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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane? What hurricane?

Much like this week's other natural disaster, Hurricane Irene was a bit of a nonevent for me. Kurt and I headed out a while ago to assess the "damage" in the neighborhood.
You can always count on the Cubbyhole to have a clever this case, that would be $3 hurricane shots. I noticed yesterday a number of businesses and some homes had taped their windows...
By the time we left the apartment around 3 p.m. (we had to finish watching our Pay-Per-View rental, Jane Eyre), there were lots of people out walking along the Hudson River Park. Even more than a typical Sunday! Guess everybody was tired of being inside.

The wind has picked up again in the last hour, but overall it's been really quiet. I woke up this morning a little before six and saw some wind and rain, but nothing alarming. By the time I woke up after 10 (oops), it was fine outside and not really even raining anymore.

The biggest adventure of yesterday was going to our local grocery store. When I walked in, I wondered where all the carts and baskets were. Answer: in line! The shelves were stocked, and the store was fully staffed, but they were so overwhemed with customers that I could hardly navigate the aisles to do my shopping. I found everything I needed and then waited in line about 45 minutes, passing the time reading a fascinating/disgusting New York magazine article about placenta consumption and chatting with a delightful British gal in front of me. We both agreed the fact the grocery store could be so well stocked for such unanticipated demand was a reminder of the land of abundance in which we live. Like me, she said she cooks much less here than she did when she lived elsewhere, so the prospect of two days of feeding oneself inside one's apartment seemed novel.

Anyway, for dinner I made Crooks Corner Shrimp and Grits. It's a trusty standby that Leigh Ann and I love, and she has perfected the approach...the secret is to have everything chopped and ready before you start cooking, since it comes together quite quickly. Kurt's birthday was last Saturday, so it was a bit of a belated birthday supper.
Dessert was Crack Pie. I haven't had the real thing at Momofuku Milk Bar, but I noticed the recipe on Bon Appetit's website and thought it would be fun to make, for the name if nothing else. You start by making a big oatmeal cookie.
Once the cookie cools, you crumble it and mix it with softened butter and more sugar, then press it into a crust. (Note, this is supposed to be done in a glass pie dish, but I didn't have one, so I improvised.)
Then you make a filling that is basically just eggs, sugar, a little bit of powdered milk (I had to buy a whole box of powdered milk, which was annoying, but I really wanted to make this pie!)
You bake it for a while at 350, then a while longer at 325. I'm not sure how precisely calibrated our oven is, so I just did my best and figured there was no way I could really screw up anything with this much butter and sugar in it.
I think the pan I used had a larger surface area, so what I ended up with was probably more similar to a cookie bar. It's also meant to be refrigerated overnight...I decided we'd just eat some of it warm and then do a comparison with the cold version today. It was delicious! CRAZY rich. I served it with a little whipped cream to add a little more fat.
Kurt's friend David walked over to enjoy the meal. And there you have it: crack pie and shrimp and grits, that's how we braved the storm of the century!

Looks like I'll be walking 40 blocks to work tomorrow, as it sounds like it will take a while to get the subway running again. Very grateful to the employees at the grocery store and the gym who came to work yesterday and made things so easy for me. It's easy to say people overreacted to this storm now, but rolling our eyes over "much ado about nothing" is certainly preferable to the opposite extreme! 

P.S. result of cold crack pie taste test is that it's good either way. Still need to make a field trip to the Milk Bar to have the real thing.


jennbergerbrown said...

My all time favorite shrimp and grits recipe!

Jaime Lee Puskar said...

I've never done mushrooms in my shrimp and grits ... interesting.

Dee Stephens said...

I've never made shrimp and grits. I may have to try this one. Glad the storm didn't turn out so bad.