Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath moves us outside to cook.

Sandy shows her muscle moving the cement blocks that were in a line that I loved to sit at. Long Island Sound, normally waveless, has a good little break going.

I am happy to be home. Feeling even more blessed to have a home to come home to.  Some of the folks in our neighborhood are not so lucky and if you think about the folks in Cuba and other islands suffered so much loss. I think we tend to forget how luck we are here in America,  even when faced with the devastation of our own neighborhoods and homes.

October has been a month of change in our home. Big huge changes. I keep getting that message of what I thought was routine and normal isn’t always that way. It’s time to  smile and take every moment and savor it in a more mindful and deeper way than I have ever before.

The damage at our home is honestly trivial. We had a few fence panels down that my husband put up within hours of us being home. The tree in a neighbor’s yard we feared would fall on our house, as it leaned that way, actually did fall and landed in my neighbor’s yard, and slightly up against his home. Nobody was injured and his home seems to be spared to much damage beyond cosmetic. Nobody was hurt is the important thing.

What and where our shed use to be. Gotta say, glad my husband picked what I thought was an ugly Rubbermaid shed. We think we found the pieces and will be able to put it back together again.

Two blocks over Long Island Sounds took over the land and tried it’s best to claim it as its own. I only took a few pictures as honestly, and I said this with Irene, I can’t take the pictures of the damage. These are my neighbors homes, their lives. It somehow feels wrong to me. I experienced first hand  what it’s like to have gawkers in my yard when someone walked through two yards to enter my back yard trhough a missing fence pannel,  just to look at the tree that fell and take photos. I felt violated. I was polite as could be, but it still felt like an invasion.

Looking forward to Long Island Sounds starting to recede back but still claiming half our little beach neighborhood. We had hoped to check on a neighbor’s house but were unable to.

Looking to the right and one of the main streets out of our neighborhood. We were driving on sand and large rocks washed up and over the sea wall and through people’s yards. People’s personal items litter the neighborhood and even someone’s roof was found in the middle of the street.

Many of these folks just finished putting their lives back together after Irene. Some houses were still waiting to be torn down and had their bright orange badge number slating them to be demolished.  The only truly amazing part of this is how this beach community is like family. They look out for each other, help each other and lift each other up like I have never seen anywhere else I have lived.

Heating the quinoa salad on our kitchen deck. Yay home cooked dinner in minutes.

The quinoa salad I posted over the weekend (I think) , we ended up freezing and not eating while in our hotel. They offered breakfast and dinner as part of the cost of staying there. We took advantage of it, froze our dinner and hard-boiled up some eggs to take home with us to eat our first day home. The quinoa salad warmed over a make shift stove my husband set up quick with part of his smoker to get me some tea (I chill easy I admit) we used with a cast iron pot to heat up the quinoa dish quickly (from frozen) and served with hot sauce and tortilla chips. It was so good to have a home cooked meal. The hardboiled eggs we had for lunch with some salami , pickled veggies,  crackers, and cheeses for the guys.

Once the house was  secured and  the most important things done and even after power washeing  the thick layer of sand, salt and muck off the house, my husband got right to setting up my backyard kitchen. Not shown is the cute sitting area he set up with one of my lavender plants. It’s the little things.

Though I can’t say it has the best view in the world. Keeps you humble I suppose.

Pretty shallow rootball for a tree that is over 100 feet tall. Though I see a much larger veggie garden in my future.

Today’s menu might not have been too exciting. Breakfast being hot tea,  apples and granola bars. But it was get up and get moving and we didn’t have the kitchen set up till later in the day. Lunch was some organic canned chili and toasted 7 grain bread both cooked on the grill.

Dinner came, we had my 19 yr old daughter and her boyfriend over as they carved pumpkins and made me laugh. Halloween is off but we still can have some fun.  I had planned to make stuffed acorn squash and greens. Not wanting to use our propane to cook the acorn squash on the grill for an hour to stuff it with sausage ,  we improvised.  We grilled slices. The recipe is below.  The sausage I just cooked in a cast iron pan with the onions and garlic and added some sage and oregano to it. The spinach was organic frozen that I heated on the burner setting of our grill but if you don’t have a burner you could set your pot directly on your grill. Just be careful if you have plastic handles and such. My cookware is all cast iron and stainless steel and all oven ready. Just remember one thing. USE OVEN MITTS before touching the handle.

My husband moving the grilled acorn squash slices to a cook sheet to keep warm while the rest of dinner finished up.

Grilled Acorn Squash Slices

  • acorn squash
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds. Then I found it easier to cut the halves into quarters. Lay flat side down and cut slices off about 3/8th to 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Place slices in a large enough bowl to hold all of them and pour enough oil to coat on them and then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Have grill heated to med high flame. Place oiled slices on heated grill and cook for about 15-20 mins. Then enjoy!

You could drizzle these with real maple syrup or sprinkle with nutmeg for added flavor but these were really tasty and easy.

Well it’s time to shut off the generator and give into the silence of the night.

Untill next time,

Blessings & Love.

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