Cooking without Power and Eating from the Pantry


If we lose power from Irene and flooding keeps the utility companies from restoring it for several days, we may have to deal with spoiling food and a lack of a cooking source.

I’ve put together some ideas for coping from the following web sites:

From Preparing and cooking food without power:

Examples of dry goods you can eat without cooking include: canned beans, canned soups and stews, dry and canned milk, canned fruits and vegetables, granola bars, granola, canned meats like tuna and chicken, nuts and chocolate.

Of course, this is summer, so there’s plenty of fresh produce, too. Tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers and more are delicious with just a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.

If it looks like your power will be out for longer than 24 hours, move refrigerator and freezer contents to a cooler packed with ice.

After the rain ends, you can cook outside on the grill. Cook the most perishable foods first.

From Stock an Emergency Food Pantry:

A few more ideas for no-cook food: dried fruit, nuts, electrolyte drinks.

From Cooking Without Electricity: Hurricane Preparedness With Style:

Some great ideas on this one! I love this: Use bulgur for a perfect no-cook meal or side dish.

Others include: Use foil packets, rely on cured meat, which doesn’t have to be refrigerated (and is so darn tasty), and use foil packets for cooking outside over an flame.

And here’s one from me: Hard boil a bunch of eggs tonight. They can go back in the fridge for now, but if you lose power, they can always sit out on the counter for a while. Most safety recommendations say 4 hours max. But I’ve seen them sit out on the bar at French bistros a lot longer than that.


About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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