Harvey: The Cookies before the Storm

(Warning: this post is going to be set-up differently than the others.)

As I’ve mentioned before I live in Houston, Texas. If you’ve seen the news, you’ll know that we’ve been hammered by Hurricane-Tropical Storm Harvey starting this past Saturday. It’s now Tuesday, and even as I’m writing this, I can hear the rain coming down outside. I love the rain, but I have never wished for it to stop raining more in my life.

Basically, I set up the article as a timeline (I did bake something during this time, so don’t worry, I will talk about food!)

Saturday morning: Light rain is coming down. My dad and I are going out to get some provisions for a storm that we expect to be akin to a bad, extended thunderstorm (not the actual unprecedented storm of the century). Whole Foods is closed, not a great sign, so we had to our usual stomping grounds, Central Market.

Saturday afternoon: Since we were out of town over my mom’s birthday, I decide to make a belated birthday dessert. My mom is a cookie fiend, so I decide on a Bon Appétit recipe that I’ve wanted to make for a while (a mix of a peanut butter, chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookie). This cookie is aptly named the Everything Cookie.

Making the cookies: Making the dough for the cookies was incredibly simple. Unfortunately, you have to let the dough chill for at least three hours before you bake them. (This is unfortunate because I’m not the most patient person, and I really wanted to eat those cookies as soon as possible). While making the cookies, I listened to Lorde’s Melodrama again (yes, this album is that good), but this time the music was accompanied by rainfall percussion.

Everything Cookies

Notes on the cookies: My mom and I loved them. My dad hates peanut butter, so he was not a fan of the cookies. The cookies were really good; I liked the mix of raisins and chocolate chips. These weren’t my favorite cookies, but they did give me an idea for the next time I make traditional chocolate chip cookies: use half dark chocolate chips and half raisins to get a balance of sweet and tart.

(Back to the timeline)

Saturday evening: The rain is so loud I can hear it through the music I’m blasting through my headphones. Right before I’m about to go to bed, I’m drafted to help prepare the first floor of our house for flooding. My family starts rolling up carpets, stacking furniture on top of other furniture and transplanting all of our electronics to our second story bedrooms. Go to bed with the usually calming, but currently upsetting sounds of rain.

Sunday morning: Wake up to find that my street is now a river with a current and my front yard is starting to look like a marsh. About midmorning, watch as water seeps into our house through the walls (contrary to popular belief, it does not come through the doors, but rather every other crack and crevice in your house).

Sunday afternoon: Barricade myself upstairs with 3 Nalgenes full of water and all of the dry goods from our pantry. Eventually, we had to shut off some of the power (goodbye air conditioning and internet) as the water was messing with the electrical wiring in our house.

Sunday evening: It had stopped raining for a little while, but the water level outside had not gone down. My parents and I begin to manually drain our house of water using a dustpan to scoop the water into buckets that we then dumped outside. Eventually, we used towels to dry up as much of the water as possible.

Monday-now: Watch as the water level on the street came down from its peak as a roaring river to calm street to a street with gutters full of water. Eat our way through our freezer, finding many products that we didn’t remember buying (related note: it’s probably a good idea to regularly inventory your freezer).

Although it was not particularly fun to watch water seep into our house, we are very lucky: we were not physically endangered, we didn’t have to evacuate and we had plenty of supplies. There are many who were not as lucky.

Takeaway: Even though it’s still raining as I’m writing this in my living room (that looks like we played Jenga with our furniture), there is a silver lining to this experience. This event has been punctuated by an outpouring of love and concern among friends, family, neighbors, the Houston community and the global community. There have been endless offers of shelter and supplies from friends who avoided flooding. Facebook (although not all of it) has been a wall of good thoughts towards Houston (I particularly like this poem). I wish that Harvey hadn’t hit Houston, but it did, and Harvey is making heroes out of Houstonians and everyone that is aiding the rescue effort.

 

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