A small post in the Science section of the New York Times caught my eye this week: it concerned the comfort food that readers turned to during last week’s Hurricane Sandy. Caught in the middle of the storm — which downed innumerable trees, robbed us of power and internet connections for five days and kept both my sons from getting back to their perches in Brooklyn and Middletown, Connecticut after their attendance at an Eagles game — it amazed me that really, when it comes right down to it, when you don’t have lights or heat, your thoughts really do turn to food. Intensely. Readers of the Times talked about pumpkin soups and outstanding chocolate chip cookies. We mainly stuck to the many foodstuffs that were rapidly defrosting in our frig — from the excellent Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Ice Cream to the turkey meatballs I whipped up one night to serve with big plates of whole wheat pasta. We made yummy breakfasts out of once frozen bagels and a carton of hardboiled eggs, lunched on all of the cheeses that were about to spoil, and dined on said meatballs, plus vegetarian chili, pot roast and a duck breast that I’d been saving for months.
And what about diabetes? Well, another thought about the hurricane: it isn’t the best time to have a chronic disease. I tried hard to avoid the Halloween candy — which I had bought before the storm hit — but the need for an uncomfortably full feeling trumped my will power. We tried to exercise once the worst of the winds were over by taking walks around the neighborhood to inspect the damage and downed wires, but it wasn’t equal to my usual one hour biking a day. During daylight hours, we voyaged to a local coffee shop, where I tried to limit my order to salad. But to be honest, I’d have to say that when the power came back is when my bad diet habits also came to an end. But here’s the kicker — a Nor’easter is currently pounding the East Coast and my thoughts are once again turning to…you guessed it, food.