Hurricane Sandy is on the way, and that got me thinking about essential pantry items. Fortunately, the staples that get the most frequent use in my kitchen happen to be the ones that I'd need most in an emergency.
Neighbors are rushing to the stores to stock up on food and water. If the power does go out for a while, if you do need to batten down the hatches and live off of what you've got on hand, how well prepared are you?
Hopefully no one in my immediate area will have to evacuate to the emergency shelters during the hurricane, but if that happened dried fruits and soup mixes would be at the top of my list of portable foods. Dehydrated foods are compact and lightweight, which makes them perfect for stashing in a go bag or emergency kit.
Assuming I was home and not at an emergency shelter, my stash of lacto-fermented vegetables would be safe to eat even if the refrigerator power was out.
If the power does go out, a good plan is to first use up the fresh foods in your refrigerator, then frozen items, then lacto-fermented foods (yes, you may have been storing these in the fridge, but they'll be fine for a few days or even weeks at room temp). Canned, salted and dehydrated foods will last months, even years, without refrigeration, so in an emergency eat these last.
Hopefully this is all advice that we never need to use. But in the "can't hurt, could help" department, being prepared does create peace of mind. I wish you a safe, warm week!
Photo © Leda Meredith