Eating During Power Outages


What to eat when the power goes out?

After the recent hurricanes  I want to plan better for surviving with limited access to comestibles and to remember which are the best non-perishable foods to keep in the pantry should cooking power go out again.

It doesn’t bode well for my family that I only took one year of girl scouts. All I learned was how to make  beef stew.   I don’t think I would be a good survivalist which is why I am wanting to learn and be better prepared next time.

To get ahead of the disaster (during Harvey),  I quickly prepared some of the frozen meats in crockpots and on the stove.  I knew if the power went out the meat would not last for long in the freezer.

I guess one could  always drag the grill under the porch while it’s raining and save what is perishing but that wouldn’t work with high winds.  A propane stove might work if the surrounding area was protected.

After the hurricane had passed, I heard  a man on tv saying he  went to the store, after being homebound for 3 days, wanting to buy meat because he was sick of eating sandwiches.  

I, personally, would never tire of mexican sandwiches, aka tacos.   I could build a fire where I could roast my corn tortilla and fill it with grilled spam, mashed beans, or some tolerable canned meat,  or eggs  (powdered might have to do) …and that would make for a happy tummy.    

I had purchased salmon in pouches but my salmon patties  recipe would’ve required eggs and where does one find   powdered eggs anyway?   One could just add mayo and onion to the salmon and make a salad but mayo must be purchased ahead in small individual packets.  

Tuna fish is def not to my liking.  If I was hungry enough , I think I could consume it.  Maybe with onion,  relish,  olives.  Again, the mayo.  I need to order those….

So, what else to survive on?  Maybe some hummus and chips would be an acceptable meal.  Some guacamole and salsa?  YES!   I don’t know how long  cooked beans would last without refrigeration?  I usually avoid anything out of a can but if survival requires it….

Beef jerky…ummm, nope… that would make my TMJ hurt.  Oh,  but it would be absolutely delicious if chopped finely and  stir- fried with eggs to make machacado.   Top with salsa and wow, what a meal! 

This topic brings back memories of my childhood diet when we survived on beans, tortillas, potatoes and corn flakes.  I think I can do that again, as long as there’s salsa to garnish the bean or potato tacos.  And they sell non-perishable milk in  cartons for the cereal.   Potatoes  can be wrapped in foil and thrown in the grill.   Butter lasts a long time without refrigeration.  A potato stuffed with lunchmeat and butter would be better than lunchmeat between two slices of bread.  

 Plenty of fresh and canned produce is a must to buy ahead.  But, what  dip for the hard buds of broccoli or cauliflower so we don’t choke on the dry pieces?  Ah yes,  back to the lil packets of mayo, which can be made flavorful by adding a dash of chili powder and cumin.   If we can find the mayo packets  might as well as get some relish packets, too…for the tuna and for hot dogs if they can be found.  Can Vienna sausage work as a hot dog?  .. a very tiny hot dog!

All this grilling will require much wood or coals.  What a task just hauling or cutting the fuel!   Wait, but can’t  we just  buy cans of  Ensure and skip  cooking?!  wrong!  🙂

One of my offspring endured 24 hours without electricity during Harvey and for her the suffocating heat was the most distressing.   Cooking was the last thing on their mind.  They found  it better to just eat peanut butter out of the jar.  Dipped with apples that just might hit the spot.   

I know we all learned  from the recent disasters and that we are  surely all better prepared for the next wrath of nature.  Do you have any tips to share with me?