Blizzard cooking

Snowmageddon hasn't been so terrible in our valley so far. Some wind and a lot of powder in the air. But my 8-year-old, bundled in her snowsuit, has been happily making snow angels and tunnels and castles for an hour.  

Our local weather guru counseled us to make a big pot of chili ahead of the storm, in case we lost power and couldn't cook. (Our stove's gas, though, and we'd only be out an oven.)  I didn't bother, but it got me thinking about storms and food preparedness.

At this time of year you don't worry about food storage without power so much, since the whole world's a fridge.  If you're organized enough to cook in advance, you haul out the big stuff - slow cooker for a crowd-type recipes which will yield enough for a few powerless days. You grind the coffee in advance, you fill up the bathtub, you locate the snow shovels and D batteries and wait.

If you haven't prepared, and you're caught out without power, winter food suddenly turns into something a lot like summer food:  salads, cold cuts, smoothies.  Or camping food: jerky, granola, trail mix. Fun for a day or two, but not what you long for when the winds are gusting the snow sideways and in circles just outside the window. 

No matter what you eat, the candles and firelight can cast a glow over your impromptu meal. But then there's that throbbing hum and a bunch of beeps as the lights come on and the appliances wake up and there you are, delivered straight back to reality, all the modern conveniences, and a pile of dirty dishes as a souvenir.

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