Hurricane Matthew, which has swept through Haiti and other parts of the Caribbean, has already had devastating effects. Hurricane-force winds are expected to be felt in Florida starting tomorrow, with Matthew continuing to impact the Southeastern coast through the weekend. So Laurel turned to the Hotline to see how others are preparing for the coming storm.
If you’re in an area that isn’t encouraged to evacuate, but you still have a high chance of losing power in the coming days, here’s a few ways to prepare ahead of time and still eat reasonably well:
Locate your cooler(s) and get your freezer's ice machine on overdrive (or go buy bags of ice).
Next, cook the refrigerated ingredients you already have on hand: Roast vegetables, sauté greens, etc. No, this won’t save them if the power goes out (you’ll still need to move them to the cooler), but at least you’ll have semi-prepped items to build meals with rather than raw ones.
- Now make yourself something really comforting for tonight's dinner. (Maybe make a double-batch to help clear out the fridge and invite your neighbors over to share.)
- Then, make snacks and breakfast bars that will keep well at room temperature.
- Finally, if you still have power (and the energy to keep going), make a treat to two—they'll make the hours or days ahead a little sweeter.
- Make salads using whatever fresh ingredients made it into a cooler (like those vegetables you took time to roast!) along with canned items. BerryBaby says she loves making salads out of pantry ingredients like canned potatoes, green beans, tuna, and black olives, dressed with salt and pepper, oil, and vinegar.
- Put stuff on a single slice of bread (it will still be good even though you can't toast it), call it a tartine, feel like you're eating something fancier than a PB&J.
- Make a full-on sandwich—like an overstuffed Dagwood-style one with as many pantry ingredients as you can muster—just bypass any meats or cheeses and any steps to "refrigerate for a few hours." Nancy calls canned beans “a lifesaver” for sandwiches (or even eaten on their own with some dressing).
And we're not discounting the PB&J—it's a good option, too.
- A bag of chips, a jar of salsa, and guacamole definitely counts as a meal. Bonus points if you can mix up a margarita (neat? or with any ice that's still in the cooler).
- Make a tapas spread with any fruits and vegetables that can be eaten out of hand (crudité!), crackers, cured meats, tinned seafood, jarred olives and pickles, and anything else you can scrounge up.
What are your favorite meals to make when you don't have power? Tell us about them below!