Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Preparations: Poptart Alternatives

Us in the metro NYC area have been freaking out about the pending hurricane. So far, it's just been sporadic heavy rain and a few gusts of wind. Like most people, I prepared early, have been hunkered down for hours and am totally bored (despite knowing the worst is yet to come). Before going into lock-down mode, I: dragged my terrace furniture in, located my old Walkman (for the radio), ran out to buy AA batteries (and water. and good dark chocolate. and wine. and a new trench coat for fall), and dropped by the farmers market. Yes, my market was open and hopping. But ironically, while the tomatoes and squash were still plentiful by the time I rolled in, practically ever single sweet was sold out. No chocolate chip walnut scones from Bread Alone. No Pie Lady & Son. It was pretty depressing. So rather than resort to strawberry poptarts, inspired by one of the many blog posts I've been reading to pass the time this afternoon, I cranked the oven to 400 and baked. I used some Italian plums I had picked up a few weeks ago in plum muffins, based on a recipe from the Joy of Baking. The yogurt and oil-based mix is super moist. The plums, which I quartered and folded into the batter, gave off a lot more juice that I expected. Although I baked the batter in muffin tins, it still almost took the full recommended baking time. In the meantime, I decided to make Julia Child's eggplant and zucchini gratin since it's a dish that tastes good hot or cold (or room temperature, if it comes down to it). The beauty of this recipe is that you "pan fry" the eggplant to start the cooking and then combine it with the other vegetables so it cooks evenly. So between the baked goods, the veg, the chocolate, the wine and my retro yellow Walkman tape player with radio, I think I am set. Best of luck to everyone...and stay safe!

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