Trying to cope with Hurricane Sandy’s Recovery
I can truly say we are fortunate to have this wood stove. It has kept us warm and we were able to cook on it, too. You might laugh, but in these trying times, we had some romantic candle light dinners. Before I write anything else I want to thank everyone including my friends and family members for all the well wishes we have received during and after Hurricane Sandy. For all of you who didn’t read my last post about the hurricane recovery with rice pudding this one is a follow up.
Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
Waking up at 45 degrees Fahrenheit ( 7 degrees Celsius) in the house is no fun, but heating up the wood stove and boiling water for coffee is energizing. Adding scrambled eggs and bacon (it’s actually amazing that I was able to make that on the wood stove) and the breakfast became the highlight of the day. When I would usually gobble down my breakfast in minutes I would enjoy this meal like a Michelin style food. Of course at one point the refrigerator became empty and the famous peanut butter sandwich would do just fine.
Oh – So – Romantic Candle Light Dinners
Don’t get me wrong, I do love romantic candle light dinners. Doing everything with candle light becomes tedious. You know – leaving one room to go to another and not taking the candle with you is agonizing. Hey, what am I complaining about, there are people in this world who have it much worse. In short I really did enjoy my candle light dinners albeit my cooking preparation and the cooking had to be done before dawn. Not an easy task considering that cooking on the wood stove takes 2-3 times as long as on a regular stove. These type of wood stoves are not really designed to cook on. Nonetheless, it was the only heat source we had and the food in the refrigerator was in jeopardy of spoiling, since we had no power. In the end it was fun to eat at candle light.
During these 14 days I cooked everything from spaghetti with tomato basil butter sauce, rice pudding, Lentil soup, grilled jerk marinated chicken just to name a few.
One thing I must say the slow cooking on the wood stove really made most dishes come out absolutely delicious. As a chef I always race to get things done, not so on the wood stove. It takes a bit of time for the food to cook.
So one of my dishes I cooked during this time was a seared codfish with beans and boiled potatoes. I enjoyed this dish so much it’s probably because of the situation we were in. The flavors of the dish were so sweet in a sense that I could have eaten it all night long. I guess it was because I cooked the fish first and used the same pan for the sauce. Again the temperature of the stove was important too. It sort of cooked it in slow motion and came out succulent and tender. (If I may say so)
- Codfish filets
- Juice from 2 lemons
- 1.5 cup of flour
- Salt and pepper
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 yellow pepper, sliced
- ½ pint cherry tomatoes
- 10 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
- 0.5 cup beer
- 1-2 oz Ketchup
- Vegetable stock as needed
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil for sauteing
- Wash and clean codfish filets.
- Season with plenty of lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Dust filets with flour.
- In a large heavy bottom pan heat olive oil over medium heat until hot.
- Place codfish filets carefully in pan and sear both sides for about 4 – 5 minutes each.
- The thicker the filet the longer they need to cook. Codfish fillets are done when segments become flaky and easy to pull apart.
- Remove filets from pan and keep warm.
- Add all other ingredients to the same pan. Do not rinse pan since you want to keep all those good flavors in the pan.
- Add a little olive oil if necessary.
- Once vegetables are half way cooked add 0.5 cup of beer (lager is fine) and an oz or 2 ketchup.
- Add a little vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper.
- Reduce liquid slightly and serve.
- Serve Codfish with your choice of rice or potatoes and veggies. Enjoy
One thing for sure – a hurricane brings people together, whether its family or neighbors. And very often the romantic candle light dinners turned out to be quiet relaxing.
I do have to say; this experience has brought me closer to nature. It has taught me to be more conservative with my resources and to respect the environment I live in.
Have you had any dramatic live changing events due to Natural Disasters?
How did you cope with that?
Do you like slow cooking methods?