non-recipe posts

How #darkTO cost me my holiday baking

I have a sad story for today. Originally today’s post was going to be very timely: Christmas cookies! My favourite Christmas cookies which I made for Will way back when we were in high school. I had planned the whole thing: I bought all the ingredients on Friday on my way home from work, I mixed up the dough on Saturday afternoon and it was going to chill in the fridge until Sunday so I could take photos when it was a little sunnier. Saturday was dreary, and it had rained all day, but nothing terrible. We’d heard ice storm warnings but I assured Will that we had flashlights and plenty of canned stuff to eat if the power went out.

And then Sunday morning the bathroom light wouldn’t turn on, which was strange because the humidifier in our bedroom was still working. For a few hours we had power in the bedroom and living room, but not the bathroom or the kitchen. We moved the coffee maker into the living room and played Fallout 3 with our Sunday morning coffee. And then all the power went out.

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Without lights in the hallway, our apartment was very spooky, After spending the past week playing a post-apocalyptic game, it felt like a giant mutant or a ghoul was going to jump out from behind the corner at any minute. The walk to the store to stock up on bottled water and batteries was very icy and quite scary, with all the downed power lines (don’t worry, we gave them a very wide berth!). 

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(it’s hard to tell from an iPhone photo, but in the second photo, the tree branches are draped right over the power lines!)

Sunday was a day of playing scrabble and crazy eights by candlelight. It was one of those things that seems very romantic in theory but was actually pretty boring in practice. And thank goodness for my candle obsession, because we had enough to light our whole apartment! And we were lucky enough to be a block from stores and restaurants and coffeeshops that still had power, so we just ate all our meals out. If our neighbourhood was less walkable, it would have been even more frustrating.

ice storm 2013     ice storm 2013

Monday morning there was still no sign of Toronto Hydro in our neighbourhood. And since the food in the fridge was  warm and had been without refrigeration since Saturday night, I ended up tossing everything. It was really sad throwing out hundreds of dollars worth of groceries, particularly all the butter and eggs I’d bought just for holday baking. And the nice cheese I’d just bought on sale on Friday. And the dough! The beautiful cookie dough.

I know we’re actually quite lucky, and it could have been much worse. We had water, albeit cold water, right up until we were about to leave on Monday night. And we can afford to fill our fridge again. It was just very sad to have put all that time and money into our food, only to just throw it all away. And sad to start our holidays cold and unshowered.

Luckily Will had Christmas Eve off, so we headed back home last night. It was scary getting out of the city when there were still massive tree branches blocking lots of the roads and all the traffic lights were out! Now we are safely back in the country, which is ironically a lot more glamorous than our Toronto life, what with the hot showers and fresh coffee! Here’s hoping Toronto gets all its power back soon! It’s terrible to think of people spending their Christmas in the cold and the dark.