Friday, February 4, 2011

Not Quite Armageddon, or, Let's Hear It For Delivery Guys

Chicago just had a bit of a snowstorm--a really big one, actually. The hanging from a lightpole horizontally, threatening to blow windows out kind. There was even thunder and lightening for God's sake. I can't remember the last time I heard or saw that in a snowstorm. But now comes the hard part: repeatedly shoveling cars out of parking spots, lawn chairs and sawhorses claiming said parking spots, everyone criticizing/praising the city's level of preparedness, then going on to describe, through gross hyperbole, how when they were a kid in Buffalo or Baltimore or Boston or Colorado (guilty) snowstorms were way worse, as though that somehow diminishes the magnitude of this one in an effort to not let this one diminish the magnitude of those. Plus, we've now got a bunch of dirty snow to look at for awhile, unless we get another cleansing, miracle rain shower like we did just before New Year's.

But hey! Reveling in the beauty of the storm as it happened (and stuck at home with a wicked cough), I refused to join the lines legally looting the stores the day before the storm. After all, the stores would be back open the day after the storm, or at least the day after that. I'd wager we all had enough littering our fridges to get us through that brief span of time. Maybe those six gallons of milk weren't that necessary? Though I can see stocking up on beer and whiskey--what better way to spend a forced day inside doors framed by feet of driven snow than by enjoying some brown liquor and a couple Jim Harrison books?
So, I poked around and did just fine. Sourdough waffles, begot by my new starter friend Flyod via old Crazy Hair were to be had, as were their cousins sourdough pancakes (I've been on some sort of strange sweet-ish breakfast bread-type thing kick lately). The ever prolific Flyod also spawned some great buns, which played their role perfectly in the ever important sloppy-joe-on-a-snowed-in day show. I had some beef I'd ground from scraps in the freezer, a million gorgeous spices a friend had given me, some tomatoes and banana peppers, barbecue sauce and a Busch Heavy. Into the trusty cast iron they went. There was a leftover Yukon Gold potato looking at me funny, so I sliced him up and dumped him in hot oil for chips, or crisps, depending on who you ask.
The next day, I made it in to work (the benefit/curse of being abe to walk there). I'd placed some orders the night before, kind of hopefully, wondering if they'd arrive as I shoveled a path to the back alley through feet of snow. These are the kind of food orders that require dollies and several trips to a huge truck. Sure enough, my guys showed up, in the midst of a day of huge orders, angry chefs, and terrible roads/alleys/sidewalks. But they were on schedule and smiling for the most part. They'd make it happen, however creatively. Today as I write, I'm watching deliveries being made to the building across the street. Same story. It's gonna be rough for these guys for some time. But they're doing it, just like so many others whose jobs involved road travel and being outside and dealing with all the snow and ice. Here's to the delivery drivers of Chicago.