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The Aftermath of the Storm

For all my Huntsville friends, it sure has been an “interesting” week since the storms rumbled through here last Wednesday.  I was in Florida on business and was watching the streaming feed from the local TV stations and texting Lori about what was going on.  Since we lost power when the first storm blew through on Wednesday morning, she was having trouble getting information.  Cellular phone calls were spotty, so text was about the only way we could communicate.

I flew home first thing Thursday morning to find our house in excellent shape and very fortunate considering the loss of so many not far from where we live in the Monrovia community.  If you don’t live in Huntsville, and want to see more information about the extent of the damage, Christy wrote a very good post yesterday.  I had a chance to talk with her while we were at the Monrovia Community Center dropping off donations.
See her post at:

Some of the tornado damage

(After looking at a variety of pictures, they cannot capture the incredible devastation that this storm caused. )

We sustained minor damage with a fallen tree and two areas of retaining walls that gave way with all of the water.  Several yards drain into mine and when it rains that much, it ends up running around the house (and a little into the garage and basement).  By the time I got home, the water was all gone.  We spent much of Thursday cleaning up.

From a food viewpoint, all of a sudden I got to go through and clean out the refrigerators and freezers.  I had made a big batch of my Spaghetti sauce not too long ago, so I had 4 freezer packs that were thawing.  We had some neighbors in and still had a bunch leftover.  When Carly and I make cookies, I like to make extra dough and freeze some so I can make fresh baked cookies for Carly and any other friends that might be over.

Lori wanted me to bake some of the rolls and I needed to bake a bunch of cookie dough that was thawing out.  This is where necessity takes over….

I’ve grill roasted many meats, but have never tried to use the gas grill as an over before Thursday night.  It actually worked pretty well since I had enough space on the grill to make sure the baking sheet wasn’t over a lit burner.  Adjusting the gas got the inside of the grill to about 350 degrees (or so….).  In went the rolls so we would have them with the spaghetti.  That was followed by several batches of cookies before everything was baked.

Baking Rolls on the Grill
Baking cookies on the grill
Finished Cookies on the grill

I had been saying that I really needed to clean the refrigerator and defrost the chest freezer – but I hadn’t counted on a storm forcing that opportunity.  Now I usually keep the refrigerator fairly straight, but I found many, many items that should have been thrown away long before now.  We moved everything else that we were trying to save to ice chests. (Thank goodness for camping supplies like the ice chests and plenty of flashlights!)

I had already committed to working the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show in Atlanta – and since we had no power at the house, but the hotel in Atlanta had power, Lori, Carly and the dog, Chuck, decided to come along.  So we pack the ice chests and everyone and off to Atlanta.  Once we returned Sunday night, it was cleaning time for everything before the power came back on.  There sure is a lot less stuff in the refrigerator now!

I hope that all of you don’t have to go through the experience that many here are right now.  We know several families that have lost everything – there is an open patch of dirt with lumber fragments where their house used to be.  My family is very thankful that we were spared by this storm.

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