The headline phrase took on new meaning for East Coasters in the path of Hurricane Sandy. On Sunday, folks were cooking fresh vegetables picked up at farmers markets and braising/roasting meats; preparing comfort foods in sufficient quantities to last a few days.
A sampling of what was burbling through Twitter:
* Tammy Gordon (@floridagirlindc): A riff on Bolognese sauce to top Romanesco cauliflower. “I live in Cleveland Park and tend to lose power, but it comes back on quickly. If I don’t have power, my go-to is black beans and yellow rice.”
* Kim Foster (@KimFosterNYC): Braised lamb belly and roasted beets, plus a cream of celery root soup. “We live in Harlem and don’t usually lose power. But we just got in a bunch of CSA [Community-Supported Agriculture] stuff so I’ll have stuff to cook long-term.”
* David Hagedorn (@DCHagedorn): Chili from the freezer and party mix. “Other people had milk in TP in their carts. I had Chex.” (Later: “Galbi/Sriracha wings BBQ wings: I caved.”)
* Jean Marie Doyle (@grouchywoman): “Pot roast & sour cream pound cake.”
* Cathy Barrow (@mrswheelbarrow): “I got another propane tank, and my grill has a side burner. My freezer is packed to the gills with meat for me to create recipes [for my future cookbook]. I’m not going to open it; if we don’t get power back after four days, I’m going to invite everyone I know for a gigantic party and I’ll try to cook in the manner of the recipes I planned. I worry mostly about the waste, which breaks my heart.”
If you live in an area where power’s rarely interrupted, you might want to gather together cookbooks or recipes that will help you make the most of what you have on hand. It’s great to be able to avoid trips to the store.
For those who have not yet lost power but expect to do so, here are some lessons-learned, solid tips via Jessica Berardi, who blogs at GreenSkiesandSugarTrips.wordpress.com:
* Make sure the propane tank for your gas grill is full.
* Inventory what’s in freezer now and arrange items near the top or front that you’ll need or want to use first; you don’t want to spend a lot of time with the door open once you lose power.
* Fill gallon-size resealable plastic food storage bags with water and freeze them; they can be used in a separate cooler or help to keep a less-than-full freezer as cold as possible.
* Reduce the temperature in your fridge to get it extra cold.
* Buy or make pizza dough, which can be topped for breakfast, lunch or dinner and grilled or baked in a skillet on the stove top.
* Hard-cook the eggs you have on hand.
* Dry-cured meats, hard cheeses and good bread are meal-worthy and multpurpose.
* Use up prepared foods in the fridge first, then fresh foods that need to be cooked before you start cooking out of the freezer or pantry.
* Stock individual serving-size bottles of Tropicana and rice/soy milk; none of which has to be refrigerated.
* Food-safe disposable gloves are handy to have on hand if a reduced- or no-water situation arises.
What are you cooking, or what cooking-related tips do you have to share? Add to the comments below.