Eat: Hurricane Cake

Hurricane cake, with hurricane tea, and hurricane newspapers. I did it! I baked something! There are no more overripe bananas in my freezer!

Nothing like a hurricane to make you stick to your goals, apparently. I baked it yesterday afternoon, after a morning spent at the gym and grocery store. I was just intending to quickly pick up a loaf of bread, but after seeing the masses of people in Zabars, I decided it would be far more sensible to first of all visit another grocery store (spoilt for choice in these parts!) and secondly, prepare a little more for the impending disaster.

I now completely understand why bank runs happen. I had an academic understanding, but there's nothing like seeing it in person to get how mass hysteria occurs. When I ventured out yesterday morning, I was not in the slightest bit worried about the hurricane, as you may have gathered from my recent irreverent take on it. However, after watching nearly an hour of updates on the televisions scattered all around my gym (eye roll: America!) and seeing for myself how concerned everyone else was, I decided it might be wise to take it all a bit more seriously. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to take these sorts of things more seriously, and so I ended up standing in a 20 minute queue for the following:

  1. One (1) loaf of health bread (very dense and filling, and therefore eminently sensible for potential no-food disasters.)
  2. One (1) bottle of organic 2% milk (which will, of course, go off and be undrinkable if our power goes out.)
  3. One (1) bottle of sparkling water (because if the water goes out, I want the replacement water to be fancy? Because my cat would totally appreciate it? I can't even explain my rationale here. I just like sparkling water.)

Suffice to say, I'm not great at this stuff. I did remember to get some more toilet paper, so was actually quite proud of that little trip out of the house, believe it or not, even if certain people (ahem, H1) were more amused than appreciative, despite them (ahem, H1) not being the ones who volunteered* to go out in the desperate, desolate streets in order to provide for their families.

And then - then - I baked a cake**. If we are indeed without power or water for any extended amount of time, we'll be eating health bread sandwiches and banana cake, and drinking coffee***, sparkling water, and red wine. I'm starting to think I'm better at emergency preparation that I've given myself credit for.

The cake I chose to make was a banana cake. I used this recipe from the Edmonds cookbook, which is a Kiwi classic. I find I much prefer New Zealand recipes for sweets and treats to American ones, just because American recipes tend to go a bit too far on the amount of sugar/syrup/chocolate****. In fact, if I ever do use American recipes I usually halve the sugar, with no ill effects. I know you're not meant to mess with the quantities when you're baking, because it relies much more on exact chemistry than cooking does (this is what makes cooking superior to baking, by the way) but I guess I've been lucky so far - everything I've ever bothered to bake has worked out well and tasted delicious, as baked goods tend to (this is what makes baking superior to cooking, by the way).

The un-iced cake. Pro tip: that cooking paper is well worth it. I never usually bother, but the cake was delightfully easy to remove from the pan, as it never is otherwise.

H1 was in charge of icing the cake. Being less patient than I am (which is an impressive achievement - I am a hugely impatient person) he didn't bother waiting in the apocalypse-style queues to buy icing sugar, and instead ran to the nearest pharmacy for a couple of bars of chocolate, which he melted onto the top of the cake. It may have killed the last of the 'health' credentials I was trying to festoon my cake with, but it tastes freaking AMAZING. We have eaten three pieces each in the last 24 hours, which, coincidentally, is about the same amount of time that we have remained indoors, considering it unwise to go out in the rapidly-worsening weather. Looking at how much of the hurricane cake is left, and judging how much more bored we will be in the next 24 hours, let's all just hope New York is up and running again soon, for the sake of my teeth, if nothing else*****.

*In his defence, I did want to go to the gym, so was out anyway.

**Full disclosure: Upon my realisation that we had no icing sugar, because I never bake, H1 went out into those same desparate, desolate streets to ensure that we wouldn't have to suffer the indignity of eating un-iced banana cake.

***We bought more - it was top of our priority list for the weekend, in fact.

****Ah, old age. There was a time that I wouldn't have worried about that even a little bit.

*****But in all seriousness, fingers crossed. We will be fine - we are in a very safe part of the city and we have cake - but there are many out there who may be hugely impacted, and I am hugely hopeful for them that this won't be as bad as predicted.