Sandy, Sandy, Sandy. Why'd'ja gotta be so harrrrd on my friends and places I love? We have so many friends in NY and the Jersey shore, it was very difficult to see what happened to places that brought us so much joy.
But, unlike Irene, who left us without electricity for several days last year, Sandy was pretty kind to us and gave us a one-hour outage. Big shout-out to Com Ed from Chicago, who worked their butts off out here to get us all back online quickly. (I tried to leave them a message on the website, but no go. So I'll say it here: those guys rocked. I hope they all got home safe and sound with lots of good overtime to their families because they kept our families safe and cared for and I am totally grateful to them for it.)
But I loved having two--no, wait, three--days off with the boys. (While we were at the party--see below--the phones started buzzing that there was one more day off--Halloween. These Halloweens are getting very memorable...) We finally caught up to The Lorax movie, I heard from old friends who were anxious (rightfully) looking at the weather maps, we got the basement together for our new heater (and just in time)...overall, I am crazy-grateful, and doing and donating what I can to make it better for those who were affected so much more than we were.
This, hopefully natural disaster free, week:
Monday: crock pot pork roast sandwiches, salad, roasted cauliflower
Tuesday: out! Lego Build, baby.
Wednesday: potato chip chicken from the freezer (almost done the cleanout, woo!), broccoli, salad
Thursday: taco Thursday. I'm almost liking this better than Taco Tuesday.
Friday: Unclear. Home football games are over, which is a good thing, so maybe back to pizza. If not, I do have one fish dish left from Dinner A'fare, and maybe we'll do that.
So for Sandy, I did Jan's Italian Beef sandwiches (see sidebar) though with a much smaller roast--I liked it better that way, actually, and will try to remember that.
The other thing that came out of Sandy: an impromptu surprise party for a friend, to celebrate her and also to get our crazed kids out of the house the night before Halloween. They needed cakes, so I made cakes: my favorite chocolate chip bundt, and a new one for us, Catherine Newman's Buttermilk Cake. The buttermilk cake made me feel like a bad mother because my kids kept getting in the way of my fantasy good-mom-baking-with-her-kids routine, by wandering in and out or otherwise complicating things. I will say, I didn't lose my sh*t until it was the third time I had to re-do something, and the boys got it and moved out of my way. (The egg separating? Let's just say it was a good thing that eggs were 18 for $1.88. We had about 6 left by the end of the afternoon. Then I didn't read and used self-rising flour for some of the flour mixture...but that should have been a sign to me because my usually-very-reliable reader swore up and down that it was 1/2 tsp of baking powder and baking soda...when it was 1 and 1/2. Stuff like that.) So in the end, the cake went in the oven with 2 sticks of butter, instead of one and a half, and 1/3 of the baking powder and soda that was supposed to be there. But it came out delicious anyway, almost like caramel, and then I went for broke in the Catherine Newman department and put her best-ever cream cheese frosting on top. I might add a little less cream next time, because I had trouble getting it to set in any way, shape, or form. But it was tasty and made me feel like a good friend--I baked a cake! From scratch! Alas, the whole "asking the kids to leave the kitchen" is not very Catherine Newman of me, so the victory was hollow. But I tried, and I didn't yell, and we did spend a lot of time together, and they learned a lot about careful reading of recipes and how to separate and egg and what it means to cream butter. So it's a partial win. And the cake was really, really good.
If you are reading this, that means you have electricity and hopefully heat and all good things. Our little corner of the world is doing ok Sandy-wise but we have had some other bleak happenings (bleakest: our district lost a first grader this weekend) so I'm going to be Yet Another Person in the parade of people saying: look out for each other. Be kind with each other. And most of all, be kind with yourself. I'm not proud I started losing it over eggs and flour. I am proud that I didn't yell...that's progress. So I'm hanging on to that and moving along. Hug your kids tight, if you have 'em. Donate to a relief agency. Enjoy those leaves as they turn. And have a great week. Check out I'm An Organizing Junkie! to see other ideas for your dinners this week.