Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hello Irene

It appears that a Hurricane is upon us. Hello Irene. This coming just days after an Earthquake rippled through the area! Unbelievable.

We were informed today that we needed to "be prepared for local impact", which meant another trip to the store with a list of supplies. But what kind of food would we eat in the event of a power outage. We rarely experience a power outage here, so I wanted to be certain that we were set. I was on a mission to find some creative ideas for hurricane suppers!!

I think our youngest is set. If the only thing left on Earth was peanut butter, she'd be one happy camper. She has her own jar. Not kidding.

So, what do you do for hurricane suppers?? And what kind of tips are there for making meals? The obvious choice is grilling. If you have a grill, propane or charcoal, use it. You can make the most of what's in the deep freeze by firing it up and not allowing your already-paid-for food, to go bad.

Food Prep and Cleanup
Use disposable plastic gloves to mix things by hand so you don't dirty utensils unnecessarily. This saves water used for cleanup. And use self-seal plastic bags instead of mixing bowls to mix salads and marinate meats. Just put the ingredients into one, seal and toss to mix. No need to wash a container. Food stored in plastic bags in an ice chest take up less space than plastic containers. Use paper plates, paper towels, and plastic utensils.

An easy salad: If you have any canned vegetables or beans, drain and mix them with a good olive oil and vinegar such as red wine or balsamic. Toss to combine. Any fresh additions such as onion, carrot, celery or olives are welcome.

If bread becomes a bit stale, don't throw it out. When you make soup, break up the bread and put a few of these croutons in the bottom of the bowl before you ladle the soup into it. The bread will soak up the soup and make a heartier broth.

Fresh Eggs
Safe unrefrigerated for five to seven days. Discard if shells are cracked or odor or discoloration is present.

Use Fresh Veggies and Fruits
Using what fresh veggies and fruit you have on hand can make a great addition to otherwise bland food. Like add mashed banana to instant oatmeal and water. And add fresh veggies and onions to any soups. Soups are easily made using any items that might otherwise go bad.

Add store bought pesto, olives to add zest to pasta, jarred cheese dips and salsa for chips for an easy snack or spread on tortillas, canned chocolate frosting on graham crackers for a sweet treat.

Starchy foods will help sustain you for a longer amount of time. Pasta, instant rice, and instant mashed potatoes are easily boiled on a grill or a portable camping burner.

OTHER things to remember
Boil-water orders are often issued after a hurricane. That's usually because the public water utility has lost pressure in its water-moving systems, making it possible for contaminants to enter water lines. The danger with tainted public supplies is from bacterial contamination that can cause severe diarrhea. Untreated diarrhea can be life-threatening.

And certainly don't forget the pets! Make sure you stock up on plenty of pet food and extra water for your furry 4 legged family members!

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