Lost power, 100-degree temperatures, no refrigeration, no place to charge electronics, no air conditioning. Blah, blah, blah.
Day 1 was great. Everything stopped. Softball was canceled, the pool was closed. We sat on the breezy back porch for hours and read. Some of us dozed. We found an open gas station with a short line and they even had ice. The kids got to see their first grown-up movie -- Moonrise Kingdom -- and we had a whole-family dinner and a movie and Moorenko's ice cream date. Great stuff.
Night 1 was not as fun. All the windows were open but it was probably still in the high 80's overnight and the air was completely still. Not a breeze rustled. I tossed and turned, feeling like a complete wimp for not being able to handle one hot night. And then I looked at Buddy, panting in the corner in his fur coat and felt even more pathetic.
Day 2 was good, too. The pool reopened and we spent the entire day in and out of the water, staying cool. There was more reading and napping and by the end of the day, sitting in the shade in my wet suit, I felt chilled. What a feeling. Dinner was things that needed to be eaten from the refrigerator and freezer. Including ice cream, rose-laced strawberry ice cream, that had melted to the consistency of a milk shake. Still cold enough to be refreshing.
Night 2 was better. Some of us slept in the basement which was less comfortable, but much cooler. The only thing that woke me from time-to-time was the restless, panting dog.
Now we're on Day 3. I have the day off from work and am stealing a few hours of air-conditioned Starbucks wifi to finish this post. The pool is open again and there we share the few outlets to charge our phones and laptops. Pepco tells us that we will have power back by Friday, a full week after it went out.
Today the Katy Perry movie comes out, and the new Spiderman movie is released at midnight-o-one. We will have more air conditioning. And we will never have never been so caught up on the latest movies.
I am feeling grumpy and hot and keenly aware of the privileges of my usual existence that make this few days without power feel so challenging. And I am grateful for the extra time to relax and do very little with people I love, like read and play games and sit around a container of melting ice cream and feel compelled to eat it until it's gone.
Rose-Laced Strawberry Ice Cream
The rose flavor of this ice cream intensifies as it freezes. I call for 2 tablespoons of rose water in the recipe with the thought that the ice cream would be made at least 1 day before you plan to eat it. If you plan to eat it sooner, you may want to add a bit more.
Makes a bit more than a quart of ice cream
15 minutes preparation time, plus a few hours for the berries to sit and the ice cream to chill
1 quart strawberries (before hulling and cutting)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon creme de cassis
2 tablespoons rose water
2 cups heavy cream
Rinse the berries, hull them, and cut them in half or quarters. Mash them in a small bowl with the sugar. Add the creme de cassis and rose water and let them sit for about an hour.
Pour the mixture into a blender and add the cream. Pulse a couple of times until the berries are chopped but still a bit pulpy. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the machine's instructions for finishing the ice cream. Freeze until it hardens.