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highchef

Cooking During Times of Disaster

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We're anticipating being on the east side of this storm. I have a large amount of shrimp, as well as ducks, teal, fish etc. in the freezer.. I've already decided to take out the ground veal, pork and beef in order to make room for frozen containers of water just in case. I've put things in this order to cook if I lose electricty. first the shrimp. we have an outside fryer and oil and I paid too damn much for them not to eat them. I'll have to do the same with the fish, asap. It makes the worst mess when it thaws, so I want it out of there pretty quick. We also have a gas cooktop, so I can do jambalaya with the sausage and chicken next. We do have a generator, so I can pull from the deepfreeze into the fridge and be safe. I hope all of my egullet Houston friends are going to be safe, I am praying for all of us. If you have any ideas for advance food prep. please let me know asap.

We'll be fine, but say goodbye to our boat.

we are south of interstate 10, but not by much, so if this house survived Audry, it should be fine. I think the Woodlands will be ok too, but I am really, really worried about the old lady neighbors. Don't worry, we'll feed them, but if the juice goes off there's only so much gas for the generators to run on and only soo much food.

I bought lots of peaunut butter and bread and snacks to bring the kids through, they are out of school since today through till monday. Given that they've already gone through half of what I bought, what should I pick up tomorrow? i'm just asking i guess, what are you doing to get ready???

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I am putting this here, because there is a board for La. and another for Tx., I want everyone to know that we are actually getting some steady winds from this storm. I cannot leave at this time, there are mitigating circumstances, one of which is 2 very stubburn people who will not leave, both in old age and ill health, one is a neighbor and the other a brother.

I don't care about the food in the freezer anymore. We have a generator which will live upstairs with us until we can get down and dirty.

Everyone has left, but we are staying because we are needed on several different levels. I hope Houston is ok, I hope we're ok. I'm gonna cook some teal tomorrow night while I have juice...I haaaate to lose all the veal demi, so do you think I can throw that in with the teal? I know this is not the time to worry about such stuff, but I really put a lot of work (not to mention on line tutoring) with this stuff and since it's about 100 percent sure we're going to lose power sometime tomorrow please tell me how to cook with it. I can freeze the outcome, and maintain for a while....at least while the gas holds out. Thanks.

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Can you freeze the demi itself?

I'm hearing reports that various agencies have ice headed that way already, so you may be able to replenish it in a few days.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Keep us posted on how you are doing, whenever you can.

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I'm afraid our power failures up here are almost always associated with freezing temperatures rather than your sweltering, so this may not be of much help. How much can you cook together, in a giant stew, including that lovely demi? Then, how warm can you keep it with a good insulating layer? Alternatively - can you cook up a mongo everything-type stew, then chill it well (perhaps freeze, if the juice hasn't failed yet) in smaller packages? As cooked foods start to thaw they can be rewarmed with a bit of fuel, and eaten. I'd expect cooked frozen foods to hold up better than raw frozen foods as they thaw.

I dunno. I'm just gobsmacked at your weather down there, and hoping y'all make it through okay. Katrina was bad enough, without visiting more misery on the South. Please let us know how you do.


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Well, I have to go to bed. I cannot watch it anymore. I am at home and plan to stay here because there's no getting out. I'll try to touch base, but Brooks will know if we're ok. Good night everyone. Patty

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I have no experiences with riding out hurricanes (well, except for the one in Miami I slept through as a 6-month-old), so I can't offer advice, but hang in there!


Michael aka "Pan

 

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It won't help right now but I have one suggestion for people who live in areas that are subject to power outages on a regular basis.

I have in my shed an old Servel refrigerator that works on propane - it has its own tank so doesn't depend on natural gas. I used it after the '94 earthquake, in '97 when we had a flood and again a couple of years ago when the gas line to this area was ruptured by the crew putting in new storm drains. I do have a large generator but use it for other appliances and the air conditioner.

These refrigerators are not cheap, but if you lose valuable food on multiple occasions, it doesn't seen so expensive. They also have one that works on kerosene.

My aunt who lives in Laural, MS has power again but needed a generator for air conditioning when they lost power. She does have one of these propane fridges. They used to have it in their vacation home in a remote area. She stored stuff from several of her neighbors, mostly dairy products and some meat.

The old one I have is 40 years old - I used to have a house in Running Springs, which is in the mountains between Arrowhead and Big Bear. We often had power outages so most of us had propane fridges and freezers.

Servel refrigerators


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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For those of you without a map or a clue, Patty is pretty close to being in the worst place in the world right now. She is on the east side somewhere within a hundred miles of where it is going to come ashore. This is a bad thing. Cameron Parish, and on into Lake Charles, are basically a lowland floodplain bordered by the Sabine River (Texas-Louisiana border). This is a bad thing.

It's probably pretty rough there now, as I am 250 miles away, the levee on the Industrial Canal has broken and the 9th ward, eventually some of Chalmette and for sure Arabie, will be under 2 to 8 feet of water again (much of it already is, as I type this). Where I live, the winds go up to 35 or so, it rains like hell, and then it stops for a while. Blue roofs, no matter how meticulously applied, are not going to last long in this. The power has been going in and out all day (it is barely restored anyway, and you can bet there are a zillion trees waiting to smash it all up again). I am at the lovely Covington Holiday Inn with generators running and sattelite internet watching the insurance adjusters work and the power crews, who have been pulled in, drink. It's not going to be pretty around here in a bit. Who knew that there was a jukebox left with Black Sabbath AND George Jones on it?

I can keep up with her through her brother and will call in the morning to see what is happening with her-Good Luck Patty. Cook the shrimp first.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I can keep up with her through her brother and will call in the morning to see what is happening with her-Good Luck Patty. Cook the shrimp first.

Please do, Brooks, and please pass our well-wishes on to her. Brrrap and damnation, I'll take an earthquake or a blizzard any day.

I have to ask: is the east side of the eye worst because the orientation of the Gulf Coast makes those winds into onshore winds and increases the storm surge? Or is the east side always worst regardless of where you are?


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Usually it is the northeast side of the storm, or upper right side that has the winds unwinding away from the eye wall that are the most destructive.

However in Pacific storms that hit islands, both top and bottom sides can be severe. One of my friends was in the middle of Iniki when it hit Kauai in September 1992.

They were surprised by the storm as they were staying in a rather remote home (they had traded their June Lake home for the island home for two weeks)

They said that when the winds started it was awful and seemed to go on forever. Then the eye passed over and they thought the worst was over but the bottom half of the storm did even more damage. They took cover in a concrete block garden shed when the house began to come apart. When they came out after the winds died down, the house was gone, all the trees were gone and the swimming pool was full of trash and dead birds.

They never did find their rental car and had to walk for miles to find someone who had a home still standing where they could take shelter.

It was their last trip to Hawaii. They prefer to take their chances with earthquakes and living in an ancient caldera with some still-active spots.

In the southern hemisphere the cyclonic winds move in the opposite direction to the ones we see in the US. They turn clockwise so the winds on the left side of the eyewall are the most destructive.

I will keep Patty and Brooks in my prayers. My cousin Terry is near Abbeville and they are getting high winds and lots of rain. Thank goodness for the satellite phone. It works when nothing else does.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I'm ok for now, winds are high and rain is pretty much coming in sideways...I feel like forest gump.

I keep getting a feeling like it'll be ok, we have plans to go down the street to the hospital if need be.

keep thinking of us, and praying if that's ok with you, I really would appreciate it. things in b.r. are ok for now but most of the areas around here have lost juice. I'I keep on as long as I can, but by the next hour or so, I will have lost electric. I can live without for a while....

yes, Brooks. I am cooking the shrimp first. come on down...Monday. With a chain saw. Love to all, over and out. Patty

edit: I still cannot spell


Edited by highchef (log)

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This hurricane has taken me on a trip down memory lane. I lived south of I-10 in SE Texas for five years - less than 100 yards from the intercoastal canal, and later about ten blocks from the Texas Louisiana state line, both at elevation 3'. It was there that I had crawfish, boudin, gumbo, and etoufee for the first time. That part of Texas is closer to Louisiana culturally than it is to the rest of Texas, mainly because so many of the people there are Cajun. Moving there was like moving to a foreign country. It was amazing and fun.

Best of luck to you and everyone.

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Terry just phoned again. They are now getting sustained winds over 50 mph (that is as high as the whirligig will measure) and heavy bands of rain that is coming sideways. They have covered the windows with steel shutters.

One of the women just went into labor about an hour ago. It will be an interesting night. Fortunately they have two midwives in the group and Terry is a priest. The place they are in is built like a bunker high on concrete pilings with a heavy steel roof. I think Etienne usually has a still set up there because Terry says they have plenty of alcohol "for medicinal purposes."


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I'm ok for now, winds are high and rain is pretty much coming in sideways...I feel like forest gump.

I keep getting a feeling like it'll be ok, we have plans to go down the street to the hospital if need be.

...

Thanks so much for checking in, Patty. I pray you continue to do well and come through all right.

keep thinking of us, and praying if that's ok with you, I really would appreciate it. ...

You got it.

Has anyone heard from Fifi or Foodman? I hope they're well out of the way.


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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A quick note, something good in the midst of a storm. Baby girl born at 1:09 a.m. Theresa Marie Charbonnais.

Everyone celebrating with chicken and shrimp gumbo, fried bread and home brew.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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dang, i was supposed to be in Chalmette last week-contract hasn't come back yet. Be seeing ya folks in a couple of days though.

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dang, i was supposed to be in Chalmette last week-contract hasn't come back yet. Be seeing ya folks in a couple of days though.

Bring a boat. Most of Chalmette has flooded again.

Patty, I'm glad to hear that you are OK. We lost our lights AGAIN due to more downed trees. We have only had power back for 48 hours and who knows when we will have it again.

Just for the record, blue roofs and 45-55 mph winds don't mix. Mine is in Mississippi by now, I suspect.

I am cooking 2 pork butts on the Weber in the rain for a party that will happen tonight, power or no. We're here and we're staying. Home, sweet home.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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dang, i was supposed to be in Chalmette last week-contract hasn't come back yet. Be seeing ya folks in a couple of days though.

Bring a boat. Most of Chalmette has flooded again.

Patty, I'm glad to hear that you are OK. We lost our lights AGAIN due to more downed trees. We have only had power back for 48 hours and who knows when we will have it again.

Just for the record, blue roofs and 45-55 mph winds don't mix. Mine is in Mississippi by now, I suspect.

I am cooking 2 pork butts on the Weber in the rain for a party that will happen tonight, power or no. We're here and we're staying. Home, sweet home.

I am so glad to hear your are okay, Brooks.

Cooking pork butts and a party sounds like a good thing to do to lighten the mood.

Andie


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Quick update from my cousin a bit south of Abbeville. He was able to go outside just long enough to make a quick call.

They are surrounded by water but are well above it. It is still very windy with heavy rain. It looks like more water is coming in but it would have to rise another 10 feet to be at the bottom of the lower deck where they have the small boats stored.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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We have just come through a mini-disaster. Tornado 100 yards from our house. High winds. No electricity from Wednesday evening through this evening (back up and running). We were lucky, and in no way does this compare with what many are going through.

We were lucky in many respects. We had gasoline. We had natural gas, and a gas cooktop, and a natural gas hot water heater.

But, lack of electricity gives one cause to pause.

Some things I did right away. I noted that our city had front end loaders out at 5:00 am to clear paths on the main drags. So, at 8:00 am, I headed off in my trusty ford bronco in search of an open liquor store that had power. In search of ice blocks.

I found ice blocks. My deep freeze was very full, so I could only add two or three ice blocks. I also covered it with several quilts. (I checked the deep freeze when the power came on, and other than two loaves of bread, everything was still frozen solid. ) I put two in the fridge, and one in the side-by-side's freezer. I double bagged them in those Target bags that seem to multiply like rabbits. In retrospect, I wish I'd put them in 9 x 13 pans to help contain moisture. I also got a 30 lb. bag of cubes and an extra block for a cooler. I took everything out of the fridge that people would want access to and put it in the cooler, and informed the family that they would not be opening the fridge or the freezer. Need be, I would do that once a day because I know where the stuff is.

So, I get home. I need coffee. We have a melita-style electric coffee maker, a mess of whole beans, and a burr grinder. I also have a mortar and pestle. It takes a long time and a lot of elbow grease to grind a pot's worth of coffee, but it's rewarding. I heated water on the stove (you can bypass the electronic ignition by turning the burner to high and using a match of a blow torch). With an electric coffee maker, you can bypass the electric feature by filling the filter with grounds, keeping the lid open and pouring the water right over the grounds.

Breakfast the first day is the time to use the stuff in the fridge that probably won't hold well in a cooler, or will attract fruit flies. In our case, it was peaches, sliced, along with iceburg lettuce wedges and the last of the blue cheese dressing that would have taken up too much space in the cooler for the size of the container in relation to the contents.

A charcoal grill is wonderful. As long as you have charcoal, which we did. We could have easily heated water on it. I made quesidillas on it in a skillet.

I diligently checked the side-by-side every morning. As of this morning, the fridge temp was holding steady at 44 degrees, which was fine for what was left in it. The side by side freezer was not fairing as well, and it was not long before I emptied the ice maker (we have one of those in-door dispensers, because cubes melt faster than the block, and the water was leaking through the dispenser, all over the floor. Paul had moved the ice further down the freezer (all ice should be at the top of the fridge or freezer), so some hamburger was thawing.

This is where community comes into play. All of us had some stuff that was starting to thaw. So, it was time to get cooking. The one person who had a generator went and got potato salad and cole slaw. We cooked and ate and drank. Following a day of the men wandering around with their chain saws, while the kids came over and played on our play set, once the limbs were removed from our yard.

Lessons learned:

Helping your neighbors is a really good thing.

Having charcoal and a grill is a really good thing. Dry matches, a blow torch or lighters are a good thing.

Acess to ice makes life much easier.

Knowing where your flashlights are when the power goes out is even better. (a child with disabilities makes candles not a good option in our household)

Assuming your cell phone tower is still up, having your phone charged up is a good thing.

Battery-operated (or wind-up) clocks are a wonder thing to have around. Should you go the flashlight/clock/radio route, spare batteries are helpful.

Reliance on the radio for news is interesting. We huddled around the radio like my mom talks about doing when she was a girl.

If you have a high school student who is due to have a test, and the text is on a CD-Rom, be sure and send a note to the teacher asking her/him to postpone the test.

I want a big chain saw for Christmas (I am a power tool junkie).

Most of all we learned not being able to wash clothes is exhausting. Not having electricity is exhausting.have roofs over our head.

We learned that we take many, many things for granted. Like I said above, this incident pales in comparison to what many have gone through. Although our neighborhood looks much different now because of the loss of trees, only one person in the Twin Cities lost his life, and I knew all along that my family and friends were safe and warm.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Welcome back, Susan, and thanks for the lessons learned. I'm glad that tornado didn't get any closer.

I've never had a power loss longer than, oh, 36 hours - maybe 48 - since I've been here, but I'll add one thing to your list: charcoal and grill are good, but so are lots of propane bottles for the gas grill, and wood for the fireplace.

Hmm. Now I'm sorry I gave away my hand-crank coffee grinder.


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I have spoken to my cousin Terry several times and also have been glued to MSNBC because he said that yesterday morning three guys in a boat, with an NBC camera were motoring down the Vermilion river - now the middle of a very large lake a mile or so south of Abbeville - and took some video of them standing out on the deck.

Terry and his friends were out yesterday, searching for stranded people as soon as the water was calm enough to not swamp the boats and they hauled a bunch up to where the guard was set up with trucks to take people out.

They have plenty of food for at least two weeks and there is a large cistern on the roof that is full of rainwater. They are a bit crowded but no more than when they are out on the boats. The storm surge got up to within two feet of the lower deck at its worst. The floating dock was damaged some during the hurricane but was easily repaired. Etienne also has two big Kohler diesel generators as the place often loses power even without a hurricane and he has to keep his freezers going all the time. He has 400 gallons of diesel and 120 gallons of gasoline.

They are letting the little kids fish from the deck to keep them amused, but so far they haven't caught anything except a little turtle which is now a pet and a snake which was immediately killed. There are a lot of little fish swimming in the water but there are also quite a few dead ones which are fresh water fish probably killed by the brackish salt water pushed up the waterway.

Today they are cooking red beans and rice and are butchering a drowned steer they bought from one of the men they rescued yesterday, no sense letting it go to waste. Barbecue this evening!

Yesterday they cooked a big pot of jambalaya, made cornbread and were feeding some of the other men out in the rescue boats. Yesterday morning they served a lot of coffee and fried bread dipped in sugar and cinnamon to the local people who were searching for survivors.

Only the very old people can remember when it flooded like this in the area. Etienne's father originally built his place on the high pilings because he remembered a flood in the late 40s.

The place has been a bit of a joke all these years because of the way it was built but it is the only building not flooded in the entire area. None of the trees that surround the place have fallen.

The satellite phone I sent to Terry has gotten a lot of use as cell phones are not working anywhere in the area close to them so he is letting people who have stayed behind call their relatives and friends that evacuated.

Cece Charbonnais and her new baby girl (fifth child for Cece) are doing just fine and are staying put. This makes everyone happy because Cece is considered to be one of the finest cooks in the area.

They believe their big boats are probably destroyed or in very poor condition as they have been following the news on TV and watching the views from the helicopters flying over the area and it took a direct hit. They do have pretty good insurance so will eventually be able to go back to shrimping if the industry itself revives in the area. They might have to move to another state if the processing plants do not come back.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Andie, thanks so much for that update. I'm glad Terry and his folks are doing so well, especially mama and baby. You know, given the way this is working out for them, I bet the kids will have fond memories of this wild storm, fishing from the deck, and so forth. That probably won't be true for the many unfortunates whose houses were flooded, but what an adventure for those with Terry! (I suspect Mayhaw Man's kids will have similar memories, given MM's inventiveness and humor. MRE's and all that. In time the horror may fade from memory, but the fun will remain.)

Do you know what they're doing with wastes, such as offal from the butchered drowned steer?


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Andie, thanks so much for that update.  I'm glad Terry and his folks are doing so well, especially mama and baby.  You know, given the way this is working out for them, I bet the kids will have fond memories of this wild storm, fishing from the deck, and so forth.  That probably won't be true for the many unfortunates whose houses were flooded, but what an adventure for those with Terry!  (I suspect Mayhaw Man's kids will have similar memories, given MM's inventiveness and humor.  MRE's and all that.  In time the horror may fade from memory, but the fun will remain.)

Do you know what they're doing with wastes, such as offal from the butchered drowned steer?

They have a propane-fired incinerator that burns stuff in a closed chamber so there is nothing left but fine ash. They also have a composting toilet that has been there for years. Cece and Etienne are avid environmentalists and have been active in the movement to protect the gulf coast for many years. His father was an underwater demolition specialist and did a lot of work in the coastal waterways. If you have ever seen the Jimmy Stewart film, Thunder Bay, his father did some of the underwater explosive work.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Well folks . . . I am back, feeling very lucky for having dodged a really big bullet. I was in the evacuation zone so I spent 13 hours getting to the country place in Chappell Hills. That drive normally takes a little over 2 hours. The nephew and I stayed over to debrief and see what we would do differently next time. The way the hurricane cycle works, we are back in an active cycle like in the '30s so we are planning on having to do this again.

Here is the situation . . . The country place has two houses. The main one got a pre-hurricane hit by lightening and took out the central AC. Two hastily installed window units huffed and puffed to keep part of the house reasonably cool. The well has potable water but it has a lot of iron so we use bottled water for drinking and cooking. As usual, we had very high temperatures after the storm . . . it was 108 F in Brenham for the first two days after the storm. No, that is not a heat index number. We had 7 people to feed and water. In summary:

1) We need to conserve water.

2) We need to keep heat out of the house. So, whether we have electricity or not (the range is electric) we need to look at alternate ways of cooking.

3) If using alternate fuel for cooking (charcoal, propane) think about fuel conservation.

4) We need to plan a bit better on supplies before they disappear from the shelves.

The first adventure was what to do for breakfast. Eggs were nowhere to be found. That is a new wrinkle. I don't remember an egg shortage for hurricanes. Maybe all of the chickens flew north. Anyway, we had sausage and the makings for the trinity so I made a sort of sausage hash.

We had a freezer full of chickens (rodeo purchases) so we smoked several. With "Aunt Linda's Scorched Squash" and my sister's Hawaiian macaroni salad, we had a good comfort food dinner the evening before the storm. That really made everyone relax a little and feel a whole lot better.

Since the storm was pretty much a non-event, the next day I used the left over chickens to put the propane camp stove to the test. I boned out the meat and used the leavings to make a rich stock. The ultimate test was to make a roux on the camp stove. Success! We had the damndest pot of chicken fricassee we ever wrapped our chops around. Mayhaw Man would be proud. We even used the big Magnalite roaster that we found in a bottom cupboard.

After we got rid of everyone else, my nephew and I stayed behind to put the place in order and debrief on what worked and what might work better. We warmed up the one package of shrimp and crab gumbo that I hid away and proceeded to get partly drunk. Keep that in mind when you read my list of learnings. I may have missed some.

What we learned:

Buy more trinity. I could have used a bunch more. In the first place. it makes just about everything taste good. (The sausage hash was outstanding.) In the second place, it is a sneaky way to get more veggies down the collective gullets.

If you must have pasta, pre-cook it before you are in a water short situation. Rice is a better alternative. It is an efficient use of water and doesn't take as much fuel or produce as much heat. Couscous is even better.

Cured sausages are a good thing to have around. They have many uses and aren't a spoilage problem. We had several links of fresh sausage and put them in the smoker.

Precooked bulk sausage and ground meat would be a good thing to have around for many uses. Like the pasta, do that before the storm.

Get more tortillas. For breakfast as well as any other meal, you can feed the folks without dirty dishes to have to deal with.

It would have been nice to have a Weber. With indirect heat, we could bake just about anything. Of course, grilling is always an option and we could probably get more veggies eaten if they are grilled. I am thinking of having a welding shop friend to make up a griddle thing to put in the Weber. I am thinking quesadillas, pancakes, grilled cheese.

Speaking of cheese. Buy more. It keeps and has a lot of uses. After all, that is why cheese was invented. Keeping milk cold is a pain if the electricity is off.

Buy more potatoes.

Buy more eggs. (What's up with that egg shortage?)

Bean salsas are nutritious and add more veggies. Hit the Goya aisle.

Anything that requires chopping (trinity, salsas) is a good thing. You need to give the folks something to do that is useful and keeps them out from underfoot in the cooking area. They can only play so much Monopoly and Scrabble.

Plan ahead for cooking up stuff in the freezer if you don't have a generator to keep it running. Better yet, buy a generator.

Save the empty water bottles to refill with tap water for the next time around.

And I am still thinking of ways to get the folks to eat fruit. Bean salsas help.

I will be stocking up on those jars of pre-made roux.

But here is the one stroke of genius attributable to my nephew. . . He has some plastic shoeboxes that just fit in the bottom of the big cooler. Ahead of time, you freeze blocks of ice in them. Put them in the bottom of the cooler. This gives you a level surface to store stuff on and they don't melt as fast as chunks. If you run a piece of tubing from the drain to bottles, you reclaim the water and the food doesn't float.

Any more survivalist ideas out there?


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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