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Hurricane Cocktail

Twisting the Night Away: Planning a Hurricane Party

By Cheryl Hill-Burrier

It's hurricane season, a time when the weather can take a nasty turn in a matter of hours. The kick-off date begins on June 1st and runs through November 30th, with August being the peak period for hurricane activity. For the U.S., Hurricane Alley runs from the coast of Maine to the Gulf of Mexico at Texas, incorporating 17 states and 3700 miles.

Having briefly lived along the Texas Coast (at a sea level of 3 feet), the high winds and rain from a nighttime tropical storm were enough to make our home sway and groan while the lower level flooded – leaving me to down a whole bottle of wine, minus the glass, while wearing a life jacket!

Regardless of my phobias, there exist true sea-loving, eternal optimists who grasp the opportunity to call for a Hurricane Party. A hurricane party is different from any other, given that those hosting and those attending are attempting to ride out the wrath of Mother Nature. But, just how does a body go about deciding who to invite and who not to invite, let alone what kind of food and drinks to serve, and by the way, where do guests park their cars?

Well, if you're a newn resident to the coastal area, hurricane parties are meant to ease the stress by inviting family or friends to your boarded up or shuttered home. Routinely, choosing a host home is achieved somewhat along the line of the three little pigs story; the dwelling must be sturdy, in the safest location and capable of housing several people for as long as three or four days.

But, you don't have to live in hurricane alley, and you don't have to have destructive weather to throw a hurricane party, so celebrate the season!

The hurricane party is all about atmosphere and simple food and drinks served using disposable plates, cups and utensils. Rooms or porches should be illuminated by flashlight, candlelight, or kerosene lamp.

Notable edibles include New Orleans-style food and the gale force of all drinks, the Hurricane. This drink was invented at Pat O'Briens' bar in New Orleans, and named for the hurricane lamp shaped glass in which it is served. You can always enhance the party by playing some New Orleans jazz, or even Jimmy Buffet on a battery-operated radio.

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Above all, eat, drink, be safe, and don't forget your party attire -- the life jacket!

Beef Po' Boys
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pound pre-cooked, deli thin-sliced beef
  • 4 6-inch rolls (or) 2 French loaves cut into 6-inch halves
Using a medium saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the flour browns, about 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add sliced onion and bell pepper, continuing to stir constantly, about 3 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and thyme and stir until mixture begins to boil and thicken. Remove from heat. Scoop out most of the insides of the rolls and cut each 6-inch roll in half. Place 1/4 pound of meat in each 6-inch roll, spoon on gravy, and replace tops of rolls. For snack servings, cut finished Po' Boys into 2-inch pieces. Serves 4-12

Shrimp Remoulade
  • 1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Creole mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and cooked
  • 1 head Iceberg lettuce (optional)
Clean and de-vein the shrimp. Boil in a large pot for 3 minutes, remove and place in a container in the refrigerator or over ice. In a medium-size mixing bowl, blend mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire, Tabasco, onions, celery, parsley, garlic and lemon juice. Chill sauce in the refrigerator or over ice for about 1 hour before serving. Serve shrimp and sauce as dip, or place shrimp on a plate of lettuce with sauce poured on top. Serves 6-9

Crabmeat Dip
  • 1 6-ounce can pre-cooked lump crabmeat, drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon pimentos, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Combine all ingredients and place container on ice (or icepack) to chill. Serve with sourdough bread chunks, Melba toast or crackers. Makes 2 cups.

  • 1 8-ounce roll of Braunschweiger sausage
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 slices fried bacon (save bacon drippings)
  • 1/8 cup Parmesan cheese
Stir and soften Braunschweiger in a bowl, then add garlic and pepper. Cook bacon, crumble and add to mixture along with half of the bacon drippings. Mix well, top with Parmesan cheese, and serve with Melba toast or crackers. Makes 1 cup.

  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 2 ounces passion fruit juice
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon triple sec
  • 1 tablespoon grenadine
  • orange slice or cherry for garnish
Mix all ingredients together and serve over ice in a hurricane glass or 15-ounce cup. Serves 1 If you prefer the drink be less strong, decrease each of the liquors by one ounce.

For Hurricane Preparedness Information contact the National Hurricane Center.

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