Sunday, November 11, 2012

How to Save the Pudding (and also, maybe New York and New Jersey)

In the hours right before Sandy made its direct hit, I was in the kitchen, working at a whirlwind pace trying to make things ready.  I had the eggs on to hard boil at the exact same time as I was mixing up pudding.  Now if you've ever tried to make pudding before, you know there's a slightly dicey step where you have to heat the eggs and milk enough to cook/kill it, but not so much that you make scrambled eggs.  I'd substituted low fat milk (it was all I had on hand) for cream and was in the process of panicking that it would never thicken when the egg timer went off.  I grabbed the eggs, drained them and turned back to a lovely pot full of chocolate flavored scrambled eggs.  I know.  SO gross.  After a few desperate phone calls (to my mother and Stella Carolyn) I had a plan.  With nothing left to lose, I threw the whole mess into my food processor (a blender would be superior, but I don't own one).  And I processed the heck out of it.  And sure enough, smooth creamy pudding!!  So don't despair if you have a lumpy pudding. It can be easily saved.

I wish I could say the same for the areas hit by Hurricane Sandy.  Over the past week I've tried very hard to get comfortable with the idea of having electricity and heat and normal access to things like food and gas.  I'm still a bit on edge.  Until today I couldn't even bring myself to purchase more groceries, I was so scared it would all go out again.  But we've been extremely lucky.  Despite a midweek snowstorm with high winds, we've been safe, dry and well-fed.  But we are absolutely without a doubt, some of the luckiest of the affected.

Last week I asked you to consider donating to relief efforts if you are able.

Charity Navigator is a service that rates the effectiveness of different relief organizations and they have a list up of their ratings for those working in the areas devastated by Sandy.

You can see their list here.

As a teacher and book lover, I am heartbroken at the loss of libraries in both New York and New Jersey.  The Queens Library Foundation is not only working hard to help residents in their area, but suffered damage to five branches, two of which will need to replace their whole collections.

The New Jersey Libraries Association is working to help all affected libraries in New Jersey.

While it will take a lot more work to fix the damage wrought by the hurricane than it would to save a curdled pudding, it can still be done.  Especially if they have some help.

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