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What to Eat During Irene

Wind, rain, flooding—Irene is barreling into town this weekend. With power outages probable, it’s safe to assume might be eating creatively for a day or two, so it’s best to prepare to accommodate this uninvited guest.

A few tips for weathering the storm in gastronomic style:

Stock up on non-perishables – Peanut butter, crackers, black beans, canned corn, jarred artichokes, tuna fish, beef jerky—whatever food that has a considerable shelf life that you can stomach for more than a day or two. As a food writer, I can’t officially recommend beef jerky to you (please consider pepperoni, salami, or other cured meats as alternatives). But, beef jerky is non-perishable and available at 7-11’s everywhere, so if you’re waterlogged and hungry, it's an easy go to.

Get nutty—Nuts are a great source of protein and require no refrigeration or preparation. Raw or roasted, nuts can help your appetite weather the storm.

Dip in – There’s no time like a hurricane to invest in some Sterno and a fondue pot. Cheese, chocolate, or meat, this retro repast requires little power outside of the canned fuel favored by campers. This dish gets bonus points for lighting a room while also cooking a meal.

Get grilling—A simple little charcoal grill can keep your family eating well after the storm as you wait for power to be restored. Stock up on enough charcoal and you can enjoy hot meals all day long, from pancakes and bacon to sirloin. Just remember to keep the grill outside to avoid accident or injury or any other awful side effects that would come from using a charcoal grill indoors.

Milk it—Powdered milk isn't my beverage of choice, however in extreme circumstances (like hurricane-related power outages) it can come in pretty handy. Just add some of your stockpiled bottled water to the milk and, voila, your kids can have cereal for breakfast. Or you can lighten up the instant coffee you made by boiling water on your charcoal grill.

Whatever you plan on eating, stock up now so that when Irene drops by, you're ready. And don’t forget to save your savory stories and share your recipes here when it’s all over.

Do you have tips for eating well without power? Comment here.

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