Sunday Dinner Week #5: Awaiting Felicia

One of Ken's jobs at UH is to be the point man whenever there are natural disasters looming. When something is coming, then civil defense calls Ken in, so in the days before Hurricane Felicia, then tropical storm, then tropical depression Felicia passed by, Ken was at the daily 1:30 briefings at civil defense, so when Sunday came around, with Felicia passing above us on Monday evening, we had gasoline for our Honda generator, our cars were fully gassed and the water containers filled. Our propane tanks were set to go and all lamps tested.

On my part, I did what any rubber slipper contessa would do: I ignored the mugginess in my house and planned my own hurricane proof dinner. If a hurricane is coming, you need to have something substantial that can be made in large batches and put into gallon ziplocs so that the meal can be heated up in one pot on our one propane burner in case we lose electricity. It can't be susceptible to spoilage like chicken, mayonnaise dishes. (Actually, I lied because we have so much camping equipment that we have a couple of propane rice cookers -20 cup capacity-, a small propane one-burner camp stove, a large two-burner camp stove, a cuter, more portable red two-burner camp stove from Bass Pro and Ken's handy dandy wok burner with large woks to make enough fried rice to feed everyone on our street - plus a cheap charcoal grill and a bigger stainless steel grill) Damn - no wonder our garage is always a mess. Who needs so much equipment?!

Anywho, Sunday dinner was Portuguese bean soup. While the ham hocks are cooking for the first three hours, there's time to do last minute preparations and head to the store for essentials like medications and toilet paper. I actually had everything in the freezer (ham hocks, portuguese sausage, cut up ham) which freed up some space in our chest freezer for the 2L bottles of water that Pono was in charge of freezing "just in case." When ham is on sale at Sack n Save, Ken buys several and pays a little extra to have the butchers cut the ham into ham steaks and with the rest of the ham, they cut it into chunks which are perfect for Portuguese bean soup.

Truth be told I didn't actually add the beans, but in a hurricane situation, nobody wants to be gassy, so the cabbage was enough gas-causing material for one dish. If you buy fresh watercress, that makes up for not having the beans. I like the watercress more on the raw side, so put the hot rice in the bowl, then place the watercress and pour the hot soup over it so that it quickly blanches. Add a little salad and splurge on some Punalu'u taro dinner rolls! Happy grinding and see you next week.

Next week: holding onto summer with some make your own sliders and jello shots


  1. 1. I wonder if my husband is at the same briefings.
    2. let me know when ham is on sale. iʻll tell you the best ham i ever made (according to my daughter) was made in a crockpot, a perfect fit, with a little brown sugarish sauc.
    3. i love PBS, esp without the beans :-)


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