Ah, snow storms…

They are fun, aren’t they?  Especially when they come in October.

I must admit I wasn’t thinking too much about the storm when it hit Saturday.  I thought we might get an inch or two of slush and that would be it.  I really wasn’t expecting to lose power for two days – starting just as Victor was cooking dinner!

Out here in ‘burbia, we have no natural gas.  The heat is oil, and everything else runs off electricity – except our cooktop.  When we bought the house, neither of us wanted an electric stove, so we had a propane tank installed just for cooking.

It was one of the smarter decisions we have made over the years.

I had pulled veal chops out of the freezer earlier in the day and Victor was cooking them up – a simple piccata with lemon and capers.  The power went out just as he put the sweet potatoes into the oven.  As he continued in the kitchen, I brought the potatoes out to the gas grill.  It makes a perfect oven.

He dredged the veal chops in flour, fried them in a bit of olive oil, and then finished them off with a splash of wine, lemon juice, and capers.  Brussels sprouts finished off the plate.

The kitchen was candle-lit when I took the picture – flash bulbs don’t make for good food pictures, but you get the idea.

And it was good!

Sunday, we were  in town and didn’t have to cook.  We were hoping to see lights on when we came home, but…  they were still out.  Another cold night.

Actually, it wasn’t all that cold.  We had put

Monday dawned and I went checking out the freezer.  Everything was still frozen, but I had a pack of veal stew that was less-frozen than everything else.  Out it came for dinner.

We had pulled all of the peppers off the bushes out back when the snow started falling, so I decided a veal and pepper stew was in order.  I could cook it in the dark with ingredients on hand.

This was an easy one.  I floured and browned the veal, added a cup of red wine, a can of diced tomatoes, about 3 cups of sliced green peppers, a pinch of garlic powder, and about a teaspoon of Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.   And then simmered it for about 2 hours.  While it was simmering, the power came back on!  We were very pleased.

I served it over creamy polenta and then baked a cake.

Electricity is good.

Tuesday came and Victor was in Charlotte, so I ate hot dogs.  It’s tradition.

But he was home today – just in time for a clean-out-the-refrigerator stew.

This one was really a clean-out-the-refrigerator dinner!

I sauteed some pancetta and then added a cut up chicken breast and 3 links of chorizo I had grilled on Monday.

When it was looking good, I added a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles and a quart of chicken stock.  I let it all simmer for a while and then added a bag of baby spinach, a half-bag of frozen corn, a can of small red beans, and a diced sweet potato.  I liberally dosed it with garlic powder, and added a bit of salt and pepper.  When all was cooked, I thickened it a bit with cornstarch, and then topped it with a sheet of puff pastry and put it into the oven for 20 minutes.

Really good.

Some of the best meals we have are concoctions we just call “stuff.”  They’re meals based upon what’s in the kitchen at the moment and will never really be replicated.  It really is the best sort of cooking and it ensures that nothing goes to waste – even in snowstorms.