How to Feed A Family with No Electricity
As is evidenced by the less than kind weather we have been having lately with Hurricane Sandy, and Hurricane Irene and Lee before that, living with weather related catastrophe is becoming the new normal for everyone (not just those who historically live in Tornado Alley and the like). And this means that power cuts, interruptions, and outages are the new normal as well. While most of us could live with moderate comfort during temporary outages, having no electrical power could greatly hamper an individualís, or familyís, ability to cook and eat. While we may not be able to power our smart phones or run the heat, we still need to eat, and one could only live so many days on cereal and room temperature soy milk.
Living in New York, I gathered up as much food as I could in preparation of the coming storm, and made as many muffins, breads, and egg-things as I thought anyone would care to eat in the coming days. But even in my most resourceful moments, I needed a bit of direction as how to keep us fed in the event of no electrical power for days on end. I took to the internet and found recipes and tips (some better than others and some more practical than others). Making rice and beans (having canned beans on hand is always a good option) makes for a good go-to meal, if kept cook (always be aware of food contamination, as rice and beans left at room temperature are susceptible to bacteria growth). Making a vegetable and pasta salad is also a particularly good option (without mayonnaise). I boiled nearly a dozen eggs and used them for a collection of salads, and sandwiches, and of course, most fresh fruits and vegetables (as we all know) can be enjoyed raw.
Be sure to keep foods stored cold enough to safely enjoy without fear of spoilage or contamination. One way of doing this is freezing a bunch of water in plastic containers and then, once the power goes, distributing these throughout your fridge and freezer (this could also be achieved with store-bought freezer packs), and be sure to keep the fridge and freezer closed as much as possible.
Any other tips you may have to share with fellow Care2 readers on the subject of eating well without power? What works, and what decidedly doesnít?