Sunday, October 15, 2006

Technical difficulties and other musings

OK, I tried to upload my video to Google Video but it failed. You'll have to live with the other links I put up for now!

Know what the best part of all this madness has been? I've seen my friends and family almost every day. Friday and Saturday night we hung out at our friends D & D's house with their absolutely adorable 2 year-old, G. G is the smartest, sweetest little guy I've ever seen and everyone on the block loves him. The garbage men specifically stop during their route so they can say hello to him. He loves dinosaurs and can name them properly by sight. He's amazing. I know I'm digressing, but he makes it so easy to digress because he's just so awesome.

Anyway, Sabres games both Friday and Saturday evening so D & D, having both heat and cable, invited us all over to watch. It turned into potluck, since we didn't want to infringe too much on their hospitality, and we just had such a nice time. The next night was even better, since we all brought food and my Weight Watcher potato-zucchini pancakes were a huge hit! I felt so gratified. :-) My friend H. brought W.W. spinach-artichoke dip, D & D made chicken parm...and the Sabres won both nights! What could be better? That's what it's all about, friends and family coming together, strangers helping each other move branches, shovel snow, move cars, and carry bags. My brother and his girlfriend and their two dogs have spent the last two nights here and I'm so glad to have them and not worry that they're cold, using candles and flashlights!

And you can't believe how much destruction is still around. I can't believe my camera's not working, because words can't describe it. I'll try, though: Picture your backyard, your street, a park in your neighborhood filled with trees. Picture your favorite tree-lined street, the one that looks gorgeous all shaded in the summer. (Feathernester, use Colgate or something if AZ doesn't give the right mental picture!) Now picture every single one of those trees with at least half their branches either on the ground or bent like a drugstore bendy straw down to the ground. And make sure in your head all those trees have leaves on them. Some suburbs got hit so badly that schools are closed for the rest of the week. I'm sure I'll be back tomorrow, but I know some of our students won't make it in. I'm going to try to make it a "teachable moment" if I can.

I know my posts have all been about the same thing, but nothing like this has ever happened before in Buffalo. It's worse than the famed Blizzard of '77, which everyone who remembers still talks about, because there's much more destruction. It'll affect all of us for a long children will be my age before the trees really get back to what they were and even then it won't be the same. But if it's only beauty that was destroyed, then we're lucky because we can get that back. One thing's for sure, Buffalo knows how to fight back and regroup, whether it's a failed Super Bowl or a major storm. It's one thing that makes me proud to live here.

Oh! And here's the potato-zucchini pancake recipe:

2 large russet potatoes, peeled and shredded (about 2 cups)
2 medium zucchini, shredded (2 cu.)
1 tsp. salt
1 large egg
3 scallions, sliced
2 tbsp. A-P flour
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon, crumbled
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. olive oil
4 tsp. light sour cream (optional)

  • Toss the potatoes, zucchini, and salt in a medium bowl; let stand 10 min. Squeeze out the liquid and discard. Add the next 5 ingredients into the mixture.
  • Heat 1/4 tsp. of the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over med. heat. Drop in about 2 tbsp. of the mixture, flatten with a spatula, and cook about 6 min. per side (add more oil as needed). Repeat until all mixture is used.
  • NOTE: If you just have one large zucchini, get rid of the seeds as they may make it bitter.
*I used Bob Evans seasoned hashbrowns to avoid peeling and shredding potatoes, vegetable oil instead of olive oil, and minced white onion because I had no scallions. Also interspersed no-fat Pam with the oil during the cooking. I think the seasoned hashbrowns really made them tasty; we didn't even need sour cream.


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