Dear East Meadow,
I am writing this at 7 p.m. during the blizzard that is raging outside. Ice and snow are blowing against the house, which is quite cold. Not a snowplow in sight yet. The lights have flickered a bit; I'm praying that they don't go out. LIPA, don't fail me now!
My husband went to on Front Street today to do our usual weekly shopping. He was amazed at how many people were packed into the store; the lines to check out snaked nearly to the back of the building. The Christmas spirit was nowhere in sight.
I always am amazed by what people purchase before a storm: milk, eggs, bread and other "staple" items. What are they gonna do, make French toast? This is an entirely incorrect approach. If the lights do go out, which is highly possible, forget the French toast if you use an electric stove, as we do. In the huge blackout of 2003, I lost a 3 lb. meatloaf; I had just popped that sucker in the oven when the power went out. My husband still talks about his loss. That was a summer blackout, so I did my part and helped put the ice cream out of its misery before it melted away.
The "real" staple items, as any true foodie knows, are things you don't have to cook. Chips are a must; dip is optional. Salsa adds some spice. If you've had the foresight to bake, cookies and cakes are quite good to have on hand too. Store-bought versions will do in a pinch. M&M's are always good. So, to review, here are the four food groups to have on hand during a blizzard/blackout: (1) Chips. (2) Cookies. (3) Cake. (4) Candy. We can call these the four C's for short. They do not form a food pyramid but instead more of a round shape, which you too will develop if you follow these rules.
Kids all over Facebook are complaining about how the blizzard has struck during winter break, thereby depriving them of a snow day. Hey, kids, I don't get WEEKS off at a time for holidays, so suck it up and quit your whining. My company had the courtesy and decency to already post on its website that we were closed due to "inclement weather." I love the understatement of that phrase. Also, does anyone ever remark that we are experiencing "clement" weather?
My poor dog suffers greatly in the snow. There's not very much of her, only about 12 pounds or so. She holds out as long as she can, but then she must go out. It is comical to watch her little body sink into the snow, and a little pitiful too. She does her business as fast as she can, leaving little yellow puddles in the fresh white snow, then staggers back inside, where we wrap her up tightly in a towel like a burrito and dry her off. She then rolls on the floor for a few minutes, as if she were dipped in egg and trying to coat herself in bread crumbs. She looks puzzled when we howl with laughter, then demands a biscuit as a reward for making us laugh.
OK, all this talk of food is making me hungry. Off to scavenge for some of the 4 C's while I can still find the kitchen. Flashlights are ready, Snuggie's are on, The Sound of Music is on TV, and we are prepared. Stay warm and safe, East Meadow. Wait, I just remembered a fifth essential "C": cocoa! Gotta go find the marshmallows…