The outlook was bleak.
Photo Credit: www.scientificamerican.com
Irene was coming for the East Coast and she was ornery.
Fear and anxiety drifted down empty hallways at work on Friday.
Quiet discussions took place in every corner of the building about whether or not there would be an evacuation, whether taping windows was really effective, and what kind of emergency supplies people were gathering in preparation for the worst storm this side of the Atlantic has seen in over a century.
Normally, I love the excitement surrounding extreme weather because I love the possibility of being holed up in my house, free to do everything and nothing and not feeling one iota of guilt for burying my nose in a book for seven hours.
There is something so comforting knowing that millions of people share the same feelings of apprehension, concern, and comradery against a common entity.
Sometimes it takes the threat of disaster to bring people together.
Believe me when I say was fearful.
Not about the impending hurricane, though.
I was scared I would never get the damn song “Come On Eileen” out of my head.
I have been humming it, singing it, whistling it, and thinking about it since the news began heavily covering Irene over a week ago.
Apparently my cousins had the same problem.
Photo credit: Jake Shellhammer
Since the week prior was spent getting ready for a cranky, PMS-ing hurricane, I took the opportunity to spend the day of Irene’s arrival doing whatever I felt like.
I slept in until a ridiculous hour and woke up in time to send hubby off into the trenches (work).
Then I took a nice, long run on the treadmill. And by nice I mean that it was a difficult, never-ending run and it took way too many miles before I felt like I was in “the zone.” Even though it was a toughie, I was glad I did it because the threat of losing power might mean no treadmill for days or possibly weeks.
Food would make me feel better.
The hurricane menu for the day was a whirlwind of flavors and textures.
Breakfast was eaten during the run (that was interesting and attractive, I’m sure).
But lunch was a thing of beauty.
I wanted to start using up the refrigerated food just in case we did lose power so I made a salad of spinach, heirloom tomatoes, black beans, egg white and salsa served with a slice of homemade whole wheat bread topped with peach jam.
The afternoon commenced with some heavy reading and light snacks.
A little yogurt with a fresh, locally grown pear and baked granola to sustain me while I read cookbooks and organized my ever-growing recipe collection.
Some people like to curl up with actual books that contain words and sentences but I could spend hours pouring over cookbook recipes and drooling over pictures of glazed hams, roasted chickens, and big, fat cheesy burgers.
I don’t even eat meat.
But that’s not to say I don’t appreciate the variety of styles, ideas, and artwork that goes into creating a cookbook.
When I finally had my recipe and cookbook collection organized to my satisfaction, it was already time for dinner. Hubby was still at work so I decided I would make myself some quick, comforting pumpkin soup.
I topped it with protein packed, dry roasted edemame for a little saltiness and crunch.
Mid-way through the soup prep, hubby walked in the door, looking a little like the Gorton’s Fisherman, if the Gorton’s guy had been stranded at sea for three days during a tsunami.
My first thought was “Good. He made it home safe.”
My second thought was “Crap. I have to make him dinner.”
Hubs will eat practically anything if it comes rolled up in a tortilla so that’s exactly what he got.
See? I did a lot of preparing for Irene. The beer drawer was fully stocked!
After dinner was cleaned up and we had saturated ourselves with all the hurricane coverage we could handle, it was time for more reading. And more beer.
My family was clearly
I had been saving this Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout for the perfect gloomy, rainy day.
I don’t think the conditions, or the beer, could have been more perfect.
The only reason hubby hadn’t snatched up this beer months ago was because it was brewed with brewers licorice and he thought it was going to taste like a big chunk of nasty, black licorice.
Ha! He couldn’t have been more wrong.
It was a deep, chocolate color with a smooth texture and notes of mocha, caramel, and coffee. It’s rich flavor and the fact that it’s brewed a few hours from my hometown in Kalamazoo, Michigan made this beer a definite favorite.
We woke up Sunday morning to an intact house, fully functioning electricity, and another rainy, autumnal day.
Know what that means?
Pancakes and fall decorating!
In the words of Dexy’s Midnight Runners:
Toora Loora Toora Loo Rye Aye!