When the power goes out, my kids tend to think it’s party time. They like it because it means that we are definitely going to play some games, do some arts and crafts, and eat some food we don’t normally indulge in.
Of course we have back-up cooking methods for heating food when the electricity goes out, We became accustomed to it, since it happens with relative frequency, but in our old house in the city it wasn’t so easy. Still, in the summer, we don’t want to fire up the woodstove and during a storm, we don’t want to stand outside in the rain cooking on the barbecue. So, during a short term power outage, it makes life easier in many cases to eat things that don’t require much in the way of preparation. We have specific preps for this situation that require no cooking. It’s probably the only time we regularly consume food that hasn’t been made from scratch, so for the girls, it’s a bit of a treat.
I like to keep the refrigerator door closed so it depends on the expected length of the outage whether or not we take things from there. If we do get items from the refrigerator, I plan it out so I can quickly grab all the things and then close the door again, to help maintain the temperature.
At our cabin, the pump goes out when the power goes out, so we have no running water. (I rent so this is not something I can upgrade at this time.) To circumvent a few difficulties, we stock up on disposable goods to use during power outages:
- Styrofoam plates
- Paper towels and napkins
- Plastic cutlery
- Baby wipes
- Disinfecting wipes
- Plastic cups
In our cupboard, most of the following items are the organic version. Some exceptions are graham crackers and saltines, which can’t be found organic in our rural area. (I avoid purchasing non-organic items that contain corn, even for the “Lights Out” stockpile, since nearly all corn grown in North America is genetically modified.)
- Graham crackers with peanut butter
- Crackers with home canned cheese sauce
- Saltines with peanut butter
- Fresh fruit (apples, oranges, bananas)
- Canned juice
- Trail mix
- Dry cereal
- Cereal with milk
- Canned baked beans with ham
- Pudding cups
- Canned fruit
- Pouches of pre-cooked and seasoned rice
- Granola bars
- Dried Fruits: apricot, mango, banana, raisins, cranberries, pineapple
- Sandwiches: Peanut butter and jelly, tuna, leftovers from the fridge, Nutella
Following are some “recipes” for power outage food. Okay, “recipe” is a stretch – perhaps just some “tasty combinations”. :)
Layer organic tortilla chips with canned cheese sauce, salsa, and canned jalepenos
Top graham crackers with Nutella (or other chocolate-nut spread) and marshmallow fluff
Soft tortillas filled with canned meat, a touch of mustard or mayo, and veggies from the fridge
No-cook Soft Tacos
Soft tortillas with canned meat (we use our home canned chicken or taco meat for this), salsa, and canned cheese sauce
Main Dish Tuna Salad
Combine a can of tuna, a can of white beans, chopped onion, chopped peppers and chopped black olives (veggies are optional). Top with Italian dressing mixed with dijon mustard to taste.
Drain canned fruit of choice and stir it into vanilla pudding. Serve in ice cream cones for a kid-friendly treat. (We do this with yogurt also.)
Mexican Bean Salad
Combine 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed; with 1 can of organic corn, drained. For the dressing mix 1/2 jar of salsa; 1/2 tsp each of chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder; 3 tbsp of lemon juice. Toss well. Serve as a salad, in a soft tortilla or mixed with a pouch of pre-cooked rice.
Do you have any no-cook ideas for the stockpile? Please share them in the comments section!
This article is an updated version of one that was originally published February 6, 2013.