Food52 Life

Too Many Cooks: How Did you Prepare for the Storm?

November  2, 2012

You'll be hearing from the staff at FOOD52 every week in Too Many Cooks, our group column in which we pool our answers to questions about food, cooking, life, and more.

This week, the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy brought us all together as New Yorkers. We've been office-less and working from home this week, and our hearts go out to all Food52ers and beyond who have been affected by the storm. You can donate to the Red Cross here to help relief efforts here, and there are volunteer opportunities available throughout New York and New Jersey as the rebuilding effort begins.

Today, we're going back in time a few days to our preparation efforts before the hurricane hit. The question: what did you cook before the storm?

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I made Mario Batali's Beef Braised in Barolo and Melissa Clark's mother's Roasted Chicken with Garlic, Herbs and Mustard Croutons. Also sauteed mustard greens and kale with garlic. Mashed root vegetables. Roasted root vegetables. And green beans with mushrooms. Basically, I cooked everything in our fridge. Would have been pointless if we'd lost power, but luckily we didn't and it helped a lot while the grocery stores were closed.

I made a roast chicken, mashed potatoes, lamb and butternut squash stew, and Mrs Larkins' amazing Truly Scrumptious Apple Pie (which totally lives up to its name), so I could use up the rest of the apples from our apple-picking excursion a couple weeks ago.

A big pot of lentils with coconut milk and spices, and enough roasted brussels sprouts to feed an army (or just me).


I made a few things to clean out the fridge and that would last if we did lose power. Pasta with sauteed brussels sprouts and bacon, and a big ol' pot of beans.

Chocolate pumpkin pie. Pork belly, brined and braised. Ribeye. Mission Street Food's Dessert French Toast with homemade brioche bread. I caved and made the mushroom bourguignon, and I also made homemade granola for the first time with the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin I got in my CSA!

I made two big pots of pasta sauce -- a simple tomato and a spicy sausage. I also pre-boiled some pasta, so that in the event of us losing power we could eat it cold!


I made a big batch of Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce with pasta, an adaptation of Mrs Larkin's chewy sugar cookies (I added some Indian candied fennel seeds I found in my cabinet, they were like delicious, fancy sprinkles), and a rendition of the yes-we-can-have-sweet-potatoes-for-dinner salad (minus the feta, plus pomegranate seeds).

Before the storm, I boiled up pasta, farro, and little potatoes to mix and match with a bunch of leftover vegetables from Genius testing, but the night of the storm I realized I was missing two important things. So I was roasting a chicken and making Nigella Lawson's Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake when the power went out. We were only able to re-light the top of the oven, so broiled cake cooked by flashlight it was (not a recommended hack).

I made a big pot of this Smoky Minestrone and a double batch of Purnima Garg's Tomato and Eggplant Curry. And then...I made chocolate "pantry bark" with pretzels, Oreos, and M&Ms.


I made a Genius feast: Marcella's sauce, cauliflower soup, and Broccoli Cooked Forever. I also roasted parsnips and broccoli, and made a big kale salad. And I stocked up on avocados, apples, and tons of snacks I don't normally buy (hello, potato chips).

I had guests/refugees, which was a great excuse to cook a lot. Broccoli Cooked Forever, the chickpea, tomato, and bread soup from Plenty, Merrill's soda bread, Jenny's cookies which were both magical AND marvelous, fresh pesto on pasta, and my favorite vegan chocolate cake. Also, the kitchen sink.

It was just me at home with the kitties, so I didn't make a lot: a spicy Indian curry with chicken, sweet potatoes, and peas; quinoa with almonds and raisins (the bed for the curry); kale salad; and to accompany leftover chicken that didn't go in the curry and some pasta, I defrosted homemade tomato sauce.

Amanda Li

We attempted to cook everything in our freezer and fridge, and packed up the following in our Go Bag: 50+ homemade pork and chive dumplings, roasted salmon with lemon, pumpkin pancakes, kale, apple, cucumber, banana, and ginger green smoothies, and hard-boiled eggs.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • luvcookbooks
  • judyschwab
  • Blissful Baker
    Blissful Baker
  • Kristen Miglore
    Kristen Miglore
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


luvcookbooks November 3, 2012
I had a stove top after the storm. Made a recipe from a Best Of Cookbook, pan roasted potatoes and cauliflower with a red wine soffrito, made with onions, capers, and red wine vinegar. Served over rice with plain yougrt (held up in frig even tho power was out). The next day I took a huge batch of Storm Soup (see my recipes) to take in to work, along with Peruvian Blue Potato Salad with Hard Boiled Eggs from the farmer's market (held up in frig despite power outage). Used an oil, vinegar, and shallot vinaigrette to dress the potatoes. Eaten to the last potato at work.
Don't remember anything about eating on Monday night, only remember all of us huddling up together in our front bedroom, away from the tree in the back we were afraid would fall down. Listening to the wind blow and the rain fall, following the storm on Twitter after the power went out.
judyschwab November 2, 2012
This is a question! Batali's recipe for braised beef, which turned on all the salivary glands, calls for 4 16-ounce beef short ribs. Is it each or total? Thanks!
Blissful B. November 2, 2012
I love Kristen's story of broiled cake by flashlight. The things we'll do when we realize we forgot to prepare chocolate!
Kristen M. November 3, 2012
The draw of having that chocolate loaf cake around to snack on was too powerful for me to give up. It sort of worked out -- the middle of the cake was amazing!