I know about hurricanes.
I remember hearing about Hurricane Hazel touching down in Myrtle Beach. And I lived through Hurricane Gracie in Beaufort County. So I know the importance of listening to the news reports, making sound decisions about evacuation and how a good hairdo will go bad in the post-storm humidity.
Gracie came in September 1959, when I was living in the pink house on Meridian Road on Lady’s Island. My friends and I had just received our first teaching paychecks and went shopping for storm supplies. Little did we know then that there would be a power outage, which ended our means of communicating with the outside world and ruined the ——refrigerated food we had just bought.
We were too young to be concerned, though as soon as the roads were open we moved to higher ground. We later joked about the mistakes we made the week after Gracie passed.
After all was said and done everyone who stayed behind had stories to tell and blessings to count.
Since Gracie, I have taken hurricane preparation seriously. And I know about loss, as I once lost many possessions in a house fire. But I have always been the brave one who would weather the storms.
For Hurricane Matthew, though, I evacuated — taking with me my most important possession of all, my address book. When we returned home after the storm, we saw that there were many things for us to do in order to restore our normal day-to-day lives.
We stayed in constant contact with our insurance company, and we received much help from friends and church members. Progress was slow, though.
It seems as if the rain and wind have taken a liking to this area in the meantime. April’s storms not only resulted in a major power outage for our household, we lost 90 percent of our appliances, as well as our computer, printer, telephone and television. Needless to say, we spent many evenings by candlelight while recovering.
In the spirit of stormy weather, I give you dishes you can prepare and freeze to have ready when the power goes out.
Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition.
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans condensed tomato soup
1 small bottle tomato ketchup
1/2 pound onions
Few drops Worcestershire sauce
1/4 pound salt pork, diced
1/2 stick butter
1 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste
6 medium-sized catfish, cut into small pieces
Combine soup and ketchup and boil slowly. Fry salt pork and saute onions until tender. Add with all the other ingredients, except fish. Add one cup water and boil 5 minutes. Drop in fish and cook about 5 more minutes. Serve over rice with hush puppies.
4 cups flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1 pound butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour and sugar. Add butter. Place on floured surface and pat to one-half inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
1 small stewing chicken
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 onion, chopped
4 cups okra, sliced and chopped
2 cups tomato pulp
Few sprigs parsley, chopped
4 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut chicken into serving portions. Dredge lightly with the flour and saute in the butter, along with the chopped onion. When chicken is nicely browned, add the okra, tomato, parsley and water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook very slowly until the chicken is tender and the okra well-cooked, about 2 1/2 hours. Add water as required during the slow-cooking process.