Ack! It has been 14 days since the lights went out in the middle of 100mph winds from Hurricane Ike. I got my power back last night. Praise God and thank you, Centerpoint Energy and Kansas City Power and Light. Why KCP&L? They sent big crews down here (so did many other power companies - about 8,000 workers in all) and they were the ones who repaired the lines to my little corner of Montgomery County. At the outage peak, 98% of the homes and businesses in southeast Texas had no electricity, about 2.2 million customers. Tens of thousands of trees fell over onto homes, streets, and power lines. Wow. I was very lucky. Three smallish (under 6" in diameter) trees fell over but I propped them back up and they seem to be fine. Ice, water, gasoline, and non-perishable foods became currency. It has been rough. Schools were closed for a week and a half. See stories in the Houston Chronicle - http://www.chron.com/. For a category 2 storm this was a whopper.
The day the storm hit I was picking giant pomegranates, afraid they would go shooting through windows. I found that you can cut them in half, juice them just like a lemon, and get pomegranate juice. I had about 2 lb. of strawberries in the fridge so I made what I now call Hurricane Jam. Here is the recipe.
2 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and mashed
1 c. pomegranate juice
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 T. candied ginger, chopped
2 c. sugar
Combine the ingredients, cook on low until fruit is soft, then raise heat to boil mixture. Bring to 220 degrees. Pour into sterilized jars and seal. Yum!! Kinda tart and sweet.
The garden came through OK overall. The tomato plants blew over. I staked them back up but they look pretty awful. The pumpkin and squash vines were smashed to bits by the wind and rain. Everything else looks OK despite 16" of rain over a period of 30 hours and about 6 hours of 100 mph wind. We even ate some of the lettuce and cherry tomatoes one night.