I had planned for a leisurely day on Oct. 4 after our worship services. My husband and I were to eat dinner out after a late-afternoon church business meeting he had. This meant I could come home from church, grab the Sunday paper and just read and relax until then. It also meant there'd be no post-dinner cleanup. I could resume my relaxation after we returned home.
But plans do change on us, don't they?
When we got home from a lovely dinner, there were several calls on our answering machine. Our daughter Tonya sounded panicked. We knew she was in trouble.
Columbia was flooding, she told us. Dams were breaking. All eyes were on the Congaree River. Churches had closed. Stores were closed. Everyone was told to stay home.
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I couldn't believe this was happening.
I turned on the Weather Channel. My childhood home was in disaster mode.
Listening to the frightened voice of our oldest child, I could remember calling my own mama during times of worry, just to hear her speak. It always had a calming effect on me.
This storm, though, was not just merely a thunderstorm -- the kind that, as a young mother, used to send me to a neighbor's house for company and comfort. Nor was this just standing ditch water and puddles, which my friends and I would watch when cars would drive through with a splash.
There was no way I could get to Tonya, and no way that she could get to us. But my daughter was safe. So were my grandchildren. Later I determined that my sister and her family were also all safe and dry.
This was a great relief.
When people heard of flooding in South Carolina, they immediately thought of the coast. Our family and friends from the West Coast checked on us in the Lowcountry to make sure we were doing OK after the storm.
Little did they know how blessed we were in Beaufort County.
Some friends and I went to the Charleston tea plantation last week. We saw then how hard the storm had hit just north of us. Roads and bridges were still closed. It took three hours to drive just 20 miles. It was a reminder of what could have been here.
Bad weather puts us in some kind of mood. I decided to use that energy, though, to cook and stay in touch with loved ones as the water receded.
From a distance, my daughter and I were able to make the same dishes -- some of her favorites, in fact. She had all the right ingredients on hand.
It helped keep us connected during this thousand-year flood.
AVOCADO AND FRUIT SALAD
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup dairy sour cream
2 tablespoons honey
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 medium-size avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced
lime or lemon juice
1 large grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
Make dressing by mixing all ingredients, stirring to blend well. Place lettuce on salad plates. Squeeze lemon or lime juice on sliced avocados and arrange on lettuce with grapefruit sections. Place spoonful of dressing on center of fruit when ready to serve.
Source: Ervena Faulkner's personal files
1 large can salmon
dash of salt and pepper
Mix salmon, egg and salt and pepper. Add enough flour to form into patties. Place patties in hand and form into the size of croquette desired. Fry in deep fat until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Source: Ervena Faulkner's personal files
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
2cups shredded carrots
1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. In large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Blend in egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Stir in oats, carrots and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Cool in large covered container. Makes 5 dozen.
Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition.