When Barb of Creative Culinary and Jenn of JennCuisine suggested that foodbloggers support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, I felt a personal tug. I grew up in New York and New Jersey and have family and friends affected by the storm and its aftermath. Luckily those closest to me have fared relatively well, but there are countless others who have been devastated.
Monetary donations are great and so are other types of generosity – mitzvahs or good deeds that remind people who have suffered that they are not alone.
How to Help Those Affected By Hurricane Sandy?
- Donate money,
- Provide needed supplies,
- Volunteer your time to rebuild or help in another way if you are nearby, and/or
- Make someone affected feel the warmth of your caring with comfort food, a personal message or other personal gesture
For monetary donations, consider well-known national groups such as:
Lots of regional and local groups can help you find a way to pitch in:
My niece, Molly Mulshine, is the editor of the Asbury Park Sun. Besides reporting tirelessly on hurricane-related issues from the storm-ravaged New Jersey shore, she has been helping others and keeping her sense of humor despite the travails – quite a gal! (Check out her up-to-the-minute stories on the hurricane’s impact.) She suggests Project Rebuild and Recover Assist in Hurricane Sandy Relief.
The Union for Reform Judaism has a great list of New York-area groups, reprinted below:
- Repair the World: This Jewish organization seeks to inspire Jews of all backgrounds to dedicate time and effort to the causes they’re passionate about. Find both Jewish and secular opportunities to donate and volunteer.
- Food Bank for NYC: Donate to the food bank’s emergency fund to help New Yorkers in need after the storm, or volunteer with the food bank’s response team.
- NYC Service: As communities assess their needs and begin to rebuild, more volunteer opportunities will be added. Check back for the most up-to-date volunteer opportunities throughout New York City’s five boroughs.
- New York Cares: Hurricane Sandy response projects, including cleanup and distribution efforts, are being posted on a rolling basis.
As for the personal gesture, I’m all about comfort food (of course) and join with Barb, Jenn and other foodbloggers by posting a recipe that might inspire you. Mine is roasted Brussels sprouts. They are super easy and I like them right out of the oven, reheated, or even cold. You can pair them with pot roast, chicken, soup, or other sides for a satisfying dinner – and they pack well for travel if you’re making a care package to bring to someone who needs a pick-me-up. This recipe can easily be doubled or even tripled – just make sure that the sprouts are in a single layer when they roast.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Servings – 2-3 Cost $3.50
- 12 -16 oz. Brussels sprouts
- 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil
- Kosher or coarse sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
- Colander or strainer
- Cutting board
- Small, sharp knife
- 1 cookie sheet
- Tablespoon measure or a spoon
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 C).
- Wash the Brussels sprouts and cut off a very thin slice of the ends if they look worn.
- Spread a few tablespoons of olive oil on the cookie sheet and roll the Brussels sprouts around it in until they are covered in oil.
- Sprinkle the sprouts with salt and pepper. I prefer the coarsest salt available, as it provides a nice crunch. Table salt works too, but use less.
- Bake for a total of 20-30 minutes, turning the sprouts or shaking the pan to move them, once during cooking.
- When they are nicely browned and even burnt looking in parts they are done. If you like crunchy veggies, these are the ticket, especially the few leaves that come off of the sprouts and crisp up in the pan on their own – they are irresistible!
- When the sprouts are done, sprinkle them with a bit of fresh lemon juice.
The roasted sprouts can be refrigerated and reheated at 350 degrees in an oven or toaster oven. In that event, they will be soft rather than crunchy, but still delicious. They are good cold too – I’ve been known to eat more than my fair share standing at the open refrigerator.
Speaking of powered up refrigerators, some are still without power over a week after the storm. And others have lost their homes and possessions. If you are lucky enough to have a warm home and a working kitchen, lights, and a car or other transportation that hasn’t been flooded, how will you help?