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Jan 30, 201410:26 AM
Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

Winter Storm Apocalypse 2014: A Diary

A (slightly satirical) diary of New Orleans' latest winter madness.

Like many of you, I spent the last several days squatting in my bunker, trying to decide which of my neighbors I'd eat first should the need arise. While the exercise may yet prove fruitful, we were not forced into cannibalism. We, like you, survived the bleak days of WINTER STORM 2014, but lest we forget, I provide my hourly diary as a record of these times:


Monday, Jan. 27 

8:00 a.m. Sounds like we could be in for some cold weather.

9:30 a.m. Funny; people are starting to become concerned about the chance we'll have a hard freeze. Wonder how my friends in Chicago or Minneapolis would feel?

1:00 p.m. State of Emergency? I mean, I know people down here can't drive in the snow, but emergency? I'm going out for wings.

2:30 p.m. It's 60 degrees. Bah.

4:00 p.m. Hungry. Wish I had a hot dog.

5:45 p.m. Drove past the Rouses on Carrollton and saw a lot of cars. Weird.

6:00 p.m. Watching the news.

6:05 p.m. Have started carving cross-country skis from the dining room table.


7:00 p.m. Man, I can't believe I was freaking out like that. Ordering delivery from Five Happiness.

7:18 p.m. I suspect the neighbors have taken the delivery guy and my food, as well. Oddly, I feel as bad for the delivery guy as for the loss of my Ma Po Tofu. Perhaps I am becoming human after all?

7:20 p.m. My food is here; delivery guy doing fine, or so he says. Decided not to challenge his story to his face.

7:45 p.m. Food gone, starting to consider the options should the weather predictions prove accurate. The cross-country skis I fashioned from the dining room table do not resemble the photographs on the “maker” website, and I am starting to regret setting the mattress on fire for warmth, given that it is still 50 degrees outside and our heat is working.

9:00 p.m. Have eaten all food in freezer, and sated, will sleep.


Tuesday, Jan. 28

4:30 a.m. Baby wakes me. Do not eat baby, not even tempted. Feel good about self.

6:45: a.m. It is cold, and have word that snow is falling in Alexandria. They say the Inuit have 1,000 words for snow. I wonder how many of them are “this sucks”? Probably at least a hundred.

8:00 a.m. Opening bottle of whiskey. Facebook approves. Wife does not. Going with Facebook.

8:15 a.m. Upon further reflection, and with the benefit of counsel, am now siding with wife. (Sneaking whiskey.)

8:17 a.m. I regret sneaking whiskey, and any intimation that my wife is a spoilsport. She is not. She is the light of my life.

9:00 a.m. Pretty sure the neighbors are sizing me up for the barbecue. Not worried. Wife, though small, is fierce.  

11:00 a.m. Looking at pictures of snow on the internet. TERRIFYING.

11:13 a.m. Hungry, but still fascinated by pictures of snow on the internet.

12:01 p.m. Bored with looking at pictures of snow on the internet, and suddenly VERY hungry. Will this horror never end? Internet, radio and television sources all say there is still a chance of freezing rain that would … be terrible for … things.


1:32 p.m. Power back on in the 9th Ward and Chalmette. Oops.

1:33 p.m. Apologized to neighbors. Not sure they believed me. Probably should not have thrown salt on them. “I was afraid you'd freeze!” was met with stern glances.

1:40 p.m. Fearing loss of power, we are charging all electronic devices, as well as sources of backup power. Have downloaded plans for windmill.

1:49 p.m. Building windmill.

2:18 p.m. Windmill plans clearly written by agents working for North Korea. On the plus side, children have learned to curse.  

5:46 p.m. An eerie calm sets in over my Mid-City neighborhood. As the sun retreats and temperatures drop, a light rain is falling. I am reminded of a story about a grasshopper and a colony of ants. In the story the grasshopper spent his summer days playing music and making merry. He scoffed when the ants warned him of the coming winter, and at the work they did to store food for the coming cold. In my waking reverie, I am the grasshopper, but I have a shotgun, and those ants give up their food real quick... I wake from my nap with the taste of an ant-cheeseburger on my lips.

6:00 p.m.  Children, at least one of them mine, are hungry. Fortunately I have food in the pantry. Starting to regret breaking up the chairs for firewood.

7:15 p.m. Starting to look for second-hand chairs online. Also looking for some sort of gift for neighbors that says, “I'm very sorry I considered eating you during the GREAT WINTER STORM OF 2014 but you really should be flattered that I at least considered you supple enough to butcher, so no hard feelings?” and failing miserably. Throw pillows? Scented candles? Settled on bottles of moderately inexpensive wine.

8:00 p.m. Moderately inexpensive wine is pretty good. Will probably give neighbors even less expensive bottles of wine, assuming world thaws from current WINTER STORM conditions, which is uncertain.

8:19 p.m. Moderately inexpensive wine gone. Much weeping, most of it mine, though some, unrelated to loss of moderately inexpensive wine, may be attributed to toddler.

8:21 p.m. Toddler assuaged by return of “nummy num num” cracker-food. Wife has put down the hammer.

9:00 p.m. Watching weather people on the television. Considering which one I would eat if “forced” to choose. Realize this is not related to the WINTER STORM, but something I consider whenever I watch the local news. Think perhaps I should seek help, but I have it totally under control, totally. 


Wednesday, Jan. 29

7:30 a.m. I wake to a world of white and silence. I am in the bathroom. Outside it's cold, and there's a little ice on my car.

8:40 a.m. I drive to Gracious Bakery. “I knew you'd be here,” they say, which I take to mean that I am a rugged lumberjack-mountain-man-special-forces-he-man type, but which in fact means “because you are addicted to our coffee and pastries.”  

9:30 a.m. I continue to consider which of the neighbors to eat, but at this point it's truly academic. I'd never eat my neighbors! Seriously!

I hope your experience with the WINTER STORM 2014 was as pleasant and non-disastrous as mine, and that none of you were pressed into eating your fellow humans? Ordinarily this is the part where I'd ask you to tell me your stories, but under the circumstances, perhaps that's best for another day? 


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Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene


Robert D. Peyton was born at Ochsner Hospital and, apart from four years in Tennessee for college and three years in Baton Rouge for law school, has lived in New Orleans his entire life. He is a strong believer in the importance of food to our local culture and in the importance of our local food culture, generally. He has practiced law since 1994, and began writing about food on his website, www.appetites.us, in 1999. He mainly wrote about partying that year, obviously.

In 2006, New Orleans Magazine named Appetites the best food blog in New Orleans. The choice was made relatively easy due to the fact that Appetites was, at the time, the only food blog in New Orleans.

He began writing the Restaurant Insider column for New Orleans Magazine in 2007 and has been published in St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana Life and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles magazines. He is the only person he knows personally who has been interviewed in GQ magazine, albeit for calling Alan Richman a nasty name. He is not proud of that, incidentally. (Yes, he is.)

Robert’s maternal grandmother is responsible for his love of good food, and he has never since had fried chicken or homemade biscuits as good as hers. He developed his curiosity about restaurant cooking in part from the venerable PBS cooking show "Great Chefs" and has an extensive collection of cookbooks, many of which do not require coloring, and some of which have not been defaced.

Robert lives in Mid-City with his wife Eve and their three children, and is fond of receiving comments and emails. Please humor him.




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