If you live in Eastern Massachusetts, it is very likely you are being affected by the aquapocalypse. Either directly or you are being bombarded with news coverage about it. You may be asking yourself, what is the aquapocalypse?
Many towns in Eastern Massachusetts get their water from Quabbin Reservoir which is in Western Massachusetts. A series of pipes transport water to various towns in the Boston area. Not all towns elect to take from the Quabbin Reservoir (Cambridge, MA gets theirs from Fresh Pond) and other towns have back-ups (Woburn, MA uses Horn Pond as their backup). The history of the Quabbin reservoir is interesting. In the 1930s, all residents of 4 Massachusetts towns were kicked out of their homes and the area was subsequently flooded with water. It's been the primary source of public water for the state ever since.
A few days ago, one of the pipes that transports Quabbin water to a select group of towns ruptured and our drinking water was contaminated. People in my town and various others have had to depend highly on bottled water or boiled water. I prefer boiled water as this incident is already causing environmental damage, who wants to create more by creating excess plastic waste?
The aquapocalypse is pretty serious. Not only does any drinking water need to be boiled any water you ingest has to be too. So for washing dishes, making ice, brushing my teeth, it's been boil, boil, BOIL!
This recipe is based on the Grilled & Dilled Chicken & Pasta Salad from REC(ession)IPES.
Aquapocalypse Chicken & Pasta Salad
- Various pots of boiled water that's been cooled for washing dishes
- a big pot of boiling water for cooking pasta
- ice cubes from boiled water
- a few cups of boiled water that's been cooled for washing veggies
3 celery stalks with leaves sliced
1 red pepper diced
1 cubanelle pepper diced
2 carrots sliced
2 teaspoon dijon mustard
4 teaspoons of white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons of mayo
5 chicken cutlets
juice of half a lemon
light olive oil
1 package of elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh dill
This makes enough for 2 with lots of leftovers. Make sure you invite friends over to share!
Heat up a grill pan. Add salt and pepper to your chicken cutlets and the juice of half a lemon and light olive oil. Make sure there is plenty of boiled/cooled water around for you to wash your hands thoroughly. You're properly armed against aquapocalypse with all that water so don't forget the battle against salmonella!
Add your chicken to the hot grill pan. Grill on both sides for about 2-3 minutes each side. Set aside to cool.
Get a big pot of water boiling for the pasta. By now, you are an expert boiler so you know to let it bowl for a couple of minutes to make sure all that bacteria is dead and gone. Take that aquapocalypse!
Add your macaroni and cook for 10 minutes.
While the pasta is cooking, chop your veggies and rinse them in boiled/cooled water. Drain. Set aside. Do this instead of washing your veggies before you chop them. This method requires less water and that boiled/cooled water is very precious!
In a smaller container, add your dijon mustard and white wine vinegar. Shake shake shake. Set aside.
Chop your chicken!
Drain your cooked pasta. You need to cool down your pasta before you add your vegetables, chicken and dressing. Hot pasta is no good, so add some ice cubes made from boiled/cooled water. Stir, cool, drain.
In a big bowl, add your cooled pasta, veggies, chicken, dill, dijon/vinegar dressing and mayo. Stir. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Wash your dishes with boiled/cooled water!
Congratulations, you've made it through the aquapocalypse!