Welcome to the Atlantic Coast!!! Did I mention that September 10th and 11th are the peak of Atlantic Hurricane Season? Seems that things are right on track. To me, the name of the three tropical storms sound like members of a B rate band.
Anyway, since we may all be facing power outages and all in the not to distant future, I thought that I would write a little about spicing things up when you are eating by candlelight out of necessity rather than choice.
First off, I know that beef stew in a can is one of the old standby go to items for shelf stable foods. Well, serve your beef stew over chow mein to add crunch. Chow mein is a great shelf stable item that everyone needs to put into their emergency food kit. You could also try putting it over dry ramen noodles. I saw a lot of people buying those up at the grocery today. And, I really don't get why all the vanilla wafers were sold out. Am I missing something here people?
A great little side dish that I use for camping that would work great on the grill as well, is you take new potatoes and cut them in half, add sliced onions, about 1/4 stick of butter some garlic powder and red chili flakes and a little salt. Put that all in an aluminum foil packet. Throw it on the grill for about 20-25 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Make sure to turn it about every 5 minutes, and don't puncture the packet. Man does it make some good eats. Yes, I know that butter is not shelf stable. I also know that a stick of salted butter sits out on my counter all the time and guess what, none of us has food poisoning.
Back in 1993, a blizzard hit Georgia in the area where I grew up. I know what you are thinking, "A blizzard in Georgia, yeah right!" Well, the area that I lived in got 18 inches of snow in 24 hours, and there were snow drifts that were as high as 4 feet. Needless to say the power was off for days. The nice thing about a blizzard is you don't have to worry about your food spoiling, you just set it out in the snow. Anyway, our house was total electric, so our kerosene heater served to heat the house as well as cook our meals. It took me a good 30 minutes to fry a pan of bacon on top of the kerosene heater. But man, did that bacon taste good. It was kind of like when you are camping and the food just tastes better. That had to be the best bacon I have ever eaten. That time spent with my family is a treasured memory, not some scary thing that happened in my past.
I hope that no matter how you and your family fair this hurricane season, that you treasure the time spent with your family unplugged and off the grid. In this high tech fast paced world we live in, that is a luxury that we don't even get when we go on vacation anymore.
Enough of the deep issues. I would love to hear what your family eats during power outages. What is in your emergency kit? How many gallons of water can one family of three really use? Inquiring minds want to know!