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How we ate our way through Hurricane Irene

09/11/2011

{I’m so late with this post and the hurricane – at least here in Philadelphia (I realize other places were more affected) – was so underwhelming, that when I typed that title, I had to stop for a minute and think to myself  “it was called Irene, right?”}

So, once upon a time, 2+ weeks ago, Joe & I decided that maybe all the news reports were really real and maybe we should actually do something in the interest of preparing for the hurricane that seemed like it was probably definitely coming our way.  So after work on Friday (and in all honesty, probably after I napped), we made a plan.  It was a 4 prong plan:

1. Go out to eat Friday night, places might all be closed Saturday and Sunday.

2.  Get delicious foods to eat when we are trapped inside.  Consider the possibility the power could go out for an unknown amount of time, but disregard that fact while buying groceries, weighing ‘deliciousness’ more heavily than ‘pershiability’ .

3. Avoid scurvy.

4.  Make sure to have ingredients on hand for tasty treats.

We set to work immediately.

Friday night, out to eat at a Thai restaurant.  Wonderful!  I deviated from my usual drunken noodles to try the Thai dumplings… wonderful!  And they must have known just how I feel about fountain soda.. love!

Saturday morning we got up early and were among the first people at Target.  We actually waited outside for it to open and by the time it did, a crowd of at least 30 had gathered.  Crazy town.  And the grocery section was already pretty picked over from the night before.  On the way home we stopped at the Trader Joe’s that is a block and a half from our apartment (which is AWESOME) to pick up the rest of our goodies.  Per our plan, we let didn’t feel pressured to fill our cart with strictly “non-perishable” items.  That would be for suckers.

By now, maybe 9 or 10 or so, the storm was settling in.

So we scurried on home to unpack our goods and hunker down.

Our grand haul.  Including such delights as the gouda cheese I am featuring, lemon pepper pasta, blackberries, tiny adorable grapes, and beef jerky.

And, most importantly, the ingredients for Hurricane Oreo Balls!

It was raining and we were well into our Mad Men/Community marathon, so I got to work!

When I have made these in the past (under the tutelage of Megan, whom’s MeganTreats are highly regarded and beloved), I have used almond bark but we couldn’t find any at the store.  I don’t think it was a hot hurricane preparedness item, I think it was just a limited baking section at Target.  So I was left with the white chocolate chips. And they were my undoing. 
The whole crushing the oreos up and adding cream cheese and rolling them into balls all went smoothly- messy, but smoothly.  I’ll concede that I probably didn’t leave them in the freezer long enough, but I was getting a lot of strong encouragement/puppy dog eyes from Joe to move the process along.  Sadly, melting the white chocolate chips was a disaster.  DISASTER.

I was working with maybe a third of the chips (thankfully not all of them!) and microwaving them and stirring them. But somewhere along the lines, something went wrong.  Very wrong.  They weren’t getting melty, just crumbly. And burnt. I tried to save them.  Joe tried to save them.  In the end, that batch was thrown out.  Luckily, the rest of the chips melted better. Kind of.

Now came the dipping.  The oreo balls really should be frozen or very cold, but since I had been doing damage control on the chips, they had been sitting out for awhile.  Things were sticky.  Coating them did not go well.  I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Sigh.

You know what though, they tasted pretty okay.

{I was still mad enough about losing presentation points, that I had to try again the next week.   Things went much smoother. Pun intended.}

Jury is still out on whether taste-wise the white chocolate chips are better, or the almond bark.

So by Saturday night, we still hadn’t lost power or anything.  It had rained for hours.  Whether or not it was super windy, we couldn’t tell.  When we looked out apartment window, we really didn’t have any reference points to be able to tell.  No trees bending in the wind or anything.  Just other buildings. Which luckily, weren’t doing any bending.  I conspired to go check things out.

Not so sure about this whole “hurricane” thing.

I tried to turn it in to an adventure walk, but after about 2 blocks Joe caught on and grumped about until we turned around and headed home.

When Sunday rolled around, we still had power.  Thank goodness too- we had launched a spontaneous Lord of the Rings marathon.  And we also had the meal I had been most looking forward to.  Meal? Maybe I am using that term loosely.


When we were at Trader Joe’s, they had samples out of their smoked gouda and these teeny tiny grapes.  Delightful! So we got some bread to go with and made a meal out of it.  I LOVED these grapes!

You can’t quite tell how bitty they were in this picture.  But trust me.

Cuteness aside, they also tasted great.  Very flavorful.  And sweet, but not too sweet.

After the rain stopped on Sunday, we were pretty stir crazy to get out of the apartment.  We walked the Shuylkill River and checked out some of the flooding.  I took plenty of pictures,  but I just realized these pictures are pretty boring, especially if you don’t know what it usually looks like.  So I will spare you these pictures.  This one time.

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