The hurricake

When the news told us we’d be on the edge of Hurricane Earl, the Kiddos reacted with a mixture of excitement and fear, sometimes simultaneously. Angelborough wasn’t likely to be hit hard, but we ran the risk of power outages.

We secured the outdoors: moved the chairs under the deck, turned the outdoor table over so the wind couldn’t pick it up, and locked down all the toys. The hanging plants and wind chimes came inside.

Kiddo#1, either in love with or frightened by the idea of a power outage, gathered wood for our fireplace so we could cook hot dogs in the dark while awaiting the apocalypse.

The Kiddos were taking stock of the pantry to see how long we could survive when I heard, “Why do we have two cake mixes?”

“They were on sale,” I said. “We could make one if you like.”

The Kiddos decided unanimously that baking a cake was the best possible way to prepare for a hurricane. Ten minutes into the baking process, of course, I realized I was an idiot because we didn’t have any frosting–I should have poured the batter into a bundt pan rather than two round pans. Oh well.

Fortunately, we have something called “the internet,” and it knows how to make frosting from scratch.

Here’s the final score:

Hurricane: Total fail. I monitored the weather radar all night, and it kept claiming we were experiencing torrential downpours, but we never got more than a steady patter. Never any wind. At one point the radar did show a narrow trough of clear weather right through the center of the Swamp, but most of the time when we were in the yellow-orange percipitation zone, we got a drizzle.

I credit our light hurricane experience to the weather control device at the end of the road.

The cake: a total victory. Although my Patient Husband got a pained look when he stepped in the door (“You prepared for a storm by baking a cake?”) the kids took to calling it “a hurricake” and everyone agreed it turned out great, even the made-up frosting. (My Patient Husband said, “Think about what you just said–what product made of butter and sugar would not taste delicious?”)

Later it occurred to me that my kids might tell their kids about this, how mom prepared for a hurricane by baking a cake: “She planned that because she wanted us to have a good memory about planning for scary situations.” But that’s giving me too much credit. I didn’t plan anything, but they were worried and I wanted them to have something sweet.


  1. Jason Block

    I love the name Hurri-cake….and the kids will have a nice memory.

  2. Colleen

    Love it.

  3. Diinzumo

    That’s the best kind of hurricane to have – a total fail. And with cake!

  4. capt_cardor

    During the late summer, we got one of those surprise storms that, in the past, have taken the lives of even experienced Watermen on the Chesapeake Bay. Thunder, lightning, wind and torrential rain. Mom was down for the count with a migraine, and my two ten year old daughters were about to freak out. I took out my drawing supplies and began to work on a sketch I had in mind for some time, but had not had actual time to begin. As it took form the girls got interested and watched and soon they had their drawing stuff out, too.

    To make a long story longer, the one hour storm went by and the girls didn’t seem to notice. It requires a great deal of concentration to draw and they forgot about the wind and rain. Fortunately the thunder and lightning ended after the first few minutes. We kept on drawing even after the last of the rain and the girls and I had a great time.