Denise has once again come to the rescue with some excellent advice on how to prepare and what to eat when the power goes out.
I had no extra money to buy food this particular week. I took an inventory of my kitchen and pantry. I asked myself, ” How would I cook the food I currently have if I had no electricity “? Some options were, open a can and eat it cold (Yuck!), take it out of the freezer and let it thaw (yes, I know the freezer needs electricity to work), open some kind of package like chips or cookies (these are fun food items, not staples) and since some of my survival food is dehydrated, I’d need to boil water to hydrate it so we could eat it.
I quickly took an inventory of heating methods currently available in my own home. An average family might have these things too, like a barbecue, fireplace, wood burning stove, campfire, instant cook heat and other camping type supplies for heating without electricity.
I thought about these options and how in my own situation I’d apply them to everyday cooking. I have a few options to fall back on that basically buy me time, like a backup generator, wood burning stove and a propane fueled barbecue. I say buy me time because eventually the propane and wood will run out.
Like my laundry approach to survival, I keep a close eye on my propane usage. The propane company can fill my tank up to 85 percent and prefer to refill it when it’s down to 20 or 30 percent. I fill it back up when it gets to about 50 to 55 percent as I can afford to. This propane tank feeds my house, which is then only used for heat and the backup generator. I have three other small propane tanks for the barbecue that I keep filled as much as possible.
I also restock my wood at frequent intervals so I’ll have a good supply when the electricity is unavailable.
As you can see, my thoughts snowballed from checking my current kitchen inventory to keeping propane and wood well supplied. It is all connected but it can start to become a little overwhelming, so I mentally addressed my heating and cooking issue and refocused on my food situation.
I decided to use the electricity currently available to prepare whatever dish I would make and store. After checking out what I currently had on hand I decided to do some baking.
I decided to make things like:
All baked goods taste best freshly baked, but cookies, most breads, french toast and muffins are good choices for freezing and consuming after thaw. What I like about the french toast is that it also has eggs cooked into it so you get a little extra protein with the carbs. Again, these are food dishes to supplement what I already have. It is certainly not a replacement for anything substantial.
What I’ve talked about here are ready made foods that would be difficult for me to bake if/when the grid ever goes down. I know daily life would be more difficult for awhile so I want my food storage to be as easy to use as possible. Personally, I don’t see the point in keeping so many baking supplies on hand when it would be so difficult to bake under those circumstances. Now, I have changed my habit so I rotate and replace these foods on a regular basis. I mentioned that I have a backup generator. Well, when I have to start using it, it will be used minimally so I can use it as long as possible. Basically, I want to be able to flush the toilets and run some water. I won’t be wasting precious propane to bake cookies, I’ll already have them. We’ll still be camping, just inside our house.
Remember, as human beings we also have psychological food cravings. We may find ourselves in the situation where we’ve prepared well and are two months into our food supply. Even the well balanced meals with plenty of calories to compensate for changed lifestyles may not compensate for the cravings for Oreos or other junk food. If you’re still in the habit of eating these kinds of foods frequently, you will likely go into some form of withdrawal when they are no longer available.
Compensate now for that.
While I know I’d be grateful for having nutrious foods available, I also know that at some point I’m going to want comfort food (candy or some kind of sweet). I plan to supplement these comfort foods as a motivator when needed while also paying close attention to their longevity.
Again, having a stash of cookies or whatever you decide to store, can be a huge mood booster. I like to think that when supplies run low and we are cooking our food via campfire, being able to open a bag of cookies will take the edge off and maybe even bring a smile.
How To Boil 24 Million Gallons
AP is reporting that “Geothermal energy developers plan to pump 24 million gallons of water into the side of a dormant volcano in Central Oregon this summer to demonstrate new technology they hope will give a boost to a green energy sector that has yet to live up to its promise.
“They hope the water comes back to the surface fast enough and hot enough to create cheap, clean electricity that isn’t dependent on sunny skies or stiff breezes — without shaking the earth and rattling the nerves of nearby residents.
“Even so, the federal government, Google and other investors are interested enough to bet $43 million on the Oregon project.”
Comment: We wish them luck, considering that fracking (fracturing rock by pumping water and chemicals deep into the earth in the search for natural gas) has caused numerous earthquakes elsewhere.
What will happen when 24 million gallons are pumped deep underground alongside a volcano?
The Portland Preparedness Center.
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