We’ve been warned for days. “Sandy”, aka “Frankenstorm”, has been predicted as one of the most powerful storms to hit the northeast. One of the newscasters said that no-one who hasn’t been alive 300 years has seen such a storm. We went through the ritual that we in the northeast are used to for snowstorms. We collect our power-out, stuck in the house supplies and go through our checklist.
- Flashlights with fresh batteries
- Candles, matches
- Generator ready
- Fill up the car with gas
- Land-line, non-cordless phone plugged in, or at least locate-able
- Charge up everything – cell phones, iPads, iPods, DS
I already have a couple crochet and knit projects in the works. And I’ve got a pile of books to last ‘til Jesus comes back. The kids had a few school projects they needed to work on to occupy them for a few hours. Now, next thing – food.
The food supply for six people - and a dog - is varied and sizable. But the things we stock up on amuses me; and by "we", I mean my own pre-storm grocery list, as well as the food items I’ve noticed mentioned on friends’ Facebook status. Here’s a sampling of my pantry and refrigerator for sheltering in over the next few days.
On our way home Sunday night, through the first raindrops of the coming floods, I stopped at the store and picked up several bottles of coffee creamer. “That’s it?” My husband asked. I thought about it for a moment, considered going back for more, but decided I had enough to make it through the storm, we headed home. I realized later, he was actually talking about real food.
As the rain started getting heavy and before the lights started to flicker, I made a pot of rice. Come high water, we’ll be here, living off of rice, dried fish, and fermented cabbage. Don’t feel bad for me – I can’t wait for the perfect excuse to carb-load. And I don’t apologize – I blame it on my mother. (If you read my post last week, you'll know I now realize its always the mom's fault.) When I called my parents to make sure they were ready for the coming rain and possible power outage, my mother had two questions for me: “Is D traveling this week?” and “Do you have rice?” Although, in all fairness, she asks me the rice question almost every time I talk to her; she was worried for about a week when my answer was “no”.
For anyone who enjoys an alcoholic beverage every now and then, I’m sure a run to the liquor store is right up there with the grocery store. I went Friday afternoon and picked up a couple bottles of Belgian Lambic beer. Note, I don’t drink any other beer. But not in a snooty, “I only drink imported beer” way, because I don’t drink German, Japanese, or wherever else imports come from beer. After tasting a bottle (or two or three, aww, who’s counting?) in Antwerp, I’m kinda hooked on this expensive habit. And it seemed like a beer week coming on.
The kids and I usually bake something – brownies, a batch of cookies. But unfortunately, when I made my coffee creamer stop, I didn’t realize we were out of butter, so no fresh-baked cookies for us. I’m sure we’ll come up with something before all the rain dries up.
With schools closed and nowhere to go, it is a good time to cook up some stuff I don’t usually have time to make, provided I have all the ingredients. Hence, shrimp and grits for breakfast and fried chicken for dinner. And I made a couple pots of chili, one meat, one veggie. I will also try to cook some of the food in the freezer and have it ready to eat in case the power does go out.
And I have to admit, as soon as the lights flicker, I’m grabbing a spoon and the half-gallon of butter pecan.
As varied as the list is, it seems to all come down to comfort food. What makes us comfy, cozy, and happy to ward off any bad things that the storm may bring. Its as if we collectively agree, "as long as there are warm cookies baking in the oven, it can't be all bad, right?"
What do you keep in you storm food rations?
p.s. anyone with a non-butter based cookie recipe, feel free to pass it on