Thursday, March 24, 2011

No Cook Meal Ideas

"Food, glorious food!
Hot sausage and mustard!
While we're in the mood
Cold jelly and custard!"
- from the musical "Oliver"

In case of prolonged power outages, major snow storms, massive flooding, chemical spill, terrorist attack, etc. you may need to shelter inside your house for several days. The old rule-of-thumb was 3 days of supplies (72-hour kit) but since Hurricane Katrina that rule has been increased to 5 to 7 days of food and water and back-up power/light/heat.

When I visit a grocery store I'm amazed at the variety of ready-to-serve meals that require just a little time in a microwave, oven or boiling water. But suppose you did not have any of those options? What can you store and eat that does not require cooking?
  • Protein/Granola Bars
  • Trail Mix/Cereal/Dried Fruit/Seeds  (not premixed since this goes stale quickly. We keep boxes of cereal, nuts, raisins, etc. and can mix them when needed)
  • Crackers (use in place of bread for sandwiches. We like Matzoh bread. You can buy 5 lb box very cheaply after Passover and they last forever - if they go stale, who can tell the difference?)
  • Peanut butter  (Jelly works too but buy small jars because you won't be able to refrigerate the jelly/jam after opening)
  • Canned meats like Tuna, Turkey, Beef, Vienna Sausages, etc.
  • Beef Jerky
  • Canned Fruit, Applesauce
  • Pickles
  • Canned Juice, Boxed Juice, V-8 Juice
  • Canned Vegetables (these are precooked and could be eaten raw if you had too. Or mix them into Tuna for a cracker spread)
  • Candy/Gum (watch out for soft candies that can melt like Jolly Ranchers or chocolate)
Consider also keeping in stock these perisable items that will last a few days without power:
  • Pita bread, flatbread or tortillas
  • Bag of carrots
  • Hard Cheeses & individually packaged sticks of mozzarella string cheese
  • Fresh fruit
  • Summer sausage or hard salami-- cans of german-style potato salad (it's made with a vinegary dressing and bacon bits, add cut-up summer sausage and diced sun-dried tomatoes and it's a tasty and filling casserole "salad") Be sure and bring a can opener if this isn't pop-top
  • Cookies
  • Hard-boiled eggs (eat them within the first day or two)
Bottom Line

Some people like to fill #10 cans with non-perishable emergency rations from the list above. But if you mix foods beware of strong odors. Mint candy, Teriyaki Jerky, Irish Springs soap, etc., can flavor all the other foods when packaged together.

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