Friday, June 10, 2011

Hurricanes? Think Italian

We have gas. A gas stove. If the power-lines go down, unlike most of our neighbors, we will enjoy hot tea and three meals a day. Bummer. When an advanced civilization collapses and we are back to foraging for food, that should be the good part, guilt-free survival on chips and cookies.

But, in fact, after Andrew we had so much stuff to eat out of the freezer, we were eating heartier than we had done for weeks. Slaving over a hot stove, even by candlelight, was not my idea of the aftermath of a hurricane.

Anyway, when the ice in the cooler finally melts, you need a plan. Basically, you return to pre-fridge days: think old gnarled peasants, their old gnarled garlic sausages hanging from sooty beams, with a string of onions. Add a can of tomatoes, red wine and good old happy-to-be in-a-cardboard-box pasta. Think Italian!

In fact, getting ready for a hurricane is just like preparing for our Fourth of July party- Not how many people do we estimate are coming? But how many days do we need to provide for? How many paper plates? napkins? chips? crackers? water? sodas? fruit juice? red wine? Get Jim Bean.- No one wants warm beer.
And then not dusting and polishing but fill water bottles, find hurricane lamps, nail plywood over windows and sit in front of the TV in the gloom, while there's still power, waiting for the big news. When is Andrew, Gustave, Pedro or Doris arriving - how far away. That's why, when the hurricane misses us, we are resentful. We did all this? For a no show, for a cancellation? Nothing but a few leaves and twigs on the ground! We gave a party and nobody came!

But now forecasting is sharper; no longer: "Tie down your trash cans and bring in the dogs! From Key West to Orlando!" On the other hand, things appear to be heating up and we may find in the future our quaintly named hurricanes are not so much expected guests as mindless party crashers.

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