The Weekend In Food: Hurricane Ike Edition


6:00pm:  Using the last of the perishable items in the refrigerator/freezer to make dinner: rice pilaf with peas, salad with roasted beets, bell peppers and homemade balsamic vinegar dressing.  The dinner is somewhat haphazard, but the rest of the other really good perishable items were used for last night’s dinner, this morning’s breakfast and this afternoon’s lunch.  We’re down to the dregs.

7:30pm:  Write last two dispatches for Houstonist before we inevitably lose power.

9:00pm:  Sit in front of television and watch the gorgeousness that is Erik Barajas and the awesomeness that is Hurricane Ike Bear.  Wonder when the hurricane will actually make its way to us.

11:00pm:  After getting extremely tired of hearing the phrases “hunker down” and “certain death,” decide to go to bed.  Will hopefully sleep through Ike just like I slept through Hurricane Alicia.


2:30am:  Wake up as Richard retreats from the bed to the guest room.  Not because of the hurricane, mind you, but because I was snoring so loudly.

4:15am:  Wake up again as hurricane is now quite loud.  Power is gone, as expected.  Get hand-cranked radio from downstairs and listen to news on KUHF.

4:30am:  Hear news that the landmark restaurant Brennan’s has been destroyed in a fire; the manager and his daughter are very badly burned.  So, so sad.

8:00am:  Wake up again to tropical storm winds and lots of rain.  Hurricane has passed.  Poke face against window to assess damage.  Rummel Creek behind our house looks like the Brazos River and the streets are flooded.

9:00am:  Wake Richard up to go outside and start clearing drains so street doesn’t flood any further.

10:00am:  With help from neighbors, storm drains are all cleared out and floodwaters have begun to go down very quickly.  Downside: am now soaked and covered in disgusting, oily water.  Also: splinters.

10:05am:  Oh, hey…was that our carport?  Damn.

10:15am:  Back inside for a quick water break and breakfast of random fruits.

10:30am:  Calling assorted parents and grandparents and friends to check on everyone.  Everyone is cool.

11:00am:  Back outside, cleaning branches and tree limbs and tree that fell in our backyard.  Neighbors are all out, puttering around, doing the same.  Despite the rain, people are generally chipper and happy that more damage wasn’t done.

2:00pm:  Backyard completely cleaned up, all lawn furniture and potted plants that were taken inside are back outside, and debris is outside our back gate awaiting pick up.  Feeling pretty pleased with ourselves.

2:30pm:  Eating applesauce and tortillas and peanut butter for lunch like dopey kids.  Listening to hand-cranked radio and feeling pretty lucky that we got so little damage.

3:00pm:  Head over to my mom’s house to check on her.  Her street looks a lot worse than ours, but their neighbors are all out in full force cleaning it up.  This is what I love about Houston: no one here sits around and waits to be helped; we help ourselves and each other.  We are industrious, good-natured, friendly, and helpful.  Every city should be as awesome as Houston.

3:30pm:  Driving around with mom, assessing the damage in other areas.  Memorial/west Houston is a mess, with trees and brick walls and power lines down everywhere, but doing well compared to the east side and south side.

5:00pm:  Back at home, gathering candles for coming darkness.  Sitting outside, listening to tiny radio, drinking cabernet and eating crusty French bread with lots of butter.  Not bad, overall.

7:00pm:  Best friend comes over to keep me and Richard company.  Drink more wine and tell silly stories until it gets pitch black outside.  Houston never gets dark, ever.  This is weird but cool.

9:00pm:  Best friend takes off and Richard and I retreat inside, away from the bugs.  Fall asleep on couch listening to news reports on radio…

Sunday will come tomorrow.

You, Too, Can Have Hot Food!

No, I don’t have power.  Or water.  But I am back at work today, as expected.  Also as expected, everyone here is wearing a suit and tie, acting as if nothing at all happened over the weekend.  I rebelled at this lack of concern for employees by wearing jeans, flip flops and a peasant shirt I got at a thrift store.  Take that, corporate America.  A-holes.

Anyway.  More about the weekend soon enough, but for now here is a list — courtesy of the Chronicle — of restaurants that are open today if you want a hot meal:


P.S.  Let us not talk about Brennan’s yet.  It is too sad.  😦