Monday, September 20, 2010

twist and shout

It has been four days since the tornado hit my neighborhood in Rego Park, Queens and things are still far from normal. It is hard to describe the surreal quality of the landscape.

The damage to trees is staggering and I still cannot believe how little human damage was done. Even stranger is the the side by side comparison of the streets and corners that withstood a direct hit from the storm to those just a few feet away that were untouched. My corner is a wreck and we were without services of all kinds up until this morning. The mess will take weeks and weeks to clear. My post this week is brief as I cope with the physical changes the storm brought.
This beautiful butterfly bush was unscathed by the storm and continued to host tiny winged visitors.

I will share one quick recipe.  Minutes after the storm swept through on Thursday evening I hustled out to a dinner party my family was hosting in Manhattan. My Scottish stepfather feted us with a delicious meal and the highlight was his twice cooked potatoes. A Scotsman and his potatoes are serious business and we have enjoyed them in many variations over the years, but this particular batch was outstanding. What is the secret, we begged. Known not only for a fondness for potatoes, the Scots (at least the one that we know and love) are precise in their methods, so here goes:

so few left because we gobbled them up!

Tornado Potatoes aka: Twice cooked red potatoes
-Peel the potatoes and place in a pot with cold water. Bring to a boil and par boil the potatoes for 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and return them to the empty pot. Vigorously shake the pot to rough up the surface of the potatoes and fluff them up a bit. The potatoes can be prepared in advance up to this point. When ready to serve, heat olive oil in a skillet till hot. Drop in potatoes and allow them to brown on one side before turning. Brown on all sides and serve.


  1. Oh my goodness--I completely missed the storm because i was out of town but on Saturday I was at a wedding in Elmhurst and on the drive to Flushing, we passed so many downed trees. Insane! I can't believe how much damage that storm did. I'm glad you and your family are all okay though!

  2. Hope your area recovers from this quickly. Happened to us in Rockland back in March uprooting old gorgeous trees.

    Thanks for the potato recipe - I assume this works best with waxy potatoes and it looks like the smaller potatoes the better?

  3. Thanks Pam and Tofugirl for the well wishes. And yes the potato recipe is for the small waxy potatoes like red bliss.


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