I’ve always been one to side-eye those people who get caught in flash floods in their cars. Why would they drive into 3 feet of water? What idiots! But, this week, Jake and I became those idiots, so now I would like to relabel them as brave, misunderstood survivors
We were on our way to work just like any other morning and when we went in to drop Lily off at school it was drizzling. When we came out, it was raining harder. Then it was REALLY raining, but we didn’t think too much about it because we were engrossed in listening to Gone Girl on CD, and were more concerned about crazy Amy Dunn’s antics than the weather. But Pittsburgh is hilly, of course, and you are pretty much always on some part of a mountain, so water accumulates quickly in the lower-lying areas, and our commute takes us right through a deep valley disguised as an underpass to get on the highway. As we approached the underpass, the water was rising rapidly with floods rushing in from both sides of the road, so after the car in front of us made it through we stopped to analyze the situation. Should we go or stay? The water level was getting higher by the second so we originally thought to stay and not push our luck. Then (this all happened in about 10 seconds), we looked behind us and there were rapids (literally rapids!) coming down the road from behind us. Realizing that staying still would put us underwater anyway, we pushed forward, hoping that we could make it through in time before the water level at the lowest point in the road would be high enough to hit the engine. We didn’t. By the time it was over, the engine wasn’t just touching the water, it was submerged in it.
As the car stalled out there was a second of Jake and I staring at each other in an “oh crap” kind of way, but when the water started coming up through the floor we knew it was time to stop dilly-dallying and abandon ship. So we did. Through thigh-high, oily, dirty water. It was gross. And then we stood in the rain until the police eventually came to help us. I had no idea how common this kind of situation is in Pittsburgh (there are some really tragic stories about flash flooding in this area), but am no feeling much older and wiser. What.a.week. But, hey, we are safe and my picture (think damsel in distress gazing at her floating car) made the front page of the paper the next day, so at least I get to experience my 15 minutes of semi-fame.
The breakfast recipe below would have been a good meal to come home to that day. It’s warm and comforting and easier to make than normal hash browns because it cooks from both sides so you don’t have to worry about flipping. I always screw up the hash brown flip. You get a weekend breakfast for weekday effort. It’s the perfect way to make a bad day better.
Hash Brown Waffle with a Fried Egg
1 Tbsp oil
2 cups shredded baking potato (you can also use refrigerated or frozen shredded potatoes that have thawed)
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or another shredded cheese if you prefer)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp butter
Preheat the waffle iron to medium-high. Preheat a small frying pan with the oil on the stove turned to medium.
Put the shredded potatoes in a clean dish towel and squeeze out the excess liquid. Put into a large bowl and mix with the onion, cheese, and one of the eggs until evenly coated. Add in the garlic powder, salt, and pepper and stir. Spray the heated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray and spread the potato mixture in an even layer. Close the iron and cook until crispy and brown on the outside.
When the oil is hot (but not smoking) in the frying pan, add the butter. Crack the two remaining eggs into a bowl, and as soon as the butter is melted, add the eggs to the pan. Spoon some of the oil/butter mixture onto the whites to coat the tops. Once the whites turn white and start to set, cover the pan and cook for about 60 seconds (more if you like your eggs over hard, less if you like them super runny).
Put half of the waffle on a plate, cover with one of the eggs, and serve immediately. Repeat for the other half.
Source: L+K original (obviously there’s nothing original about a fried egg… I just cooked it like I always have without the help of a recipe)