types of juice, 2 dozen eggs, 3 different hummus’, salad-makins’, bacon, ham, condiments and an assortment of  artisanal cheeses.  But anyway, to my meal plan:

* pasta with good jarred sauce (yes, there is such a thing): heated on the grill

* pizza dough (awesome pizzas can be cooked on the grill)

* Amy’s canned soups (yes, the grill again)

* hot dogs (veggie for me; Hebrew National for the others) with all the scrumptious trimmings

* ground beef for hamburgers, with plenty of buns

* those aforementioned cheeses, because the only thing I enjoy more than Pajama Day is Cheese Night

* and of course, plenty of wine–and water

While I have spent the past two days charting this culinary course, thankfully Gary has been focused on the “necessities.” He checked our inventory of D batteries (we’re good) and came home early to clean the gutters.  He scoffed at my idea to fill a bathtub with water so that we can flush the toilets (“we have a pool full of water”) and made sure that the lanterns are all fully charged.

What can I say? Opposites attract.  Thank god. Come on, Irene!