Rock you like a hurricane

The day before hurricane Irene (which was ‘downgraded’ to a tropical storm by the time she reached New England), we pulled everything that could be blown around by the storm into the shed:

Container Garden in the Shed

I had to hack at my really tall tomato plant to get it to fit. *sniff* It felt like a premature ‘farewell’ to summer – packing it all away for an extraordinarily windy day. I can’t wait to pull it all back out tomorrow morning and see the sunshine again!

The average New Englander runs out to the supermarket in a frantic shopping spree picking store shelves clean of bread, milk and water. I hadn’t a clue why these people don’t have pantries until I heard about the French Toast Alert System. Ooooh. Now I get it, everyone is obsessed with making French Toast during a hurricane/earthquake/tornado/blizzard/insertothernaturaldisastersthatcanbepredictedinadvance. Got it.

Good thing I have a well-stocked pantry (thanks for that life lesson mom!!) and refrigerator. Inspired by a recent visit to S&S in Cambridge I’ve been itching to make my own version of their brie-stuffed French Toast. Using this brioche recipe from the Artisan Bread blog I made a loaf, sliced it and dredged it in vanilla yogurt thinned with a little milk then pan fried the slices. Using a traditional sandwich making technique I sliced double cream brie (I prefer to remove the outer wax covering but some folks leave it on), placed it on one slice of bread, smeared some of my homemade mango raspberry jam on top, then sandwiched it with a second slice of bread. With a covered skillet on low I gently warmed the sandwiches until the brie was starting to ooze out of them. A pad of butter and drizzle of local maple syrup made this an amazing meal to ride out Irene.

Brie Stuffed French Toast

I would also like to point at that folks can use reusable glass or plastic bottles to stock up on H2O in the event of loss of water in their house. This is how I prep for a storm:

Water Supply for a Storm

And if your power is still on and you’ve got five pounds of CSA cabbage that’s been transforming into sauerkraut for the last three weeks on the counter like I did, can ’em:

Raw Pack Sauerkraut

Or just make donuts and call it ‘therapy’ when the high winds start to raise the hairs on your neck:

Homemade Donuts

My thoughts are with the millions of people still without power, and to those who lost loved ones due to this storm. While I had moments of sheer boredom today I certainly feel lucky that it wasn’t as bad as the news had predicted it could be. Mother Nature has had a pretty powerful go this year!

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