Sunday, August 28, 2011

And her name was Irene

As the sky became more threatening and the wind began blowing intervals of heavy rain we opened the windows to the house and were greeted with the rising and falling sounds of our strategically positioned wind chimes which would come alive in the gusts in a seemingly synchronistic storm front melody.
The storm’s gusts of wind would move the linen drapes in a way that would seem as if they were dancing to the chime’s melodic notes and we both agreed that the night would be memorable.  
There are but so many things one can do during times of natural phenomenon, you can sit and ponder the “what if’s” or you can embrace the experience.
We are no strangers to nature’s “nuisances” and as such we chose to celebrate Irene’s arrival.  

Feeling hearty and well prepared we opted for a grounded food experience to match the storm’s bravado.
As the weather worsened the unmistakable smell of freshly “made from scratch” potato bread began to waif through the house.   

I don’t pretend to understand the wizardry behind homemade bread, but Ash seems well versed in its culinary alchemy, and within a few short hours piping hot rolls drizzled in Agave nectar made a perfect partner with my Belgian ale.
Long before Irene began showing herself on our coast Ash devised the idea of a grilled hotdog being the perfect complement to an Atlantic Hurricane.
Hotdogs you say, and while I understand your inquisitive scowl, these little bits of Beef parts goodness were divine as are all Hebrew Nationals dogs.

Hotdog sliders; one with broccoli coleslaw, Dill pickles, & Boar’s Head Mustard, with a side of sour Kraut &the other dressed with stuffed jalape├▒o peppers slices and more kraut.
Phenomenal when paired with grilled sweet potato fries.      
The night was not without its peril and commotion
Anyone who grills in the country knows the danger inherent with attracting the maniacal European Hornet to any light source.
We grill at night under the constant specter of its arrival and the unmistakable buzz of its wings which instinctively makes the hair stand up on one’s neck.
This night was no different, and through the pounding rain and howling wind he arrived…

He seemed more irritated than usual, and his normal quick pass gave way to a frenzied “bounce off the roof” spasm that made me realize I would have to deal with this threat personally.
I sent Ash and the dogs into the safety of the house and picked up my can of hornet/wasp spray.
Fissssssttttt….Direct hit!
Fiissssstttt….Hit him again…
Oh, he’s mad now.
Run to the side of the deck exposed to the storm!
Onto my ass I went.
Wet deck boards are slippery as hell mind you.
“This is no ordinary hornet” I thought as I picked myself up from the soaking deck
Back into the house to get my fly swatter, and then out onto the covered deck I went.

Within seconds the Satan spawned hornet from hell was on me like a spider monkey.
The basatrd stung me in the cheek!
I ran flailing back into the house ripping my shirt off convinced that the yellow stripped death dealer had now flown down my collar!
No sympathy to be had as Ash was DYING laughing as she tried to explain just how high pitched my voice went as I screamed bloody murder back into the house.
The storm blew on as we enjoyed our good fortune of not losing power and I couldn’t help but wonder if the National Weather Service keeps statistics on Hurricane induced hornet attacks…