Surviving Hurricane Irene

“Loves how New Yorkers are ‘unimpressed’ w/ #Irene.” I have to agree with my childhood friend Arvi. I would rather be unimpressed than overwhelmed by a hurricane, so you won’t see me complaining! The media coverage made it seem like New York City was going to be washed away. And even though 80 mph winds would probably flick me a few blocks, I wasn’t too worried. After all, in grade school we used to huddle around the radio in the Philippines hoping for a category 3 typhoon (hurricane) so that schools would be closed that day. I still had to schlep to class if it was a category 1 such as Irene.

New York smirks when London and Seattle practically shut down with only 2 inches of snow. In turn, California snickers at New York for its flurry of tweets and evacuations during our recent earthquake. (Since I’ve never seen an apartment shake, at first I thought I was hallucinating until I checked Twitter to see if anyone else felt it. Gotta love how social media gives you updates faster than news wires!)

Of course, everything is relative based on what we are prepared for. For example, London and Seattle do not have the piles of salt and the army of snowplows that we do…so yes, they are going to have problems when the thin layer of snow turns into a slick sheet of ice.

And so when I heard about hurricane Irene, I made sure to prepare. Not because I feared for my life, but why stick yourself into a needlessly uncomfortable situation? Flashlights, check. Backup candles and matches, check. Drinking water, check. Fill the tub with washing water, check. Five day supply of food, definitely a triple check!

And so I began my marathon cooking session at midnight on Friday. Most people plop into bed after a late night celebrating their friend Shane’s “20th” birthday. I, on the other hand, make a mental list of dishes as I watch the numbers tick up in the elevator, then make a beeline for the kitchen. Sad, I know.

It wasn’t so much that I was worried about starving during the hurricane (I can happily live off of marshmallows, dried fruit and nuts for a few days). I was more worried that the power may go out and spoil everything in the refrigerator. Plus it was a fun challenge to see how much I could make using only the ingredients that I had on hand–granted, I have a ridiculously stocked pantry. I did have a momentary panic attack when I realized I ran out of onions, but then remembered the lovely bunch of leeks from the Union Square Greenmarket.

Here is my account of how I survived hurricane Irene. Consider it a diary of sorts that tracks every hour from Friday night to Sunday afternoon.

Ok, I did pause for some afternoon tea to enjoy the cookies and cupcakes.

And I did take a break to sleep…sort of.

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