27 August 2011

my hurricane survival kit

In case you haven't heard yet, there's a wicked storm a-brewin'.  I'm talking about that badass lady, Hurricane Irene.  Here in Brooklyn they have us all hunkering down, cowering in our apartments (or the local bar,) trapped without any means of public transportation, the bodegas quickly running low on supplies, and threats of zones and power outages taking over all the airwaves.  After many warnings, mostly from my mom but the Mayor, too, I decided that it was probably a good idea to put together a hurricane survival kit. Me being me though, my priorities may be a little different than other folks so I made a few adjustments to the traditional survival kit.  Here's how I'll be getting through the wild and windy evening:

Basic Supplies -  I have a freezer full of water.  I have candles, matches and a flashlight.  I've got chips and salsa, cheese and crackers, pb&j, and plenty of iced coffee.  And if the power does go out and all that frozen meat starts to defrost, enough bbq to feed the whole block!  I think I'm covered in the basic supplies area.

Power - Staying in touch with the rest of the world is important and for up-to-the-minute weather and news, the internet is key.  So, I've been charging all day and have a fully-loaded phone and laptop.  Thankfully the internet is still working so I can watch awesome movies like Desperately Seeking Susan now streaming on Netflix!  Also take note of the wine.  It's important to keep myself calm and collected to remain in charge of any crazy situations.  That's what the wine is for.

Gear - Staying dry is important, but so is being comfortable and fashionable.  Hence the flashy galoshes and purple hot pants.  And all those years of my parents pushing ponchos on me has finally paid off.  I have a stash of them ready to throw on at a moments notice... and you better believe those suckers are getting bedazzled!

Entertainment - It's important to not get bored during natural disaster-ish times like this because boredom only leads to bad things like looting and getting struck by lightening.  So I've gathered a wide selection of flicks including The Notebook and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, because you never know what kind of movie mood you'll be in when stuck indoors for hours on end.  If a movie marathon gets to be a little too lazy, board games are always a great backup.  Among my collection are Scrabble, Uno, Mystery Date and Jenga!  Those are sure to keep you busy with or without electricity.  And for when my brain starts to feel like it's turning to mush, I've got plenty of intellectual entertainment in the form of three jam packed bookshelves.  Currently off the shelf being read are George Eliot's Middlemarch and Esmeralda Santiago's Conquistadora.  Plus, don't you just love reading by candlelight?  So what if it's bad for your eyes, it's so classically romantic and makes me feel like Jo from Little Women.

Stay entertained and don't go looting!  And don't get struck by lightening either.  Be smart and stay inside.  And if your power is still on and you're feeling inclined to hang out in the kitchen like I did for most of the day (when I wasn't napping that is,) here's my special hurricane-themed culinary creation: Dark and Stormy cupcakes!  How perfect are these?  The national drink of Bermuda transformed into a confection.  Start with a chocolate rum cake, top with ginger lime icing and decorate with candied ginger and all of a sudden it's like you're drinking that delicious combo of dark rum and ginger beer.  Share them with your friends and neighbors since you'll probably be spending a lot of time with them over the course of the next two days.  You'll be the new building favorite!  

sir shitballs approves of these cupcakes

dark and stormy cupcakes
dark rum & chocolate cupcakes
1 c unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c sugar
4 eggs
1/2 c plus 2 tbsp Gosling's dark rum
2 c flour
1 c dutch processed cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 c warm water
1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line or grease two cupcake tins.  In your mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, continuing to mix on a medium speed.  Add the rum and continue mixing until everything is completely combined.
2. Sift together flour and cocoa powder.  Mix in baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.  Add the dry mix to the mixer alternately with the water, beginning and ending with the dry mix.  Continue to mix on a low speed until all the ingredients are well combined.
3. Bake for about 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove cupcakes from the tin and let cool completely before icing.

lime ginger icing
12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 c unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp dry ground ginger
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1. In the bowl of your mixer cream together butter and cream cheese until well combined.  Gradually add in the sugar.
2. Mix in both gingers and lime juice.  You can add more sugar if the frosting gets too thinned out for your liking.  You can also add more fresh ginger if you want a little more of the spicy zest that ginger beer is so famous for!

if you buy the big bottle & some quality ginger beer, you can mix matching cocktails!

Remember, don't go out if you don't have to.  Stay in touch with friends and family and don't be alone.  Take this opportunity to get to know the other people in your building.  Have a potluck and share supplies.  Also, make sure you have an escape plan in case things do get nasty.  My escape plan includes my bicycle and an air mattress.  I think I'll be alright!  Happy Hurricane everyone!


  1. That is a great survival kit! I waited a little too long to prepare mine, and by the time I got to Target there was not a flashlight or water jug to be found. I eventually found a hefty water jug supply at the shifty gas station by my house, so for all future natural disasters, I am definitely heading to the shifty gas station first. :) Glad you stayed safe and I hope there was no damage in your area!

  2. Shifty gas stations and bodegas will always provide you with the most random but surprisingly useful survival tools! Hop all remained well in your neck of the woods.