The Ice Storm

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Go Heathy Eating and Evelyn D. Greene and ujaechpfmbmqy2k who are now Following. 

We went to bed on December 11, 2008, with forecasters predicting rain and freezing rain overnight. We woke at 4 am, listening to ice tik-tikking against the windows and slithering off the White Pine trees to tinkle to the ground. At 4:30 am, a pine limb jolted us out of bed as it crashed through a skylight in the kitchen. Hours later, after sawing apart the limb and tacking a large trash bag over the gaping window [and mopping the water and sweeping the broken glass], the reality of our situation revealed itself: the inches of ice on the trees had brought many to the ground, bringing down power lines all over Northern New England. Within those few hours, we had been yanked out of the 21st century and propelled back to the 18th century: no electric lights, no indoor plumbing [the well pump runs on electricity], no central heating, no refrigerator or freezers. For us, this lasted for 10 days. We coped pretty well. Heat came from 2 wood stoves; we hauled water from the stream to flush toilets; melted snow for water for washing dishes; covered the freezers with blankets and moved refrigerator food to boxes on the back porch. Life went on. It was an adventure for us, a life-threatening problem for others. When we started our Pandemic State of Emergency in March, 2020, it made me think of the Ice Storm days — we were on our own, not going anywhere, not seeing anybody. Gosh we were glad when the power came on again! Now, in the winter, when the meteorologist predicts freezing rain overnight, people still get a little nervous….and check the flashlight batteries.

Our meals for the Ice Storm Anniversary could easily be cooked on the wood stove, using ingredients that might be on hand in a thawing refrigerator. In case you are wondering: yes, one puts the food in a pot or saute pan — not directly on the metal of the stove.

Creole ScrOmelette: 154 calories 8.5 g fat 0.9 g fiber 16.7 g protein 7.5 g carbs [6.5 g Complex] 72.5 mg Calcium   NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  James Beard’s comprehensive volume American Cooking was the source of this recipe. It is amazing!

1½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week.  1 Tbsp diced tomatoes or 1 Tbsp tomato puree 1 Tbsp minced onion 2 Tbsp green bell pepper, diced 1 Tbsp diced bacon ½ Tbsp mozzerella cheese, grated pinch file powder + pinch chile powder   ½ oz pear  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water  Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

HINT: dice all the vegetables and bacon the night before to save time in a.m. Spritz a saute pan with non-stick spray and add the chopped veg and bacon. Add the seasonings. Saute until beginning to brown. Whisk the eggs and pour them over the cooked ingredients. Sprinkle the cheese on top and scramble the eggs until done as you like them. Plate with portioned pear and your beverages of choice. Off to a tasty start.

Ham & Cheese Street Crepes: 272 calories 9 g fat 2.4 g fiber 21 g protein 25 g carbs 212 mg Calcium  NB: The photo shows a meal for 2 [TWO]. The recipe below is for one serving. This is the familiar street-vendor lunch in Paris, except that the food values will not break the bank on a Fast Day. Very quick and easy to prepare, especially if you had made the crêpe batter before and have it thawed out. HINT: can be prepared in advance and rewarmed later. Good for traveling or planning ahead.

1 serving = 2 crepes

2 crêpes  1 wedge “Laughing Cow” [Vache Qui Rit] cheese at room temperature 2 oz sliced deli ham ½ oz deli sliced Swiss cheese 2 oz tomatoes 

Cook the crepes on both sides. Remove to a work surface. Spread the Laughing Cow cheese on one half of each crêpe. Lay the ham on the cheese side of each crêpe and top with the Swiss cheese slices. Fold in half. Heat a heavy skillet, adding maybe a spritz or 2 of non-stick spray. Lay the folded crêpes on the hot skillet to heat one side, then flip to heat the other side. You want the cheese to get melty. Fold each crêpe once more into tidy triangles, and push down on them with the turner to flatten them. Plate them with the tomatoes and voilà!

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ………………………. single portion for Thursday:

1.5 two-oz egg1.5 two-oz eggs  + tomato
feta cheesebacon + onion + green pepper
cottage cheese + oreganomushrooms
apple or applesaucepaprika + pear
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday: …….. single portion for Thursday:

hake + olive oil bison or venison meat
garlic + sugar + onion chicken breast meat + asparagus
red wine + whole tomatoeswhite whole wheat flour
feta cheese + side saladegg + fresh bread crumbs
Sparkling waterSparkling water

Blacked Out

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Stacy H. who is now Following.

On November 8, 1965, there was a massive power outage in seven states of the North Eastern USA. It began during rush hour, which lead to further complications: 800,000 people in New York City stuck in subway cars; no streetlights or traffic signals; no elevators to move office workers from their skyscraper aeries. Power was off for up to 13 hours in some places. People feared that sabotage or maybe espionage was responsible, but the fault lay in a power relay on the Canadian side [sorry, Canada] of Niagara Falls that over-loaded, which caused a power surge, which overloaded circuits all the way down to New York. New Yorkers seem to have taken it in stride: they shared flashlights, helped neighbors, directed traffic, and came out on the streets for camaraderie. Few incidents of burglary or looting. Mostly, people remembered seeing the stars for the first time — which left them both fearful and awe-struck. I sure hope we can all come together in these difficult times, just as people did 55 years ago. We can show our better natures in a crisis.

Our meals today feature a classic breakfast from Manhattan, NYC, and a meal that could easily be put together if the power went out, leaving one at the mercy of whatever is in the ‘fridge.

Horseradish-Cheesy Bake: 143 calories 7.5 g fat 1 g fiber 8.7 g protein 7 g carbs 78.6 mg Calcium  NB: Food values given are for the Bake and fruit only, and do not include the optional beverages.  PB GF  David Rosengarten’s unusual cookbook It’s All American Food takes the reader on a tour of American ethnic and regional foods, and tells you how to make those treats in your own kitchen. This recipe is from the Manhattan restaurant Barney Greengrass, where they are renowned for their breakfasts.

One 2-oz egg ½ Tbsp crushed tomato 1 Tbsp cheddar/horseradish spread*** 1 Tbsp chives, minced 2 oz apricots   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

***Cheddar-Horseradish Spread 2 Tbsp WisPride Cheddar spread OR Kraft Old English Cheddar spread  4 [or more] tsp prepared horseradish [the kind in a jar] Cream together thoroughly. Save the rest for another day or another use.

Set the toaster oven at at 350 degrees F. Spritz a ramekin with oil or non-stick spray. Vigorously whisk the egg, cheeses, and chives until well combined and pour into the ramekin. Put in the oven [it doesn’t need to be hot yet] and bake 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, brew your beverage of choice and prep the apricots. This will kick-start your day.

Cold Beef Plate:  292 calories 3.7 g fat 5 g fiber 28 g protein 33 g carbs 17.6 mg Calcium Here’s a simple, no-fuss meal. Use either meat from a roast or from the deli. Rather French, with the cornichons and Dijon mustard. Perfect during a power outage or at the end of a busy day.

3 oz cold, sliced beef roast — left-overs or slices from the deli ½ cup [about 3 oz] pickled beets 1 oz small pickles — cornichons preferred, but baby dill pickles will do 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 oz sourdough rye bread

Plate to your own aesthetic taste. But do plate it – avoid the temptation to stand in front of the open ‘fridge and just graze. Do it up right and sit down to enjoy it.

Emergency Meals

Sometimes the lights go out. And how do you cope then? We have frequently experienced outages, the worst being in December of 2008. That was the year of a dreadful ice storm that hit New Hampshire like a jack hammer. Phone poles and limbs came down, trees were uprooted, and we had no electricity for 9 days. We have lost power so often [usually in the Winter] that we have a routine. We quickly remove necessary perishables [milk, butter, meat, sausage, eggs, chicken, cheese] from the freezer and refrigerator, and place the items in a camping cooler on the back porch. There, they stay cool enough to use. Then we keep the freezers and refrigerator closed and covered with blankets for the duration. By having a gas cooktop and a pantry full of useful items, we can feed ourselves and even observe Fast Days under most conditions. Recently, Hurricane Dorian plowed across Prince Edward Island where we were staying, cutting off the juice for 48 hours. We coped just fine. The following are Fast dinners we have prepared and enjoyed during black-outs. The gratin cooked nicely on the cooktop, although the recipe would have you broil it at the end. [The gratin would also be a useful breakfast meal, served without any beverages.] And the dumplings were cooked in a bamboo steamer by candle-light, as you might tell by the darkness of the photo.

Egg-Tomato Gratin: 235 calories 10 g fat 4 g fiber 16 g protein 16 g carbs [15 g Complex] 200 mg Calcium  PB GF V Jacques Pepin, in his book Fast Food My Way, tells about this family recipe. HINT: The recipe serves two. Invite a friend or save for lunch tomorrow.

3 hardboiled eggs, peeled and sliced into wedges 3 oz onions, sliced 2 tsp garlic, chopped 1 tsp dried thyme + 1 tsp salt + ½ tsp pepper 1/3 cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 10 fluid oz of tomatoes, drained [save the juice] 1 oz Swiss cheese or Gruyere, grated 

Cook the onions and garlic in some of the tomato juice, about 3 minutes. Add seasonings, tomatoes and the remaining juice. If tomatoes are in large chunks, crush with a fork and add the garbanzo beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer covered for 4 minutes. Nestle the eggs in the pan, then sprinkle with cheese. Cover and simmer another 2 minutes to warm everything and to melt the cheese. Excellent antidote to outrageous fortune.

Pork Dumplings Steamed with Bok Choy: 215 calories 8.5 g fat 2.3 g fiber 12.5 g protein 28 g carbs 190 mg Calcium  PB Our older son suggested this ‘starter recipe’ to encourage us to prepare Asian meals. NB: the dumplings were purchased at an Asian market and were very low in calories. You will need to have or to improvise a steamer to cook this.

5 pork dumplings 3-4 oz bok choy 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce dipping sauce: 2 oz black vinegar** + 2 oz soy sauce ** in lieu of black vinegar, combine equal amounts of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and water. 

Set up the steamer [mine is a bamboo version which is used with a wok]. Trim the bok choy to remove the largest parts of the center vein, and arrange the leaves on the platforms of the steamer. Put the frozen dumplings on the leaves. Close up the steamer and position it in a dry wok. Add water to the wok so that it rises over the bottom edge of the steamer but not so much that the water level comes up to the bottom tray of the steamer. Bring the water to a simmer. Let it cook for 10 minutes. Mix the hoisin sauce with some water to thin it. Combine the ingredients for the dipping sauce. Remove the bok choy to the plate and drizzle the hoisin sauce over it. Place the dumplings on the plate and serve with the dipping sauce. Despite the low calorie count, this meal is very satisfying. Other vegetables could be added, as long as their steaming time is the same as the other ingredients.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ……….. single portion for Thursday:

Next week I will discuss how to
start the Fast Diet and how to
stay on it.
Bob’s 10-Grain Cereal or equivalent 
Look for a new favorite breakfast
in the Archives
low-fat milk

blueberries, fresh or frozen


Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday: ……………….. single portion for Thursday:

Next week I will discuss how to
start the Fast Diet and how to
stay on it.
purchased dry tortellini
Look for a new favorite dinner
in the Archives
black or Tuscan kale +
red pepper flakes

garlic + tomato

olive oil + Parmesan cheese
Sparkling waterSparkling water