No electricity- what to eat? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-12-2007, 03:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So a big ice storm is headed our way. Generally speaking that means downed trees and power lines- and therefore no electricity.

I'm going to the store in the morning and need to pick up a few things just in case we get stuck inside for a couple of days. Since there's a good chance we will lose electricity we won't be able to use our stove or microwave and I want to have a few things that don't require cooking on hand.

Any suggestions other than PB&J and fruit?
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Old 02-12-2007, 03:22 AM
 
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Instant Oatmeal
Cup of Noodle Soup
Dried Fruit
Cereal
Soy Milk in the 6 pk container (less wasted milk)
Turkey Pepperoni
Cheese
Fruit
Cans of soup

I know that most of what I have listed is not ideal, but I was thinking of last resorts... Also, check out a party store or a dj store, if they are available, and you could possibly get a battery powered generator. You could possibly use a hot plate.

Also, how are you guys keeping warm?

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Old 02-12-2007, 03:23 AM
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Living in New England a winter power outage is my biggest fear. Thankfully I haven't had to deal with that.

When I lived in FL I kept things like canned Spaghetti O's, chips, granola bars, canned beans, and things like that.

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Old 02-12-2007, 03:27 AM
 
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Yes,

If you have a fireplace; go to a dollar store or something and find yourself a cheap pot that you can heat up canned foods (or premade stews or chili, etc) in the fire.

Buy some salad stuff. Pre-Make lots of things like chicken breast and cut them into strips for salad. Pre-make anything that you can eat cold. Make lots of pasta salad. Remember that you can use the cold outside to keep your foods frozen. Just keep them in the garage or shed or trunk of your car.

When the power goes out, keep the fridge closed as best as possible. When the fridge starts to run out of coldness; use the freezer for the faster-perishing foods. Buy a bunch of buckets, put grocery bags full of snow in them and create an icebox out of your fridge or freezer (like they did before they had electric fridges).

Barbecue. (you can buy a small charcoal BBQ with a cover, for under $20 at Home Depot)

Buy meats that you don't have to worry about cooking thoroughly (like pre-cooked sausages like "Grill'em's; or all beef no by-product hotdogs like "TopDogs") and you can either eat them like that or heat them up somehow. Buy dried/smoked meats (like pepperoni sticks, beef jerky, etc) for when the fridge is too warm to keep meat in it. If you can stand it, buy powdered milk. Or, keep milk out in a shed or something where it can go frozen and you can bring it into your icebox to thaw and drink one bag at a time.

Make sure all your clothes are washed. When you need warm water for washing up (another thing to get at a dollar store, a bucket to serve as a washtub); boil the water over a fire or on the barbecue. If that's not possible, at least put the water into a bucket in the morning so it's warmer by night.

Put plastic storm windows on as many windows as you can so it keeps the heat inside. If possible, your whole family should sleep and "hang out" in one smaller room with a door that can close (put a towel at the bottom of the door to stop the draft from entering the room). Body heat will keep the room warmer. You can play board games together. If you have a fireplace but there's no door to close off the room, hang a blanket over the entrance way and close it off as best as possible. Bring lots of firewood in beforehand so you don't have to open the door to the outside.

Check your local hardware store for power generators that you can use for things like a space heater, or a hotplate. (Actually, just an after-posting thought, it's probably less energy consuming on a generator to heat your food in the microwave. It's faster so, I'd think it'd take up less power...I don't know.)

Ice Storms are scary. Good luck and I hope it passes soon!

WARNING: The comments and opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the community in which I reside; or those of the internet parenting network.
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Old 02-12-2007, 03:29 AM
 
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Subbing in New England!

I've been concerned about this and these suggestions are great!
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Old 02-12-2007, 03:47 AM
 
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I keep adding and putting up more suggestions; hit the refresh button please


More idea's....

Get cupboard snacks (like, boxed things.)....

- crispers
- rice cakes
- Goldfish
- Cereals (eat them dry if you have to)
- "Dare" Bear Paws
- homemade Banana bread
- bits and bites
- seven grain crackers
- vegetable crackers
- cheese bread
- canned tuna or canned salmon
- V8 Vegetable Cocktail (has like, 2 servings of veggies per glass)
- Canned pork and beans
- Premake spaghetti and sauce, mix them together and put them in family serving sizes in freezer bags and keep them frozen. Pull them out to thaw the morning you need to make dinner
- Canned fruit is great, you can eat it right out of the can.


That's all....for now.

WARNING: The comments and opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the community in which I reside; or those of the internet parenting network.
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Old 02-12-2007, 03:50 AM
 
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You'd never know I've been through a power outage before, would you?

WARNING: The comments and opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the community in which I reside; or those of the internet parenting network.
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Old 02-12-2007, 02:22 PM
 
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OMG, I'm really saddened by all the junk food I'm seeing suggested here, of all places I mean, yeah, we eat some too. But not to this degree. If I was expecting a power outage, I wouldn't go stock up on a weeks worth of crap that I wouldn't feed my kids otherwise.

If it's a winter storm, it's safe to say you'll be able to keep cold food outside. You'll probably want to keep it in a cooler to keep critters out. So, you can stock up on many of your usual foods - milk, butter, meat, vegetables. The only thing I'd be cautious about is letting the vegetables freeze outside. I'd keep those in a cool place inside the house, like in a windowsill.

Even in snow, you can cook on a grill or a propane stove on the porch. There's not much you can't make on one of those two devices. You can even buy an oven to sit on top of a camp stove.

For cold eating, salads, sandwiches, you could roast some meat and vegetables and eat those cold. Fruit.
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Old 02-12-2007, 03:47 PM
 
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fruit
raw veggies
sandwiches
crackers with spreads or cheese
trail mix
if you have time to cook before the storm hits stuff like: calzones, banana bread, biscuits, muffins, pudding

While I strive for healthy eating with my family, I would respectfully disagree with the poster above. When we have had bad storms headed in, I have bought some convenience food that I usually don't buy (marshmallow fluff, smores fixings, and instant noodles specifically). It can be dreary and scary to go through a storm with little heat and no electricty, and having some fun foods around helped convince my kids that we were having a fun adventure.

A cooking source I've used that I haven't seen anyone mention here, is a cheap little camping stove that uses cans of sterno. You won't go hungry without a stove, but it is nice to have some hot food or drinks, especially if it's cold.

I also always fill up the bathtub if a bad storm is coming, I don't think we have ever had to use that water since I've been an adult, but it makes me feel better.

Good Luck! I hope you have an easy time of it.

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Old 02-12-2007, 03:57 PM
 
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I second the camp stove suggestion.... but unfortunately with a storm coming it may be hard to find! That way you can at least boil water! We premake food if we know a storm is coming. Supplies for tortillas and sandwiches. Small pots of hommade soups (so you dont have to heat the whole pot) crackers, cheese etc. I precook meat in serving size baggies in the fridge so I can just toss in a jar of pasta sauce and put on a pot of water for some quick cooking pasta. There is a rice pasta we use that you put in the pot when it is boiling and then turn off the heat , cover the pot and let it sit for 20 min. that works perfectly for a campstove because you dont use too much fuel! A thermos of hot water as soon as the storm starts getting bad. In our case though we have no heat when the power goes out. So boiling some water is so nice to have. I hate having to eat all cold food in a cold house!

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Old 02-12-2007, 04:46 PM
 
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Whenever we have a hurricane headed our way we stock up on the non perishables that we can just grab out of a box and not worry about heating up.

I go to Sam's club a day or two before the hurricane is supposed to hit and buy bulk boxes of chewy bars, granola, gold fish, chips, etc. No, not the healthiest, but in the middle of a hurricane sticking to my diet is the last thing on my mind. Crackers and cheese or peanut butter crackers are also good ideas. Trail mix, gardettos and other things like that give extra variety, also. You can buy little juice boxes for your kids.

Can's of yummy veggies like summer crisp corn are really good and you don't have to worry about heating them up.

My husband likes jerkey, and my friend's kids will eat those little cans of vienna sausages.

I also stock up with lots of bottled water and jugs of water. You may want to do the same in case pipes freeze or something.

Like some previous posters said, you can keep milk and other things outside in the snow, so that will help.

Good luck, and I hope the storm doesn't last too long!

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Old 03-23-2007, 03:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tboroson View Post
OMG, I'm really saddened by all the junk food I'm seeing suggested here, of all places I mean, yeah, we eat some too. But not to this degree. If I was expecting a power outage, I wouldn't go stock up on a weeks worth of crap that I wouldn't feed my kids otherwise.

If it's a winter storm, it's safe to say you'll be able to keep cold food outside. You'll probably want to keep it in a cooler to keep critters out. So, you can stock up on many of your usual foods - milk, butter, meat, vegetables. The only thing I'd be cautious about is letting the vegetables freeze outside. I'd keep those in a cool place inside the house, like in a windowsill.

Even in snow, you can cook on a grill or a propane stove on the porch. There's not much you can't make on one of those two devices. You can even buy an oven to sit on top of a camp stove.

For cold eating, salads, sandwiches, you could roast some meat and vegetables and eat those cold. Fruit.
Since I've made the majority of suggestions on this thread, I'm assuming you're "picking on" me. I'd like to point out that I did mention pre-cooking some meats and I also mentioned getting a charcoal BBQ (which comes with a cover so the coals don't blow out in the wind). I also said that you can keep things outside the same as you would in your freezer (see statements about trunk of car/garage/shed). Most of the food suggestions I made aren't "junk" foods. I want to point out too, that it's hard to keep perishable items (like sandwich meat) good when you have no power. I mentioned trying to keep an icebox, but even then, the tempreatures aren't the same. And you can't just freeze sandwich meat.

I think it's safe to say that you havn't experienced long-term power-outeages before. When the power is out in an area for longer than a day or two, stores run out of supplies (like propane for camp stoves, and generators). You have to stock up on as much as you can, and expect the power to be out for a couple weeks. That way, you're prepared for a couple weeks just in case it takes the crews that long to restore power.

In the middle of winter - ice-storm weather - you can't just 'go outside'. The wind blows and sometimes it's raining or snowing or both (wet snow). If you send someone outside to cook meats (which take at least a half hour); that person will be really really cold. Remember, in a power outeage, there's no heat in the house besides what you can generate yourself; and not everyone has a fireplace or a space heater they can hook up to a generator. So, other options need to be available for those people.

For the record, I live in Ontario, Canada; where the weather is cold (hovering around 0 degrees celcius or plummeting into the minuses) at least 50% of the year. I grew up in cottage country, where long-term power outeages were normal (due to snowstorms or large trees falling onto power lines) and it sometimes took a week to restore power. I've been through both winter and summer outeages. Nutrition isn't of major concern when you're facing a week's worth of survival in minus 20 degree celcius (which is -4F).

WARNING: The comments and opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the community in which I reside; or those of the internet parenting network.
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Old 03-23-2007, 03:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by grniys View Post
...I also stock up with lots of bottled water and jugs of water. You may want to do the same in case pipes freeze or something....
Wow. Growing up, we lived on a well; and without power, the pump didn't work. I totally forgot about water.

And just like that, the power outeage kills me

(j/k...I'd thaw the non-yellow snow and drink it if I were desperate)

BTW; I know it's been over a month, OP, since you posted this thread....I'm still subscribed and I'm interested in knowing if you got the storm afterall, and if so, how you fared...?

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Old 03-23-2007, 05:07 PM
 
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I agree with the previous posters, nutrition can't be the main concern when dealing with a long term power outage. I couldn't imagine. Last summer we had a ton of outages, but they never lasted more than 7 hours, and even then it was driving me nuts!!!!

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Old 03-23-2007, 11:35 PM
 
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I live in an area of rural Ontario that gets lots of power outages and storms - all of the roads in our region were closed many times this winter. There was one stretch where the grocery stores and gas stations closed becasue supply trucks couldn't get here - I think the schools were closed for about 25 days between Christmas and about 2 weeks ago.

We made a point of installing a woodstove when we moved into this house. I know that isn't possible with every house, but I would consider it if you live in a storm prone area. Our house stayed toasty warm and we used our camping griddle for things ilke eggs and pancakes and grilled sandwiches and cast iron frying pans for everything else. We wrapped potatoes in foil and threw them into the coals - we called it our non-nuking microwave It takes a little longer to cook things, but it still works.

Propane stoves are only workable if you have an area that is well ventilated abd separate from your living space and protected from the elements, like a garage where you can keep a door open.

Every fall I buy a couple of 10L jugs of water and store them in the basement in case of power outages. They usually wind up going on our summer camping trips the following year, but some years we have had to use them.

I alos keep battery operated lanterns and flashlights in a predictable spot with spare batteries close at hand - you can't recharge reusables in a power outage, so while those are our mainstay I have disposables available for back up use. The power inevitably goes out during bedtime routines, leading to startled and frightened children suddenly in the dark, so it really helps to know exactly where the lantern will be.

I also make a point of never letting the gas tank go below half full in winter becasue you don't always know when a storm will come up and it just feels irresponsible for me to leave myself in a situation where I don't have enough gas in a bad storm - again, I live in a rural area, this might not be as much of an issue in an urban area.

We Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October and I always check to make sure we have all of our winter supplies on hand the week after Thanksgiving.

In this age of electronic everything, it is a good idea to have an old fashioned telephone that just needs to be plugged into a telephone line - anything cordless won't work when the power goes out. I also recharge my cell phone when a storm is on its way.
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Old 03-23-2007, 11:51 PM
 
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We had/have a wood stove and do all our cooking on that. No biggy.

Ate the same as we always do/did.
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Old 03-24-2007, 11:33 AM
 
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I grew up in the country and I know we had power outages... but I don't remember it being a huge deal. My parents had a wood stove so we had heat and a way to cook food. Also had a propane camp stove. We were told not to open the fridge so that it would stay cold longer. My parents have a closed in, non insulated porch. Food could be left on the porch to keep cold. Actually, my mom does this at Thanksgiving and Christmas when there's too much food to fit in the fridge. We had a well, so whenever there was a big storm, we'd fill the bathtub with water (to dump into toilet to flush it, or to put into sink for birdbath) We filled jugs of water for drinking/cooking with.

Food:
whatever was in the fridge that we were afraid would spoil
sandwiches
can of beans/chili
fruit
eggs (from our chickens)
baked goods from freezer (bread/cookies/muffins etc)

The biggest fear during a power outage was that it would last long enough that stuff in our freezer would spoil. Veggies from our garden that we worked all summer for. Meat that we raised/bought locally.

Now that I'm grown up and on my own: I live in an apartment in a small city. Usually the power doesn't go out that often. When it does, it's usually just for a couple hours. Because we're in an apartment building, we're pretty sheltered and it doesn't get very cold. If it did, a sweater and a blanket is all we'd need. We eat food from our fridge, muffins, sandwiches etc. Or call around to see which restaurants still have power and order food. We need candles/flashlights because we only have a couple windows so it gets pretty dark here.

For a short term power outage, it's easier in the city. But personally, I feel way more comfortable in a house in the country during a power outage. If our power went out for like a week, (and assuming roads are ok) I think we'd take our important food items from freezer, put in cooler and head to family in the country. We have NO way of cooking food here. After a week without power, our building would get way too cold. And we'd have no way of heating it. At that point I'd be worrying what other people are up to in our building. Are they doing stupid, dangerous things to try to keep warm or cook food? Last thing I need is having our building burn down!

We rely way too much on electricity in the city.
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Old 03-24-2007, 11:56 AM
 
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Another thought is taking up some standard easy to make Raw food recipes.
www.goneraw.com has thousands of recipes that poeple post and try. Many are easy to make and need no cooking. I keep several of the items for many of the recipes on hand just for this kind of event, tho, I also try to incorperate some into our regular meals to experiment with.
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:05 AM
 
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All that being said; if you're well prepared and surrounded by family; power outeages can be a very relaxing time. It's like older times when you (what's that word??.......talked! Right.) talked with your family. (sheesh....I type so much that I may have forgotten how to speak English)

I must say, though, when the power is down, I start to miss my hydro-powered technology.

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Old 03-27-2007, 10:23 AM
 
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Yes, losing power can be nice. We lost it for something like 9 days after a hurricane the first year of our 2 year streak, and it was nice to be able to see stars and the milky way again. It's so dark inside the house though, since the hurricane panels are still up.

But then, people got generators, so the night was filled with the sound of generators running.

You know it always amazes me when they have news shows about people stocking up on supplies, and they interview these people who stock up their freezer, and are upset about the loss there because they couldn't eat it quick enough! Or the people who pick up like 2 frozen Budget Gourmet meals, and have no way to heat them.

But if you have a grill, there's plenty you can do. I've heard of people making pizza on their grills.

This site has some healthy hurricane/disaster cookbooks: http://www.fiu.edu/~health/wellness/
One for diabetics, one for the rest of us.
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:35 PM
 
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Because it's hurricane and storm season. New idea's anyone?


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