Oh, my goodness.
You may not know this, but I have had a serious, soul-pulling dream to up-root and move my family to Vermont, where we would buy a house with a barn, get a cow and some chickens, and have a bed and breakfast. We would enjoy four complete seasons and be close to the places I hold dear from my childhood.
Yeah. That was a nice dream.
I am officially abandoning it. Breaks my heart!
Remember when I posted this picture?
I must have been temporarily insane.
Last week was a doozy, hence no posts from me. After getting nearly two feet of snow, it all iced over and our power went out, along with most of Western Washington’s. We cooked on top of our little wood stove. Nachos in a Dutch oven, anyone? That was the high point.
When you have no electricity and also have small children, it’s like camping. Worse than camping because it was not planned. Okay, maybe better than camping because you’re in your house, but, still, a mom has to care for her family and tend to their needs without the one tool that makes it all pretty easy.
Mr. Fresh Scratch did a wonderful job of moving the contents of our fridge and freezers out into the snow, chopping fire wood, and shoveling frequently.
He also enjoyed playing his guitar near the fire, belting out Pink Floyd and Neil Young numbers, grinning like we were around an actual camp fire in shorts in the summer.
That night, we lay in bed, listening to many series of, “Snap! Snap! Pop!…Crash!” as tree limbs all around us broke from the weight of the heavy snow and ice. A couple of our trees snapped clean in half! It was unsettling. As was that creepy silence that comes from a dark, snowy night.
In between power outages and network outages and cable outages, we did manage a few meals during our unexpected break that I actually photographed. They are…interesting.
Mr. Fresh Scratch made “Chicken Kabobs!” one night. They were cooked in turmeric and a bunch of other stuff, very curry-like and delicious. Sometimes he forgets about the sides, the veggies, etc, so this was served with some lovely olives and toast :).
While the power was out, I thought a big pot of beans wouldn’t be too hard to cook on the stove. We had some ham slices that were thawing out from no freezer action, so I used them in the place of bacon and then just boiled a pot of pinto beans with salt and pepper. My lovely, life-saving friend Stacee never lost power once, so I invited myself over to do some laundry that afternoon, to bake some cornbread (I couldn’t figure out how to make that work without my oven) to go with the beans, and most importantly, to regain some sanity, people.
I was starting to think of the term “stir crazy” one too many times.
I was starting to think of the Donner Party and how isolation must do weird things to people.
I was even starting to think of “The Shining.” My friend Marie said the same thing!
Anyway, thankfully my power was restored in the middle of cooking the beans, so the stovetop got to do most of the work!
That night, I rejoiced by popping “500 Days of Summer” into the dvd player. Have you seen it? It warmed me up.
Mr. Fresh Scratch loves his mama’s beef stroganoff. He found a recipe on the Whole Foods app and gave it a whirl. It was not my favorite. I was expecting sour cream, but it was kind of vinegar-y and lemon-y and tomato-y. Tomatoes?
I will need to talk to my mother-in-law and hopefully procure her recipe.
We capped off the crazy storm week with some yummy, hot butternut squash soup from Katie Lee Joel’s The Comfort Table. I roasted a huge squash, an apple, and an onion together to start, then added some broth, and some bouquet garni (note to self: remove that little cheesecloth bag before blending…whoops!), and served it with some warm ciabatta. Delightful and sweet.
Huh, just like me.
If you live around here, what/how did you cook for your family during the storm? I’d love to get ideas for
next time camping.