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The Aftermath of Irma – Part Two – FOOD

Another realization post hurricane was that I could have been more creative with my food planning. I had apocalypse food. Like a jar of peaches. Stew-like soup that COULD be eaten cold if necessary. Pretzels. Peanut butter and bread. Instant mashed potatoes. Tuna. Pasta. We would have survived, but I didn’t really have MEALS. Since we never lost power it was a little deceptive because we felt like things should be normal.

Hubster: “So what’s for dinner?”

Me: ” A jar of peaches??”

I didn’t bother stocking up on meats because if we lost power (ie the refrigerator) I would have had a limited time to grill everything (even if it was stored in a cooler). I’m also not a camper. So that kind of eating / meal prep is no where on my radar. My husband was in the jungle in Vietnam (army, front lines, sleeping in the rain, strapping laces up his legs to keep the leaches off of him, war experience). So he thinks we need a sh*t load of dehydrated meal packs… not a bad idea but I don’t really want to live on them for weeks if I don’t have to. Once power was restored in some areas, but not others, there were two lines on the streets: 1) Gas; 2) McDonalds. I kid you not. Again, if faced with death I would eat it, but it’s not at the top of my preferred dining list (#FirstWorldProblems). So I turned to Google for future hurricane food planning.  Here’s a few interesting ideas I came across:

  • Hard boiled eggs. I actually did think of this, but hadn’t purchased extra eggs. Next time I will. Once boiled, with shells on, hard boiled eggs can stay at room temperature.
  • Bacon. Pre-cook it and it can also stay at room temperature.
  • Hard, cured meats and room temperature friendly cheeses (I found a whole blog on backpacking with cheese…).
  • Container of lemon juice – for a little added flavor
  • Roasted garlic – for added flavor (to rice, vinaigrette, those instant mashed potatoes!)
  • Jarred chutneys and jams with crackers (I love me some chutney!)
  • Jars of pickled vegetables: can be eaten on their own or added to rice or pasta.
  • Instant coffee and dried creamer. Sometimes you need coffee. Even bad coffee.
  • Fresh fruit. You will crave freshness, so have them on hand. Apples, oranges, banana.
  • Tortillas and jarred salsa.
  • Granola and granola bars.
  • Cereal (ie dried bits of cardboard – I really dislike cereal but would eat it if faced with starvation).
  • Beans (also blech – it’s a texture thing – but if I was staring death in the face, I’d eat beans).
  • Drinks. I had plenty of water, which is the most important, but we could have used some Gatorade or other beverages with a little flavor for a treat.

What did I miss on my list? Share your hurricane meal tricks!

The Aftermath of Irma – Part One – STUFF

My mantra for the storm was, “It will be scary, but it will be fine.” Unless you are living it, you can’t really imagine what it’s like (as is such with all life events). We weighed our options and made our decision to stay. We were not in an evacuation zone. We were not in a surge area (or at least a high surge zone). We have a very sturdy little house. All of our neighbors were staying (fine, maybe I WOULD jump off a bridge if they did too – HA!). In all seriousness, if people who have lived here for decades run, it kinda tells you something. In any event, it was probably the best first hurricane experience a person could have. The lead up to the storm was the worst (What IF is a terrible thing). The storm itself was not as frightening as I know it could have been. I’ve heard stories of wind that sounds like a train pummeling into your home, making the walls shake. That didn’t happen to usWe didn’t lose power. We weren’t on a boil alert. We lost one large tree branch. A branch. I know how lucky we are and I’m thankful.

Something happens when you are going room to room saving things. Assessing what you need. What you love. I realized I don’t care about a LOT of things in my house. This spurred a Post-Irma clean out of my house. I broke into some boxes. I emptied them. Things that bring me joy, I put out where I can see them. There were some keepsakes I wasn’t quite ready to part with – but those items fit into a hat box. The rest? Basura. Some items were Salvation Army worthy, but honestly, most was garbage. I unpacked a box with pictures. I hung them up. I shredded paper. A lot of paper. My sister was on shredder duty during her Irma stay. I just kept cleaning out files and she turned them into confetti. By the way, I have a four day rule. If you’re visiting me for more than four days, on day five (or possibly 4.5) you take care of yourself and might have to do chores. Just FYI.

What are the quirky things you keep that you LOVE?? I have things like yearbooks… and letters. I love reading old letters. They bring me such JOY!