Storm Cuisine

Since we picked up a generator earlier in the summer and have made home improvements that have drastically cut down on the amount of water that comes into the house during storms, we’re not in panic mode about the snor’eastercane as we were with Irene. It also helps that the basement has already been emptied of just about everything because of our improvements down there. (I’m still a little freaked out about the winds though.)

However, we are apparently missing out on foodie “storm cuisine.”

Don’t get me wrong, we have water and I’m planning to get even more non-perishable foods and snacks this weekend just to minimize the need to access the fridge in the event of a power outage. But outright serious foodie cuisine?

Emergency Essentials, a two-decade-old company based in Orem, Utah, that sells supplies for survival situations, now offers a line of freeze-dried meals with such gourmet and ethnic options as chicken and white-bean chili, New Orleans-style rice with shrimp and ham and, yes, beef stroganoff (replete with “a rich, sour cream sauce”). But if a hurricane survivor feels like going the do-it-yourself route, they can also consult such cuisine-in-the-rough cookbooks as Stephen Weston’s “In the Wild Chef” and Daphne Nikolopoulos’s “The Storm Gourmet.” The latter book, released in 2005 and now going on its fifth printing, includes recipes for everything from savory ham with Dijon cream sauce to tiramisu — all made without the benefit of electricity.

We can cook because we do have a camp stove. We also have a smoker and a grill that don’t require electricity. However, I can’t really imagine I’d be focused on making a Dijon cream sauce or tiramisu after a storm like Sandy or Irene. Regardless, to those who make it through the storm troubles in style, good job. I think we’ll probably keep it pretty simple.

13 thoughts on “Storm Cuisine”

  1. I would imagine that these books are intended more for the ‘off-the-grid’ types than for people living through the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

  2. Maybe not for a ‘regular’ meal, but having the ability to put out something ‘special’ that isn’t just ‘base survival calories’ can provide an amazing morale boost in extended situations.

    (Yeah…this situation sucks, but it’s not as bad as it COULD be. See?…I made Tiramisu!)

    1. Exactly. Bruce Clayton in his indispensable Life After Doomsday (and try to get the Dial Press paperback edition, it has updates and corrections found in no other edition, plus it’s cheap used) said as a specific example that if you were planning on a spaghetti meal shorty after entering your shelter you might as well make it from the “real stuff” (it’s easy enough, regardless of where you get your sauce (i.e. if you make it, from the freezer before it goes bad)) instead of getting it in one sub-par prepackaged form. You’ll have plenty of time, in his you’re already prepared scenario you’ll be well equipped, you’ll enjoy it more and it’ll help distract you (from a major nuclear was in his worst case scenario).

      I not 100% sure, but I think he mentioned or adopted the phrase “survival in style”, i.e. shoot for more than the minimum.

      (Side note on that book relevant to the topic of this blog: his firearms advice was very minimal for a variety of reasons, and he limited his suggested weapons to 4 “that every expert says are ‘good'” (or words to that effect). Amazingly enough, aside from the AR-18 (no longer available in original heat buildup resistant model), but we’re awash in good substitutes) it stands up today, as long as you’re willing to switch to current best vendors aside from Remington for the 870.)

  3. I got a gas BBQ grill, there ain’t nothing worth eating that can’t be cooked on a grill, even frozen pizza can be done on a grill. Aluminum foil is your friend there……

  4. How many of you folks are hunters? First week of Turkey season and we get this………

    I am seriously bummed over this……

  5. I’ve been eating low-carb for six months or so, and it’s had a significant effect on my health and on my weight. But all of the long-term storable staples I had relied on – wheat, rice, beans – are now off my diet. I’ve not been able to find any low-carb alternatives.

    1. Of course, in a survival situation more carbs and calories are not necessarily a bad thing, as you will likely be working your ass off just trying to survive and protect your family. Other than very expensive dried foods canned meats are about the only thing you can stockpile, corned beef, spam, canned tuna and chicken (Which I think taste about the same after canning) and canned salmon (my personal favorite) are all long term storable meats, altho pricy. I tend to think that storing the wheat, rice and beans and hunting will feed us pretty well, those in the city will need to store more meats than us country folks for the reason that you can’t count on getting any farther than your feet can carry you if TSHTF. Gas pumps don’t work without electric! So you can’t count on a vehicle unless you have also stockpiled alot of fuel, which is a danger in it’s self…..

    2. We haven’t gone hardcore low carb, but low-ish carb. That said, we also kind work around the idea that it’s what you do 6 days a week that really matters, not so much if you indulge in a slice of wedding cake at an occasional event or have a day where pizza is brought into the office. I kind of put post-storm meal prep in those categories. We bought some cheese and crackers to snack on during Sandy. Clearly, the crackers are a carb, but we aren’t worried about it. We also have a nice collection of frozen hot dogs since I stocked up during some really good sales a couple of months ago. :)

  6. When I released the book I guess storm survival was not on my mind. My heart and prayers go out to all in the path of the storm coming to the East Coast.

    Stay Safe (most important) and if you can, eat well!

    Stephen Weston, Author In The Wild Chef

    1. Well, we did just have fish head tonight, so I guess that counts as eating well…

      (That’s mostly true. We were at a wedding reception last night that served each table their leftovers, and one was a steamed fish that still had the head attached. Pre-storm hassle-free cuisine is take-out.)

  7. We have an all electric kitchen in an all electric house and PG&E lurves us – when we wake up in the morning their cash-registers just start ringing! Ka-Ching! Thank god at least the hot-water is gas, and in a pinch we have 40-gal of potable water…
    Quiona is a seed so it doesn’t count for processed carbs as far as the Paleo Diet goes, just eat more meat!

  8. chicken and white-bean chili, New Orleans-style rice with shrimp and ham and, yes, beef stroganoff

    I wonder which of those are “gourmet” and which are “ethnic”?

    I think they’re just “food”, myself.

    (Except that chicken and white beans don’t make what any decent person should call chili; it might be a delicious meal, but it ain’t chili.)

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