I woke up at 6AM and started Swiffer-ing (that’s a verb, right?). I’m not usually an early riser. If I do get up early I make a cup of coffee, read the paper and write. I hate to clean. Something was not right.

Then I took the dog for a walk. I ran into a neighbor coming back from the park with his exhausted little black Scotties. He told me the dogs were winded from chasing squadrons of squirrels gathering nuts.

I came back home and took out the vacuum, then the Windex, then the mop. The laundry followed.

Clearly something was going on.

I went into the pantry and took out a cup of dried chick peas and started soaking them. From the freezer I pulled out a strip of skirt steak to defrost.

I dusted the moldings.

Once  the house was clean, out came the flour, sugar, eggs, chocolate and ginger. I started the ovens, got out two bowls and like a crazy person started whipping up cakes: sour cream coffee cake and molasses gingerbread.

I was thinking if I lost power, the cakes didn’t need refrigeration and I could eat off them all week.

As the cakes cooled, I got on the chick peas and skirt steak. I seasoned the meat with Turkish red pepper, garlic, salt and black pepper. I cut up two onions, three carrots, one celery stick, two garlic cloves and put them into a deep pot. On to this I laid the meat. I added handfuls of green and black olives and dried apricots, 1 sprig of oregano and 1 sprig of thyme, 2 cinnamon sticks, one pod of green cardamom. Over this I poured 1 1/2 cup water and a can of crushed tomatoes. This went into a 300 degree oven for two hours. (I knew it was done because the meat was falling apart.)


It was delicious.

The gingerbread cake was delicious, too.

As I sat eating I realized I was like the squirrels. The low pressure in advance of the storm woke me up and set me in motion. I was nesting, too.