Some people remember what they wore or what was said. I remember what I ate.
This was perfectly illustrated in an exchange with my dear A:
Me: I remember Hurricane Floyd vividly. My dad was at work, and came home with these chocolate chip muffins that I used to love because they were never too dry and always had a high chocolate to muffin batter ratio. It was so cool that regular work was suspended and we ate those muffins.
A: Wasn't that the hurricane when you broke your wrist?
Oh yes. That's right. I broke my wrist during that hurricane. I remember that too, very clearly, but it was the muffins that popped in to my mind first.
Storms have a way of focusing on the essentials: the isolation of a hurricane or blizzard sends everyone panicked and running for the store, preparing with favorite foods to hunker down and stay strong. Maybe the excitement of the out-of-the-ordinary event provokes a strong sensory and taste memory as well.
Huddled against the wind and the rain, the primal storm evokes a primal desire for warmth and comfort, and what better way to provide that comfort then filling the house with the scent of cooking? Comfort comes in different flavors, dependent, I think on both your upbringing and your own food cravings, but as all comfort food cooks, the smell wafts and weaves a snug and warm protection against the cold rain.
My comfort food over these past days involved potatoes, roast chicken, goat cheese, kale, purple cauliflower, and lots of bread. But the best addition to shopping list and my strongest protection against Sandy? Chocolate. Hurricanes may come and go, but chocolate is still a powerful way to weather the storm.
What foods protected you through Hurricane Sandy? Leave me a note below!