I feel the most frustration when I don’t have control over a situation. Like right now, the news is telling me we’re in the midst of a hurricane. All of the subways are shut down and I’m basically trapped in my apartment (“Whatever you do, stay inside!”). However, no one really knows when life will return to normal, that’s the part that is making me anxious. Will it be tomorrow or will we have to wait until Wednesday? Are we going to lose power? When will the trains come back? And most importantly, will Deb Perelman still be able to have a Smitten Kitchen Cookbook release party tomorrow at Williams Sonoma? I’ve seriously been counting down to this event for months and if this bitch Sandy gets in the way I’m going to be seriously pissed.
Its not just weather events that make me insane, but really any time that I can’t be completely in control. On Friday night Evan drove us to White Plains to see my mom. This probably seems like a nonevent, but Evan just got his drivers license a couple of weeks ago and this was my first time driving in a car with him. I was also the navigator. It was a terrible combination of not knowing what to expect from his driving, not knowing exactly how to get where we were going, and the general concern that every car merging on to the highway was going to hit us. I tried so hard to keep my “oh, be careful”s and my “slow down!”s to a minimum. When we were on the Bronx River Parkway, which has no street lights and is super winding, I felt myself twisting in my seat, trying to anticipate every turn. I forced myself to not to use the imaginary foot break that every parent seems to discover when they are teaching their child to drive. I felt really bad because Evan is a great driver. I didn’t feel unsafe while he was driving and was really proud of how calm he was. I am not a very calm driver (clearly!). The bottom line is, I will never teach my future children to drive. Also, no matter how good of a driver Evan is, I still have issues with not having control.
And now this ridiculous hurricane. Last year Hurricane Irene shut the city down. We had no public transportation and basically got a drizzle of rain. I spent most of the day on my couch watching tv (obviously) and keeping track of my friends on Facebook. We all felt like the media had played us and forced us to worry about something that was so not a big deal for the city in the end. That’s where a lot of my anxiety is coming from for this hurricane. I SO want it to be a repeat of Irene with little to no damage and a “return to normalcy” tomorrow. I feel like it might be a bit more serious that Irene but since I have no way of knowing either way I’m having heart palpitations. Also, Monday is my normal day off, so its not like I’m gaining anything here, I’m just forced to stay in my apartment.
So I’ve created a menu. I can’t sit on my couch watching tv all day because that will make me hate myself and give me a killer headache. I’ve decided I’m going to spend the day (or a large part of it) in my kitchen. I made chocolate chip cookies last night and I have a loaf of bread rising right now. Tonight I’m going to make braised chicken thighs by adapting a Michael Symon recipe. Tomorrow, if still relegated to my apartment, I’m going to try my hand at homemade pasta and a one pot Pasta e Fagioli.
Hopefully by focusing my efforts in the kitchen, somewhere that I have a lot of control, I will feel better about this feeling of impending doom the hurricane is bringing on. Of course, if one of my recipes fails, who knows how I might react?
How are you spending your hurricane? You could try this super easy recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Then at least you’d have something to go on the side of your bottle of wine/vodka/bourbon. Also, its only a half batch, so you won’t wake up at the end of the storm wondering what you’re going to do with all the cookies. They’ll all be gone by then.
Looking for other great storm recipes? Try this one: Chicken Sausage, White Bean, Spinach Pot Pies
Hurricane-Size Batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Place your cookie sheet in the refridgerator (this will help the cookies bake more evenly).
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl, set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
Add dry ingredients a little at a time and beat until just incorporated.
Mix in chocolate chips.
Spoon 1 tablespoon size cookies on to a baking sheet (I put a silpat on mine, but I don’t think that’s necessary).
Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes