“Hit me like a hurricane”, says the country song. Daaaaam hurricane Irma, you’ve made me suffer. Not because of the waiting or trying to be Batman anticipating your every move, but for not being able to have access to my cooking stuff… but hey, in lack of bread you eat crackers. Right? Nope, I will eat bread anyways. So yes Irma, “Hit me like a hurricane!”
Well, let’s just say that I got on full cooking mode when we ran out of electricity, although we had some gas, I was anticipating the need for wood fire. We also had some charcoal but it wasn’t much, but we collected wood and started using everything in the fridge. Being a cook and having worked in restautans has prepared me for the worse. It tought me to be resourceful and ready at all times.
During the hurricane, and during the aftermath, I thought of all the possible ways that I could feed my family, in a delicious way. From the crackers with chicken and cream cheese dip, to hot dogs, chips, and some booze (not for the minors, of course), to scrambled eggs with cheese, fried eggs, to flat breads and fish, ramen noodles with pulled chicken/turkey/pork, and some other good stuff. Following, a few images of how my Hurricane Irma happened.
At my sister-in-law’s…
Hummus for better humor.
My wife holding some weird radioactive chips.
What looks like one thing, is actually another. Cold coffee with milk… and Frangelico. You know, to relax a little.
Boiled eggs are actually great for such situations. They last up to a week in a Ziploc bag and inside a cooler. And well, I am a total egg slut. Great right?
Some other radioactive-colored stuff that were actually radioactive. Churritos I think was the name. Uff, hot stuff!
A pile of rice mixed with corn and some pork to share among the tribe.
My little beast devouring a wild hurricane dog.
There is nothing like crackers and canned chicken dip.
Once at home I felt more… well, at home. Literally and figuratively. And like a fine grape that turns into an amazing wine, my best attributes blossomed. I was in my terroir. Still no electricity at this point.
I improvised a little kitchen over the dining table, using externals and catering equipment. The improv kitchen kept evolving despacito. Poquito a poquito. Suave suavecito…
Kampai! I had a whole bottle of sake. This was my antidepressant. My coolant.
Breakfast. Scrambled eggs with cheese. I mean, who wouldn’t want that after a hurricane!
Working on flat bread dough for dinner. By this time my wife (who had to go to work) had come home with a portable outdoors gas stove that a friend/coworker of hers had lend us. And I had already fed and boosted with yeast a sourdough mix I’ve been working on for a while, so the stove was the perfect tool to make some bread. Let’s just say that the images of dinner will say more than words…
Crispy salmon skin to bite before dinner.
Dinner at last! We all sat out on the balcony floor to enjoy the breeze, the colors of the day, and to have some good flavors. We talked about the hurricane, life, food, and about how much fun it is to eat on the floor with your bare hands. We broke some bread and ate.
(I encourage you to practice that: just get some food, and sit with your family or friends on the floor and eat with your hands. It is a very cool way to connect with everything and everyone.)
What did we had for dinner? A stir fry of vaggies, tilapia, and salmon. Some lime, and fresh cilantro. And all came perfectly with that delicious flat bread.
Breakfast again… in the outdoors. Pan fried eggs, toast, and turkey bacon. We also made cold brew coffee the day before, and it came out surprisingly good. (Cold brew coffe: Get a mason jar, fill it up with water, spoon in 4-5 tablespoons of your favorite coffee, cover and shake it up for a minute or so, leave alone until next day and boom… Café.)
Dinner: I always keep a few ponds of bones and loose pieces or meat, altogether, in the freezer, for when I have enough I can make a delicious stock, and use the residual meat for a rillette or a paté. It always comes out incredibly good. This time I had turkey, chicken, and a pork chop. There were also potatoes, sweet peppers, onion, garlic, and some chinese sausage.
Anyways, since we had to salvage as much food as possible from the freezer, I got all of that inside a pan and made a broth, then picked out the meat and mixed it with barbeque sauce. Then I boiled some ramen noodles and voila!… BBQ pulled mixed meats, with ramen noodles, swimming in a pool of delicious broth. With Sriracha of course. And again, we dined outside (I am falling in love with it).
That night we went to sleep on a happy stomach, and in the middle of the night… the light came back.
It is said that during difficult times one should find a hobby in order to make it out sane, and it just so happens that mine is cooking. Hurricane or not… Always, #itsfoodoclock.