One of my favourite parts about the pending natural disaster was observing what people purchase in times of crisis. The food that they believe will sustain them for a day/week/month. The things that I notice are the QUANTITY of food purchased and the type of food purchased.
I was busy sewing when news of how bad the floods would be hit, so my best friend and I headed to the shops to grab essentials – goods for a cheese platter, a bottle of gin and few bottles of wine, a bag of trail mix and a bag of apples.
So when news of the severity of the hurricane hit New York, the first thing I did was hit the supermarket- not with the purpose of stocking up on produce myself, but to see how the American people prepared their pantry for crisis mode.
A country a 33.8% obesity rate, you can only imagine what their trolley’s would be filled with!
Trolley takings consisted mainly of:
1. Pre-packed frozen meals – which baffled me as there was talk of the main power supply being cut off to Manhattan from 7pm Saturday
2. Slabs of bottled water
3. gallons of ‘soda’
4. Enough toilet paper to build a small castle
5. tins of tuna
6. bags of crisps
7. beer (the only thing I could see eye to eye with)
8. A year’s supply of candles (maybe they were going to heat the frozen meals by candlelight?)
9. muesli bars
10. Tubs of ice-cream (again baffled by the pending non-power issue)
My Hurricane dining experience was on the more ‘high brow’ end of the frozen meal reheated by candles scale. I was lucky enough to be able to beat cabin fever and attend an ‘END OF SUMMER LAMB BURGER AND OYSTER EXTRAVAGANZA’ at my friend, and the beauty and brains behind anatomy of food, Aimee Hunters apartment. The invite was BYO salad, main course was provided- lobster, oysters, and organic lamb burgers oh my! In other words- I had died and gone to food heaven.
The pending natural disaster meant that supermarket supplies were limited. Originally I was tossing up between making the ‘puy lentil salad’ or the ‘bejeweled rice salad’ to take. I decided on the puy lentil, however with supermarket supplies running low, I couldn’t find puy lentils anyway, so decided to use a wild/brown/long grain rice mix… and the salad turned out to be a delicious fusion of both, which I have named ‘hurricane salad’ in honour of the circumstance in which it was born.
(serves 10 as a side)
2 cups wild/brown/long grain rice blend
1.5 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/3 cup mint, finely chopped
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 Lebanese cucumber, cut into
6 strips lengthways, then cut into pieces
200g feta, cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper
Cover the rice with 4.5 cups of water, bring to boil then cover, and reduce to simmer for about 20 minutes (keep checking to make sure the rice isn’t burning) until tender but still firm. Drain any excess water and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine flat leaf parsley, mint, onion, feta and cooled rice.
Mix together lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss through salad.
The next day when the rest of the New York people were deciding which of their frozen dinners to have for breakfast or wondering how many different ways you can used tinned tuna, we were breakfasting on left over lamb burgers, shucking oysters, making lobster rolls and munching on trail mix in a whirlwind of health and happiness.