Stormy Candlelight Dinners

By Kathryn Lane

My husband and I did not celebrate
Valentine’s this year. Yet we made up for it the following night with a romantic,
candlelight dinner. Not exactly to make up for Valentine’s but as a consequence
of the deadly snowstorm that hit Texas. When our power failed, we started
lighting candles. 

Donning a headlamp, I cooked a “prepare in a
pinch” dinner of Spanish-style scrambled eggs with Spanish chorizo, cherry
tomatoes, black olives, and a hint of hot paprika on my faithful gas stovetop. 

The Valentine storm came a
little more than two months after half our house flooded during the first week
in December. A pipe broke in the master bathroom (CLEAN water, mind you!).
Nothing to do with our balmy early December weather – a pipe joint simply came
undone behind the toilet after we’d gone to bed. I awakened at 1:30 in the
morning, heard a hissing sound, got out of bed, and stepped into 4 inches of
water. Bob and I cleaned up what we could. Later that morning, he called the
insurance company. They sent out a cleaning crew that afternoon. For two months
we’ve had workers every single day except for holidays. And the storm gave them
a six-day break. The workers are becoming part of the family!

With the sadness so many
people have endured through the pandemic, I keep reminding my husband (and
myself) that our flood issues are merely an inconvenience, not a tragedy. Add
the snowstorm, blackouts, and lack of water to an already royal mess in our
house, we kept our sanity in the face of the storm’s fallout by calling friends
to make sure they remained safe. The power outages created a dangerous
situation for millions of people.

For lack of water, well, we bypassed bathing. I was thankful all
our bathrooms were functional again after the flood, at least until the winter
storm knocked out the water supply. But I won’t go there! 

In the past two months, our house has either had too much water
or none at all. But hey, we live in Texas and Texans are tough!

Below is my simple, easy recipe to
use in a pinch. What’s your “use in a pinch” recipe?

Chorizo/Cherry Tomato Eggs

tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

slices cured Spanish chorizo ham, cut into pieces – (substitute Mexican
chorizo, omitting the paprika)

1 cup
cherry tomatoes, cut in half

tablespoon finely chopped green onions

¼ cup
chopped black olives

4 large
eggs beaten

and pepper to taste

teaspoon hot paprika (optional)

tablespoon cilantro, chopped

¼ cup
shredded manchego or gouda cheese

Heat olive oil in a
skillet over medium heat. Add chorizo and onions. Cook until chorizo begins to
crisp, about 2 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook
and stir until tomatoes soften and release their juices, about 4-5 minutes.
Beat eggs with salt, pepper, and paprika (if using) in a small bowl. Stir
seasoned eggs into tomato mixture in the skillet. Add olives. Reduce heat to
medium-low and cook and stir until the eggs are set, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle
with cilantro and cheese. (2 servings)

Bon Appetit.


Kathryn’s books – The Nikki Garcia
series and her short story collection – Backyard Volcano.
All available on Amazon.

About Kathryn

Kathryn Lane started out as a starving
artist. To earn a living, she became a certified public accountant and embarked
on a career in international finance with a major multinational corporation.
After two decades, she left the corporate world to plunge into writing mystery
and suspense thrillers. In her stories, Kathryn draws deeply from her Mexican background as well as her travels
in over ninety countries.

Photos: Wine and Rose, and Chorizo and Tomato Eggs – Public Domain

Kathryn cooking with a Headlamp – Bob Hurt

The Nikki Garcia Thriller series, book covers by Bobbye Marrs

10 replies
  1. Barbara Kyle
    Barbara Kyle says:

    Kathryn, I'm sure it's been no fun with the outages in Texas, so your sunny attitude is really admirable. Thank goodness for gas stoves, huh? I love mine 🙂

  2. Kathryn Lane
    Kathryn Lane says:

    Thanks, Barbara, I've learned that gas stoves are life saving devices when hurricanes, power outages, and other natural disasters happen. Love my gas stove!

  3. Saralyn
    Saralyn says:

    Kathryn, we have this experience in common. I have new respect for my gas stove top, and after a week with no power or water, I cherish all of my utilities! I'm ecstatic not to have to worry about where my next flush will come from. Best wishes to you, and thanks for the recipe.

    • Kathryn Lane
      Kathryn Lane says:

      Saralyn, you can't beat a gas stove during a power outage. And I can relate to a week of no water, too! Not having water in some ways was worse, but then the power outage kept us pretty cold in our own house…!

  4. Gay Yellen
    Gay Yellen says:

    Cooking by headlamp! So smart! Makes me want to buy one. It would be great for those nights when one of us can't sleep and doesn't want to wake the other. The recipe looks divine, Kathryn. Yum.

    • Kathryn Lane
      Kathryn Lane says:

      Gay, we purchased headlamps when we traveled to southern France to see paleolithic cave art. The tour guide asked us to bring them. We only used them in one cave, but hey, during the power outage they came in very handy! Wouldn't live without one now!!

  5. Debra H. Goldstein
    Debra H. Goldstein says:

    Glad to catch your sense of humor and survival in your post. You've had a time, but managed to make a wonderful blog out of it.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.