I hope everyone on the path of Hurricane Sandy is getting themselves and their homes tightened up and prepared for the storm.  Make sure you have water to drink (and fill up the baths for extra water for…ahem, flushing, if your water is electrically pumped, like M’s).  Choose shelf-stable foods, or, at least, things that can last a few days on the counter.  Stock up on batteries, flashlights, candles, and firewood.  Bring in or secure outdoor furniture and other decorations that can blow about.  Remember, the big thing about this storm is, yes, the rain and the wind, but most importantly, if power goes out (likely), power lines cannot be repaired until winds are under 35 mph.  It is highly likely that most of the those under the storm will be without power for several days.

As far as food, food can stay fresh in a powered-off refrigerator for up to three days if the door is not opened.  Choose foods that do not need refrigeration to get you through the next few days.  Gluten-free cereal power bars, dried fruits, nuts, soups, and other canned items. I’m making a batch of my Gluten-Free French Bread, which will keep very well on the counter.  Especially if, as I do, you make two loaves from one batch.  Only cut into the second after the first is consumed, and even more moisture will stay within that thick crust.  I bought soup and instant oatmeal at the store (both can be heated on top of our fireplace), and trail mix and crackers.  We have some fresh fruit that won’t spoil by the end of the week, and potatoes and onions to wrap in tin foil and bake in the fireplace.  I found smoked sausage and the hardest, smoked cheese at the store (an aged gouda, though a smoked, aged, hard cheddar would have been good too).  Those will remain in their intact wrapping, and we will eat them within the second day that we open them.  Yes, it is not ideal to keep cheese and meats at room temperature, but, remember, cheese was discovered as a way to preserve milk, and the same things go for smoking foods.  If I get especially bold, I might try popping popcorn on top of the woodstove.

Please stay safe.  I hope I won’t be out of electricity long, and that I’ll have tried-and-proven ‘recipes’ for blackout meals when I get back!

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