Weathering the storm

Frankenstorm pesto

From our Park Slope apartment, perched on high ground, we were very lucky to avoid the brunt of the terrible storm that lashed the east coast of the US last night. Unlike friends in lower Manhattan, we never lost power, so the whole experience was actually like a very cosy house-arrest-date with my favourite person, spent drinking beer, cooking and watching a version of Twister that went for 24 hours on the Weather Channel/CNN/Twitter.

Things we did while confined to the apartment during Hurricane-sorry-Tropical Storm Sandy:

  • Stared out the window at the flagpole across the street being buffeted by winds of increasing force
  • Shouted at reporters on TV to stop standing knee-deep in floodwater and gusting wind and get the hell inside
  • Cooked steel-cut oats overnight in the slow cooker with cinnamon and dried fruit
  • Frankenstorm bingo
  • New York Times crossword
  • Made a huge batch of granola
  • Cleaned entire apartment
  • Attempted to catch up on backlog of New Yorkers on bedside table
  • Enjoyed dramatic facial expressions of Mayor Bloomberg’s sign language interpreter
  • Compulsively refreshed Twitter and Facebook feeling increasingly awful about what was happening outside
  • Wrote reassuring emails to family and friends back home
  • Made chicken stock from scratch
  • Cooked lemon risotto
  • Brought the plants in from the fire escape and decided this would be the perfect time to strip the basil plants and try making pesto

Frankenstorm Pesto

  • 3-4 cups fresh basil leaves
  • handful arugula leaves
  • small handful fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • handful slivered almonds (pine nuts ideal if you have them)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey

Throw the lot into the blender and grind down to a slightly-chunky paste; season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in an air-tight container with a film of olive oil over the top to stop the pesto turning brown. It won’t make a lot but it’s so tasty a little goes a long way. Stir into pasta, spread on a sandwich, dollop on risotto, etc.

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