So, there was an earthquake here yesterday. You may have heard.
And now there's a hurricane headed our way. Maybe you've heard this too.
Both of these reminded me of a little adventure we had here back in February of 2010. Two blizzards in one week. Maybe you've also heard about that.
(If you think I can't pull a post or two about food out of a bunch of natural disasters you've got another thing coming.)
First of all, I was reminded of that snowy week recently when a friend of mine, whom I shall call Sheryl, mentioned the storms, which many had referred to as Snowpocalypse. I forget how it came up, but when it did Sheryl said "Snowcropolis." There was a pause. And then:
Zach: 'Is that like a Greek snowstorm?'
Me: 'Oooh! Is that when there's piles of greek yogurt and feta three feet deep?!'
(I wish a merry Snowcroplis on all of your houses. And plenty of pita to go with it.)
Second of all, Zach and I were super lucky during that February week. We didn't lose power, and we had plenty of warning so our fridge was well stocked. Because DC was essentially shut down for an entire week (and two weekends), this meant that for nine days we were trapped inside our nice cozy house with a roaring fire and nothing to do but eat, cook, eat, watch movies, eat, and do some cleaning. My linen closet will never be that organized again.
Sure we had went a little stir-crazy, but it was really like having the gift of time and we mostly enjoyed relaxing and getting caught up on some things around the house. I could use another one of those weeks, if we're being honest. (Of course, again, we had power & heat, are not elderly, ill, or infirm. Or trapped at home with toddlers. Or teenagers.)
I tried a lot of recipes that week, and was also sure to make one of my all-time favorites: This Dill Pickle Meatloaf. It's a recipe I once stumbled across when looking for a regular ole meatloaf recipe, and it was so good that no other kind of meatloaf has been made in this house since.
Listen, I know it doesn't sound that great. I know it doesn't LOOK that great. But behind my pumpkin lasagna, it's the recipe I give out most and I've never heard any complaints or even a "Meh."
And so, allow me to paint you a bit of a picture.
It's been snowing for days. Zach and I have been trapped in the house for close to a week. While we're still enjoying it and making the most of it, these are desperate times. We may or may not be showered. We have found the end of the internet and watched all the movies on Demand that are worth paying $4.99 or less for. We've cleaned and organized everything that can be cleaned and organized. We don't even know what day it is any more. (No, literally. We lost track of the days.)
And the food. Oh the food. I made hermits. Zach made tacos. He made pizza. One night he even got the itch and made a cake at 9pm. (Most of which we brought over to the neighbors because COME ON.) He taught me how to make real bread, with yeast and everything. And, as I mentioned, I made the meatloaf.
Later that week Zach decided to make two kinds of paninis with leftover meatloaf, and some leftover chicken.
I'm going to stop here for a moment and let you in on a secret: The plural of panini is not really paninis. It's panenis. But somewhere along the way Paninis paid a marketing guy to tell them that Panenis wasn't going to fly, and here we are. True story. (Or not.)
So! It was snowing and we were trapped and bored and we wanted hot, delicious sandwiches. So Zach made a buffalo chicken panini with sliced chicken breast, buffalo sauce, and blue cheese on that homemade bread. FANTASTIC. He also took some of the leftover dill pickle meatloaf, made some more of the sauce that goes on top before you bake it (which is ketchup, pickles, and some other stuff), added it to the meatloaf, put it on the bread with some cheese, and griddled.
That panini was heavenly. We sat on the couch, in front of the tv (I mean, civilization is totally overrated at that point, why bother with the table), and just MARVELED.
We could NOT get over how good that sandwich was. It was hot, melty, sour, sweet, beefy, creamy, crispy. And such a strange combination! Beef, hot pickles! Melty cheese, ketchupy sauce! Why has no one thought of this! It's so ODD but so DELICIOUS! We can make a million dollars off of this strange sandwich!
Someone did invent this sandwich.
It is called the cheeseburger.
And that's what happens when you're trapped inside your own house for 9 days. We were basically delirious. The end.
(But seriously, go make that meatloaf.)
Have you ever "invented" something? What's the craziest meatloaf you've ever heard of?