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Old 07-17-2005, 03:26 PM   #11
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Both of us grew up in families that lived through the Depression, so we always have plenty of canned goods on hand - yes even Spam - sorry we like the stuff.

A few years ago after a hurricane we were without power for about two days (we stuffed out fridge with ice so were not too concerned).

Thought about it and realized the local pizza guy cooked with gas and his makings were just going bad in his electric fridge.

Went down there, and heck, he was open! No power but the ovens were humming.

Hot pizza, cold pizza, pizza warmed on the grill, YES.

Almost can't wait for another power outage.
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Old 07-17-2005, 08:10 PM   #12
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I keep a variety of canned and dried foods in my cupboard. I have a gas stove so cooking is not a problem. A stash of paper plates and bowls and plastic silverware keep the dishes to a minium.

Here is a sampling of what I have in my cupboard.

rice-a-roni
canned and dried soups
pasta
SPAM
canned fruits and veggies
canned chili
potatoes and onions
rice
canned and dried beans
canned tuna
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Old 07-18-2005, 08:09 AM   #13
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Because my freinds know I've lived through a lot of various emergency situations, I've been asked this often, and have quite a few times had to use it.

#1 charcoal and some fluid lighter, or self-starting charcoals. We never use fluid for entertainment, but since we don't own a gas grill (I never got the point), you need something to start the coals and fluid as fast (normally we use an electric starting coil, which doesn't put gas flavor into the food). But I always keep a can on hand, having lived through hurricanes. IF you have a gas grill, make sure you have an extra stored in a safe place, because that's where you're cooking for awhile.

#2 Make sure you have a manual can opener. Actually, this should be #1. You'd be surprised at how many people cannot open a can in an electrical emergency. If you're addicted to your electric can opener, make sure you have a manual on and know how to use it. Duh. Sounds stupid, but you'd be surprised.

AFter than, #3 is food that requires no prep at all. Those little rice pacs sold by Uncle Bens and Zatarain are fully cooked (watch it when you buy them, you only want rice that is fully cooked and requires a minute or two of nuking. Those you can eat as is in an emergency). Canned veggies and meats. Remember, there is a reason stir frying and stuff like ramen noodles (which are pre-cooked) became popular ... because they took little time to cook. Anything that takes very little time to cook, or better yet, no time, should be on your shelf. If you were a Mormon, you'd have a basement full of them.

#4 goes with #1. Remember that you will have a fridge and freezer full of food that will go south pretty quickly. The military response to that is to call all your neighbors, and find out who has what that will go bad. They you wind up eating at whoever has a roast in their freezer that is thawing too fast, or whoever has a dozen eggs that need to go .. NOW...

I, personally, hate Spam, and I seldom use that word in conjunction with food. Having lived in Hawaii off & on for a decade, I learned to eat and tolerate it. But there's a reason Spam exists, and this is one of them!! If you live in Hawaii, you eat Spam. And the reason it is so popular is that it is really a perfect food in emergencies (like, you know, world wars), so the population has developed a taste for it. Some of the most expensive restaurants on the islands serve spam on their breakfast menu, and a REAL Hawaiian pizza is not "Canadian bacon and pineaplle" but Spam and Pinapple. BUt if you like it, (and even if you don't) cans of Spam, Vienna sausages (another Hawaiian fave), potted meats, etc are great staples to have on hand.

remember, if you're only going through a couple days without electricity, it is no big deal. Two weeks becomes a big deal. Remember that your kids will love and remember a few days w/o. Mom has a gas fireplace (but aside from that all-electric house). After a hurricane, the family got together and she cooked on the gas fireplace. The grand-kids will remember it forever as a happy memory. Just remember that these emergencies shouldn't be traumas for your kids and grand-kids.
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Old 07-18-2005, 08:51 AM   #14
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I cook on gas - and also have a small camping gaz cooker - twin burners.

I only have a manual tin opener - and it gets used very infrequently. Despite that, I keep a few tins of soup in the store cupboard - Baxter's, cos I don't like any other tinned soups; sweetcorn (only tinned veg I eat), tinned salmon, tinned tuna and tinned ratatouille (although it's a French dish, the best tinned stuff is made by an Italian company for import to the UK!). I also keep dried milk in the house, but we get milk deliveries daily, so I usually end up throwing the container once it gets out of date and buy a replacement.

As for SPAM. It was introduced to the UK during the second world war. My mother hated the stuff and refused to have it in our house when I was growing up, and I have to confess, I only ever tried it once, at a friend's home when I was a girl - her mum did Spam fritters with chips.... UGGGHHHH - I've never been brave enough to try it, since! And me a seasoned haggis muncher, too
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Old 07-18-2005, 09:51 AM   #15
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We live in tornado alley, and I tend to hoard food anyway, so my basement is well stocked. I have good supply of non-perishable foods, bottled drinking water, 3 day supply of meds, toothpaste and toothbrushes, and a potty rigged up out of a 5 gallon bucket. The hot water heater holds 70 gallons which we could drain off if needed.

We just sold our big generators that I had for the greenhouses, but we have a small one that's big enough for the deep freeze if we should need it. We're on the same power grid as Walmart, so our lines are usually among the first to be repaired.
A friend of mine fills the bottom of his deep-freeze with gallon jugs of water. That way, if he loses power, he automatically has an ice chest, and if he needs drinking water, he can just thaw one. He says nobody ever uses that stuff in the bottom of the deep freeze anyway. LOL!

Remember to rotate your emergency stock. Spam lasts a long time, but your bottled water is dated.
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Old 07-18-2005, 09:49 PM   #16
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Claire, try a chimmney starter for your charcoal, and then you won't even need the starter fliud.
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Old 07-18-2005, 10:03 PM   #17
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I'm in the process of moving all my MIL's stuff into my house I've been focusing on merging her non-perishable stock with mine, and have been stuffing my pantry. I've got canned veggies, canned meats, dry pasta, boxes of mac-n-cheese, cake/muffin mixes, and some condiments. Yippee.
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Old 07-19-2005, 01:36 AM   #18
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Constance, I forgot to mention one you obviously didn't ... Every spring when I lived in Florida and Hawaii, I would fill every available space in my little chest freezer with soda pop bottles I'd filled 3/4 with water (water expands, folks, if you fill them up you'll have a mess!!). The extra ice in your freezer will keep it cold longer in a no-electricity emergency, plus you'll have a bottle of good drinking water whenever you need it! In the fall I'd clean it all out and start over again. Constance is right, do NOT forget the water. By the way, filling empty plastic beverage bottles with water and freezing is also excellent for road trips instead of those chemical freezer packs. You have good, icy water to drink when they thaw, and meanwhile they keep your cooler COLD.

I've never bought a can of Spam in my life!
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Old 07-19-2005, 09:15 AM   #19
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We like Spam. I slice and fry it for spam and cheese sandwiches. I cut it in thin strips and fry it crisp, and it's great in a fritata or casserole. Cut it in chunks, and alternate on a skewer with pineapple chunks and put on the grill for an appetizer. I usually buy the "Lite" version, as it has less fat and sodium.
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Old 07-19-2005, 04:30 PM   #20
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Hmm, I've never really thought of that, but I would probably do something with my canned or frozen veggies and use my weber gas grill to heat stuff up.
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