Monday, October 29, 2012

And the rain came sideways...

I couldn't sleep this morning. Wide awake at 5:30 am. And since it didn't seem like the storm had hit yet, I thought - well heck, I'll go to the grocery store! Yesterday I had settle for the milk as that was essential, but I had wanted:  celery, lemons, and onions - for reasons I will explain in a bit. But let me tell you - 6am the morning of a big storm is the day to shop. Only me and a few other half awake poor souls. Got everything I wanted and walked right up to the self check out. In and out and home in 15 minutes. 
I got home and thought I better check on my handy work. Good thing I did.
Look at that! There is so much water in that tube it collapsed. It needed some serious prepping up so that the water would run out.

Problem number 2 - there wasn't enough slope for the other drain to drain properly away from the house.
The water was just running right out into the biggest problem spot for the basement!

So to work. After half an hour of trying to fiddle with things as they were, bonking my head on the railings in the corner a few times, I got the bright idea to switch the contraptions. This worked much better.  
Although it's not draining at the end of the black thingy - it's draining out in the lawn which is a plus. 

 There is so much water coming off of my house - it is unbelievable!
It's just pouring off in a steady stream. I'm going to have a big mud puddle there on Wednesday - but that's better than the water running down directly in the ground right beside the house. This was about all I could do. I went into the house and hoped for the best. I've kept an eye on these drains all day and so far they haven't blown away.
And what do you do on a hurricane day? Just marvel at how the world shuts down. Work was closed today. There was no public transportation operating and the radio was full of doom. But I decided to make the most of my good fortune and do a bunch of things I've been wanting to do for a while. First on the list - put a pot of split pea on the stove and let it simmer all day. That's what the celery and onion were for from my shopping excursion.

And then a glorious studio day! What a luxury to spend so much unbroken time working. I have an exchange due next Saturday for the Guild of Bookworkers. I'm very happy with what I ended up making. While the soup was simmering I got everything prepped and printed and had two long chats on skype with Melanie - the birthday girl :), which ended when her power went out. I really hope our power doesn't go out, but if it does I have plenty to do tomorrow. My exchange still needs to be folded and a tab glued on. None of that requires electricity.

And what do you do with the rest of your evening? Have a cooking and taste testing evening of course. Yes really. I've decided The Cookbook needs some hype so I'm going to post some blog posts on our blog at work. I've been choosing which recipes to feature. This is tough because some of the best ones don't sound so great. But they are delicious! Not to mention super easy. The first one I really want to post is the Cauliflower with White Sauce. Mostly because I got two heads in my CSA share last week and it needs to be eaten. The sauce is - (well, Mrs. Emlen calls for cream - but I used whole milk which worked just fine) - cream, butter, flour, a good deal of white pepper [sic], nutmeg and a bit of salt.

 Next I made Mrs. Washington's lettuce tart. This is a Thanksgiving standard of mine, but I need to take pictures for the blog post. So I whipped one up. This is super easy. Cover the bottom of a pie crust with chopped prunes which have been sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. Blanch chopped cabbage and put on top of the prunes. Cover the whole with another crust. Bake for 30 mins. 350°F. Don't knock it 'till ya tried it.

And finally I tried something new. This will need a bit of perfecting but it is going to be a new favorite as well. Rice Dumplings call for apples peeled and cored, abit of rice for each apple, grated lemon peel and a thick wine sauce - wine, flour, butter, sugar, and nutmeg. So you put the rice in the middle of a thin cloth, put the apple on top and the grated lemon peal in the core. Wrap the whole thing tightly put it into cold water.  Bring alto a boil, then cook 20 minutes. Wine sauce - boil wine (I used what I had - a shiraz (very strong flavor but tasted great), adding the sugar and nutmeg. Smash the butter and flour together, and when the wine is boiling whisk in the butter/flour mixture. Stir until thick. To serve, somehow you are supposed to remove the apple/rice dumpling from the cloth without the rice breaking apart (or apparently off of the apple). I was not very successful.
 Who helped me eat all this food? My tenants, who are such lovely people. We were all off today and when I bumped into them this afternoon and asked if they were up for some taste testing they said sure! We had fun thinking about how to correct the rice dumplings. Maybe I should have used sticky rice - maybe the fabric has to be removed immediately - maybe it has to be cold - dipped in cold water? Or maybe the muslin I used was too thick. Maybe I need to use cheesecloth. The bottom line is that this dish was so good, it really won't be a chore to perfect it.

The storm really rolled in while we were eating. And now as I'm typing my standard leak over the window is back. At first it was just a few drips. The strong winds have been coming from the North all day. Since I am the south side of the twin - the other house has been taking the brunt of the weather. But I think the storm has turned somehow. The wind is now hitting me straight from the east. This is pushing the water into the gap between the window sill on the third floor and the roof. I'm kind of hoping the storm will turn again and lay off on that. But as long as the electricity stays put, I will be a happy camper. Cross your fingers.

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