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Storm shopping

With a big storm heading to NJ, we'll see the usual culprits clogging the supermarket parking lots buying bread, milk, and eggs.

What do you provision in advance of a storm? I always have boxed milk for emergencies, and bread in the freezer, and don't use a ton of eggs. And I'll go shopping tonight after 9 to avoid the crush.

I'll visit the deli counter for cold cuts for the kids-two teens can make short work of turkey, roast beef, and cheese. A case of seltzer. Grapefruits. Fixings for potato salad. A nice roast to make into long simmered beef in red wine and tomato sauce. Egg noodles too. Rice and asparagus for risotto. That should cover the storm and Super Bowl Sunday.

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  1. The grocery stores here (Virginia) were a zoo today too. I was there buying produce. We were totally depleted after being snowed in most of this last week. I could probably survive for quite a long time just on pantry items and things in the freezer, but produce is the thing I run out of.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mountaincachers

      Agreed with the produce. I went shopping for some fruits and veggies last night- lemons, pineapple, potatoes, onions, peppers, zucchini. Always have some frozen 'just in case' veggies in the freezer. Bought tortillas and bread yesterday too.

      To everyone who mocked those who stock up before a storm--
      It's not being able to go out after a storm to shop- it's WANTING to. I know after a storm, the streets are a mess, parking is a disaster, and it's just a dangerous situation. Parking in Brooklyn is bad enough-- why risk it after a snow storm?

      Also, love the excuse to use a snow day to cook and bake. House always smells yummy after a snow day!

    2. Last week, when we had the storm here in NC, the parking lots were full at the grocery store for the usual (milk, eggs & bread). I have a body sized deep freezer that is usually full and I keep bread in there. So, I got a few pantry items & ice cream..everyone else was shopping like the food trucks were not going to be able to get through to the stores.

      This time we're only supposed to get rain so the stores weren't packed

      2 Replies
      1. re: Cherylptw

        What do you do with the body when your freezer is full of storm foods? :)

        1. re: nofunlatte

          I just prop it up in the cold outside until I get room to put it back in...(lol)

      2. I make sure I have flour, because I can make bread with that. I make sure I have something to make soup with, and perhaps some oats for breakfast.

        1. This is too funny - I worked at a deli/small market in Connecticut and every time there was going to be a snow storm we had a major run on American Cheese - apparently it is the key to survival! During one "catastrophic event" we ran out, and this guy went ballistic! He cursed and stomped and had a fit!

          6 Replies
          1. re: jacquelyncoffey

            That's awesome. I work retail and know the type. I live on the Texas gulf coast, and we have to prepare for hurricanes, but the last thing I would buy is American cheese. Does this "food" have one redeeming quality that qualifys it as food? One thing I am never without for a hurricane is charcoal for the inevitable power outage. Does anyone up north buy charcoal or gas for their grills? I don't hesitate to grill in the 40's down here, how about the twenties?

            1. re: James Cristinian

              I will grill in just about any weather, but most of the people I know are too much of a "weenie" to go out in the snow to cook, they just whine and complain and go out to eat.
              Also, buying charcoal is tricky, the stores don't usually have much on hand in the winter.
              I remember having to just about swear on the bible to one store clerk that I wasn't going to try to heat my home with charcoal. She honestly didn't believe that I was going to cook!

              1. re: jacquelyncoffey

                My husband grills year round on charcoal. he has a specialty grill/fireplace store he gets his charcoal from. We just picked up about 40 lbs of lump, so we are good to go! tonight is a split turkey breast and baked potatoes. we also have some gorgeous pork chops he can put on if we lose power! of course he has to shovel off the deck tonight before he can really get going, lol!

                1. re: jacquelyncoffey

                  I remember doing burgers and dogs on a Weber Kettle in our driveway one Christmas Eve and seeing neighbor's faces in their windows probably wondering "what is he up to now". The snowstorm was predicted so I took the grill from the backyard and put it in the garage. Had to shovel a path out to get it far enough from the house, but that started me on grilling in any weather. I won't be out there tomorrow night, but I'll be doing some grilled chicken before Saturday!

                2. re: James Cristinian

                  I have the gas line hard-wired to the grill. It's so much easier than re-filling the propane tanks. But I had to get a propane-to-natural conversion kit from the manufacturer (I think it's a DuKane?). The snow is this very minute coming down and we're looking at between 8 and 15 inches. I'll take a broom and push the snow out of my way and off the top of the grill, start it and cook burgers on it tomorrow if we're home.

                  Speaking of storm shopping... I brought home some tomatoes and some cheese so that I could broil the tomatoes in the grill, too. Then I hack them up, hot, and put them into pasta (which we can boil on the gas stove in case of power outage). The oven is gas-fired convection, and won't work when there's no electricity.

                  1. re: shaogo

                    Yeah, we converted our grill from propane to natural gas. I think the kit was about $100.

                    You guys be careful. That storm is a biggie.

              2. I have an all-electric house so my storm concern is a power outage. If a heavy blizzard is a sure thing, I fill all my thermoses with boiling water. Every fall, I make sure that I have some cans of soup, baked beans, fruit, evaporated milk, and stuff like Dinty Moore stew, corned beef hash, and Chef Boyardee. I put some reheatable items from the fridge into a cooler on the porch. If the power is out, I put lit candles in a deep container, set a cake rack upon it, and put an open can of prepared food on the rack until it is hot.

                7 Replies
                1. re: greygarious

                  That's a clever idea. Besides the central heat that needs electricity to run the fans, we have a wood burning fireplace and a couple of gas heaters. I always make sure I have some things that can be cooked in cast iron in the fireplace.

                  I keep a pretty well stocked pantry and freezer, so fresh produce is about all I tend get before storms. Since it's the Super Bowl this weekend, though, I'll be at the store in the morning getting the fixings for gumbo and muffalettas which we are having to celebrate the Saints being in the game.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    My Mother in law in south Jersey is w/o power because of the storm, they're outside making coffee on the gas grill as I type this! Great survival technique!

                    1. re: FISHINC

                      I had to laugh on Saturday morning. Our local news station was broadcasting storm coverage 24/7, and the on-the-street dude was rambling on about anything that came into his head. He said that some guy came up to him bemoaning the fact that he had all of this food ready for a massive super bowl party, but that his power was out. Oh what was he going to do? The food was going to go bad The TV guy said --"you duffus, just put the frozen stuff outside in the snow & put the other stuff in your car to keep it cold." Duh.

                      I like the gas grill idea!

                    2. re: greygarious

                      We've had all-electric houses. You might consider a cheap, little gas grill and a propane tank. You can pick them up for well under $100.

                      1. re: greygarious

                        Here's our electric outtage backup stove: http://shop.sportsmansguide.com/net/c... Definitely worth the investment.

                        1. re: morwen

                          Wow -- that's perfect for our outage-prone area. What do you put it on that won't melt or set on fire-- would a picnic table be OK?

                          1. re: Sarah

                            I use a regular folding table with a piece of foil covered plywood on top so a picnic table should work fine. That's my regular camping set up. The plywood is for more tabletop stability and the foil for easier wiping. Haven't really noticed excessive heat coming from the bottom.

                            I should note that when I use it during an outage at home I fire it up in the garage right off my kitchen. Propane burns clean but I've noticed the same odor that our ventless propane gas logs produce and I don't like that.

                      2. Good topic....When in history, has anyone ever been snowed in so hard, that they couldn't get to a store within 12 hours of the storm's end? I despise how weathermen hype storms to garner ratings, while all they are doing is driving older people in a panic to go out and buy bread and milk. What's with bread and milk anyway?!! I seem to be one of the few people I know who food shop every couple of days....Most every house frau I see food shopping is stocking up for the week. So what makes them think a little snow will strand them for days?

                        18 Replies
                        1. re: BiscuitBoy

                          Blizzard of '78 in MA. The power never failed, but it took 3 days just to shovel the driveway, the governor banned driving except for people in "essential" jobs like medical and utility workers, the side streets weren't passable for days, and the stores had run out of staples anyway, with no new deliveries getting through. I had enough people food but learned the lesson to always have a week's supply of pet food in winter. My 4-footed crew was eating canned soup and popcorn by the time I could get out.

                          1. re: greygarious

                            During the storm of '78, in Boston there were no cars (emergency vechicals only) allowed to drive on any road for 5 days, even when we were shoveled out. I lived in Chelsea at the time, we had one local corner store that we could walk to. His shelves were bare by day 2 and the Stop & Shop in Prattville was empty by day 3. No food deliveries we allowed in to restock the shelves, so we did what we could. Thank goodness we had running water.
                            I remember it well.

                            1. re: mcel215

                              This thread continues to surprise me. With running water, I could go a couple of weeks easily. From your post, I assume you had no electric power. Even without that, I've got a gas grill on the deck and a fireplace. If I have electricity, I'm set for ages. I might get tired of what I'm eating, but I'm certainly not going to run out.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                No, we had electricity. But, I didn't freeze food like I do today. Nor did I have a pantry, so my supplies were gone within a couple of days. We didn't starve of course, but it was pretty bad.
                                Even though I never do 'storm shopping' now, I can understand it.
                                I have two freezers and a very well stocked pantry, so I could live off of everything
                                in my house for weeks.

                                I am not sure if I changed my ways because of the storm, or I just got more sensible with age.... ; )

                          2. re: BiscuitBoy

                            Gosh BiscuitBoy, where do you live? Not all storms are just snow. There was a storm in the winter of 80-81 (I think it may have been January '81) where we had a horrible ice/snow storm and lost power for 8 days. We lived on top of a small mountain and nobody could get up or down the mountain. We spent the majority of that time in front of the fireplace in the great room. Luckily we had plenty of food. Some of the neighbors didn't and we shared with them. All cooking was done in the fireplace and we had to melt snow for water when the pipes froze. Just last month we had snow and ice such that we couldn't get out of our driveway for three days (live on another mountain now). It was iced over and no vehicle was going up or down the drive. We didn't lose power, but there certainly wasn't any way to go to a grocery store, market, etc. without hiking for several miles. And lest you think we are out in the sticks, we actually live in a metro area of approximately 400,000.

                            1. re: BiscuitBoy

                              I always chuckle at the pre-storm "French toast" shoppers -- milk+bread+eggs=French toast!

                              1. re: CindyJ

                                My experience included men's underwear and propane. Not only were the milk,bread and eggs shelves bare, but so were the shelves of underware and propane canisters. My conclusion was all the guys were sitting around in their boxers in front of their camp stoves making french toast! This was outside Charlotte, NC about 10 years ago. Total accumulation: maybe 3".

                              2. re: BiscuitBoy

                                Ice storm in Montreal in the mid 90's - whole neighbourhoods including of course grocery stores were without power for days. Some owners with power price gouged but a lot came together and helped people out.

                                Aside from milk (and in a pinch there's dried) I could probably feed us rather well for 3+ days. I don't understand the stormageddon food buying business... but maybe that's because I live where there's snow 6+mo/year?

                                1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                  did you have to go there with "when in history?" want a list or shall we just say "Donner Party" and leave it at that.

                                  for hurricane/tsunami/dock strikes here in honolulu the stores generally run out of Rice, Toilet Paper, Bottled Water, and Spam... pretty much in that order. If we have a disaster, we always have a power outage. Not much sense in buying milk or eggs.

                                  During the tsunami warning last weekend they ran out of beer about the same time as bottled water. Odd that one.

                                  1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                    I've personally been affected by 3 storms in which I couldn't go to a store for several days. Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina, and Gustav. Ugh, Stupid Gustav. We didn't have fresh food for what felt like a month. Also, there was no gas or electricity in the entire state for a week, so that equals no groceries.
                                    We always buy scotch and batteries, haha.

                                    1. re: jakelegs

                                      "Stupid Gustav." Those category twos have a way of biting you in the ass. We had Ike in Texas with a category 4 surge. The stores were empty for weeks. Even all the pet food was gone.

                                      1. re: James Cristinian

                                        Is that when you reach the point of "pet food" taking on a whole new meaning? ;-D

                                        1. re: bucksguy14

                                          Let's hope not, I've given my cat canned tuna in water when I run out, but I've never gone the other way. Funny thing, he prefers cat food to Starkist. Does he know something we don't? Maybe this says something about my tuna choice.

                                      1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                        Here where we live (Blue Ridge Mts) the plows didn't get to the state maintained road below our lane for three days. We live 2 miles from the center of town, and the main state highway is less than a quarter mile from our house. Last year the state government in their infinite wisdom of cutbacks closed down the shed that services this area leaving the people here to dig themselves out if they could. Neighbors working together on our private dirt lane managed to get it plowed with a modified frame used for pulling trailers, but there was no way we could run it on the state (now un)maintained paved road without doing damage and being liable for it. So yes, we were without access to a store for over 72 hours. We were lucky. Others were snowed in for up to a week and a half or more and many were without electricity for 2 weeks.

                                        1. re: morwen

                                          I heartily concur that people without electricity AND snowed in for 10-14 days is pretty extreme. We used to live on a well without a backup generator so when the power went off the water went away quite quickly. But three days without "access to a store"? I frequenty go that long. And when we lived on our rural property, we generally did grocery shopping and other errands once a week. I think it's mosty a matter of nice to have versus need to have. We've all gotten quite spoiled, haven't we?

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            Maine had a huge ice storm in '98. I had high school students w/out power for 5 (yes five) weeks. They would shower in the locker rooms at school and had a fine eau de wood smoke.
                                            I gotta build a wood fired sauna by our pond this summer (dream on).

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              No one on our road suffered during the 3 days it took to get out. Well, except for DH in workaholic mode. We didn't lose electricity luckily because we're all on wells ( we all filled bathtubs, buckets and jugs prior to the storms) and most people have only heat pumps. I think we actually all got to know each other better because we had soup parties, sledding parties on our hill (on anything that would slide since no one had a real sled!), and lots of hot chocolate, coffee and cookie moments while waiting for the state plow. Unfortunately there were many people in the county in very remote, inaccessible areas, many elderly, that suffered some serious hardships until people were able to get to them. Not many snowmobiles in this area as our winters are usually a few ice storms. Folks with deep roots here said they hadn't seen this much snow since 1960. While we're not in the middle of nowhere, you can see it from here. There's one traffic light in the entire county and the nearest Walmart is nearly an hour away. We like it that way!

                                        2. Love this thread! When my sis moved to MN from PA a number of years ago, all of her MN neighbors were ROTF laughing at her description of the PA knee-jerk pre-storm panic of "gotta fill up the gas tank in the car, then go buy eggs, milk, bread and toilet paper". Watching the news last night about the run on supermarkets and Home Depot-type stores, I kept thinking that one way out the recession would be to have the news agencies predict snow storms every weekend.

                                          If I know a storm is coming, I just try to make sure I have enough stuff on hand to make a big ol' pot of something that fills the house with a good smell and is good comfort food. Chili, meatballs and gravy, crock pot pulled pork. Something I can start in the morning then pretty much ignore for the rest of the day while I curl up in front of the fire in my jammies or lock myself in my sewing room. This weekend it's a mess o' chicken corn soup. Triple recipe: one to eat, one to give to daughter's family & one to freeze.

                                          Oh, and a box of wine doesn't hurt.

                                          7 Replies
                                            1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                              I was waiting to see how long it would take for someone to say booze! 30 pack of crappy bear and a bottle of whiskey and we are good for the weekend (plenty of grub in the freezer and it will only be a couple of days).

                                              1. re: corneygirl

                                                Don't need to shop for booze before a storm...we're always well stocked.

                                                1. re: corneygirl

                                                  Included on my shopping list yesterday was a case of beer (Victory lager) and a bottle of tequila for margaritas -- both to accompany the turkey chili I'll be making tomorrow.

                                                  1. re: corneygirl

                                                    I was reading the Washington Post's article about people prepping for the upcoming storm, which contained this line:

                                                    "Hardware and liquor stores were mobbed".

                                                    Glad to see people have their priorities straight - screwdrivers, and, uh, screwdrivers.

                                                    1. re: corneygirl

                                                      I see posts saying people buy bread, milk and eggs, but around here we always joke that it's bread, milk, and beer. LOL. We don't have to stock up on alcohol before a storm as we have a wine fridge that we keep pretty much full with whites and bubbly and a rack with a couple of dozen reds.

                                                2. Philly here, I went to the store last night because I hate the panic crowds. ;)
                                                  Our store was pretty much out of produce - I guess between the storm, the superbowl and the shortages caused by the freezing in Florida.. I wanted to make meatballs t his weekend, but they were also out of the ground meat I wanted. Sooo... we're "making do"

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: jujuthomas

                                                    Ha ha. I went last night too and they were out of boneless/skinless chicken breasts. Actually, all they had were wings and boneless thighs. Craziness!

                                                    1. re: PattiCakes

                                                      It's a miracle they had wings considering the Super Bowl.

                                                      1. re: PattiCakes

                                                        My shopping trip this morning went well. I wanted chicken thighs for the gumbo. Half the case where the chicken is was filled with wings, but I did find the thighs. Not many boneless breasts left. There was a lot of produce. It looked like a truck had just been unloaded, cause all the bins and cases were full. The store was a LOT more crowded than it normally is mid-day on Friday.

                                                    2. Yesterday I went to my favorite brewery and got a 68oz growler and a 6 pack.

                                                      1. I think I have an unusual prospective on this. In December 2007 my husband and I were trapped in our house for 5 days because our house was smashed by 26 trees during a giant coastal gale. The forest around us was 95% down, it was nearly a total blowdown. 600 trees had to be cleared between the road and our home before we could be dug out.

                                                        So our home was declared a total loss by the insurance company, but there was still half of the living room left and part of the kitchen. Through that part of the kitchen we could get to the basement, where, just by chance, my husband had a 50 gallon container of water that he was going to use to clean something. We also could get some propane in the shop that was attached to the house, and we found a camping stove. We had a decent variety of food, but we pretty much just ate ramen, because you had to boil water anyway to drink it.

                                                        I think there are 2 different kinds of storm preparednesses---the inconvenience storm and the disaster storm. Forget the inconvenience storm, it's nothing. Do yourself a favor and set some things in your house to prepare for the worst. Put cases of water in different parts of your house. Put matches, candles, flashlights and batteries in different places. Get 2 first aid kits. We had a case of those squeeze handwarmers that you put in your gloves, those were the best. I could go on and on, and I won't, but I'd never thought about it before it happened. Channel your inner boyscout.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: runwestierun

                                                          run: you put a whole different perspective on this. wow.

                                                          1. re: runwestierun

                                                            Here in Oklahoma, the "disaster storm" is the tornado, where houses can be leveled by the magnitude of square miles. There's no "food shopping" for that, other than well prepared emergency supplies that can be swiftly transferred to the vehicle as you watch the precise radar tv coverage, and decide that it's headed straight for you. TV weather is a highly refined spring sport here, coupled with a Russian Roulette mentality that it will swipe its path elsewhere than your property. That path is surgical, having a width of 100 feet to a quarter mile, depending upon the intensity of the funnel. Only twice in my many years here have I loaded up the prepared supplies and driven away to escape it.

                                                            Winter storms here mean a high potential for ice, with the clash of Gulf moisture against descending cold fronts. Ice is our nemesis, sometimes coating tree limbs with up to an inch, which means popping trees taking out power lines. So, shopping is for gas for the backup generator, kerosene for the backup heaters, white gas for the Coleman lanterns and camping stoves, candles, melting salt for the ice, batteries for radios and flashlight. Maintenance is making sure that all of these backup devices are in working order. Over the years I've had 7 power outages, and when well prepared, they are grotesquely "fun". And if the storm doesn't take out the power, all the mechanical preps can be used during regular season.

                                                            Then, of course, food. There is simply no "mob panic", or at least in my eyes but that may be because I got there early. The stores stay crowded, though.

                                                            My own food stockup is just produce, and milk and eggs. These are times to eat down the meats in the freezer: "use it or lose it". Home baked bread has become a power outage tradition, with campstove pan grilled flatbreads/tortillas during the days that the lines are actually down.

                                                            And also a few quarts of ice cream. I have for many years maintained a tradition of buying pre-storm ice cream while wearing summer sandals. Sort of a contrarian bird-flip to the cosmic comedy of the situation.

                                                            1. re: runwestierun

                                                              Excellent point. About ten years ago we had a severe flood that wiped our the bridge onto our property. The good news was that we had one of the cars in the shop waiting for a non-essential part. So we could hike down river, cross on a footbridge and get the car. Bought small backpacks for bringing in wine and dogfood (two of the essentials). It was a month before we could drive in (and our drive was over a half mile long). Gratefully we'd just had hay delivered a few days before so the horses had food. So, yes, keep essentials around ALL the time.

                                                              1. re: runwestierun

                                                                We've been through the disaster storm a couple times now with Hurricane Ivan in '04 as the worst of them. The common hurricane food plan here seems to be Pop Tarts (reportedly a huge increase in sales once the National Hurricane Center starts putting out storm warnings) peanut butter sandwiches, beer, and sports drink. We've been lucky in that we've never had a long power outage event, but know people who have come up with all kinds of things to cook on the grill.

                                                                And if it's really bad, there's always the curiousity of seeing what's really in the MREs that the National Guard passes out.

                                                              2. What happens if you lose electricity?

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                                  Having been without power due to an ice storm in '05, I subsisted on lots of peanut butter, Nutella, chocolate, crackers, and the like, but certainly not Chowish fare. I survived on that and a lot of cursing b/c I was cold and had no hot water (especially on days 4, 5, and 6). Oddly, the roads were fine, so I drove around a lot, handy when one needs to charge a cell phone and wants a little heat.

                                                                  On day 1 of the ice storm, the local IHOP was about the only restaurant open--lines were incredible. However, the county was losing power piecemeal, so I think they were out of power shortly thereafter.

                                                                  1. re: nofunlatte

                                                                    Use your gas stove? ;-) (very happy to have one, and a fireplace, am I... )

                                                                2. I bought chicken for either Chicken Paprikas (a Magyar recipe not the wierd one on this website) or an Armenian braised chicken dish with prunes and apricots - haven't decided which yet. A nice chuck roast for beef stroganoff in all likelihood, although boef bourginon is a possibility. Cous cous or egg noodles depending. Cream of roasted mushroom soup is on my list too. Already made a big tray of mac and cheese with a side of swiss chard for dinner tonight. For some reaon that's the first thing I have to make when faced with inclement weather. Leftovers and hot chocolate will fuel the snow shoveling teenagers tomorrow, along with chocolate chip cookies since I have all the ingredients anyway. Bought sufficient potatoes for latkes if I'm really ambitious and/or bored. Wine cellar is well stocked. Nothing like a big snowstorm on Superbowl weekend to get me into high comfort cooking mode. Of course this means I'll have leftovers next week, but that's just fine since I have no time to cook during the week.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Ellen

                                                                    If you're cooking that well during a snowstorm, can I have your address? I'll stay with you during the next storm.

                                                                    1. re: Scoffer

                                                                      Hey Scoffer, it IS the next storm in DC, and hopefully the last. Next on the menu is spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, the mushroom soup I didn't get to over the weekend, quiche, quesadillas, blueberry muffins, and Chinese barbequed pork and greens. That should get us through to next weekend. Maybe next time..... And at least if I lose power I can stick everything in the snow or garage and reheat on the grill.

                                                                      1. re: Ellen

                                                                        Damn. I won't be able to drive three thousand miles and get there in time, though I'm sure I'll regret not trying.

                                                                  2. Here in the Great White North, we're pretty much used to winter storms, and have the infrastructure to dig out in a day or two, but..

                                                                    Even now (and I live alone in a small apartment), I have about 20 tins of different beans (mixed, black, kidney, romano, etc.), canned tuna and corned beef, canned soup, some canned veggies, lots of frozen veggies (if the power goes out, I can just put them outside!), and at least 4 packs of cyrovac meat. With the exception of milk and bread, I could live for a week without going outdoors (and with flour and butter, I could make biscuits as a bread substitute). Lots of pasta and tinned tomatoes and pasta sauce, and a couple of cases of ramen. And this is not to be stocked up for a storm; this is just what I always have on hand.

                                                                    Outside of milk and fresh vegetables, I just don't see how difficult it is to be prepared for three to four days of physical isolation at all. Being without power is by far a bigger problem, and not because I couldn't stand eating cold food, but from the freakin' boredom.

                                                                    1. There was a huge run on onions at the stores I visited on Friday. Magruders and Whole Foods were totally sold out. For me, wine, lettuce, eggs, and dogfood were key purchases. Had to walk over to WF yesterday for flour after a baking spree on Saturday.

                                                                      1. This was the scene on Saturday here, just outside Philly.

                                                                        By Sunday the roads were clear but traffic was light. Stores were busy, probably because of the Superbowl, and were restocking shelves. Still, produce was low. I'm laughing at tcamp's comment about the onions. Our store had onions, but peppers were in short supply. Kinda makes you wonder just what the heck people are planning on cooking during that storm. Another big 'un headed out way Tuesday/Wednesday. This time I'll add filling up the gas grill's propane tank to my prep list.

                                                                        1. I was kind of surprised this past Friday--usually in Richmond people make the french toast run, but in my local market everyone was stocking up on pizza and beer! Seriously, I snagged the last six-pack of Harp and some guy glared at me because I did.

                                                                          I have an all-electric house too but it has a wood burning fireplace. In the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel back in '03 we were out of power for eight days. I had bought a crane and some cooking implements, and with a little juggling we had at least one hot meal daily and were able to get through a lot of stuff in the freezer. It was funny--we bought the house new and the power used to go out almost literally every time the wind blew. After Isabel? I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times we even briefly lost power.

                                                                          1. I purchase gallon jugs of water. Canned soup, ravioli, stuff that can be eaten cold and opened with a manual can opener. Bread, snacks, nuts, anything that can be stored without refridgeration. When a big storm blows it isn't a guarantee that a person will have electricity so we stock up on candles too. Matches and/or lighters to light said candles and our gas range. It has an electric start so I don't know how we would light the oven but the burners we can light to at least cook. Powdered milk or canned milk can get us by in a pinch.

                                                                            1. I don't get to participate in the Storm Shopping fun (even though I currently live in the Land of The White Witch, in the corner of South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa, where we're on snow storm number 8...9? Who the hell can keep count? ) because I buy so much in bulk from my co-op, and buy natural and organic beef by the side and pork by the whole pig, and free range chickens by the dozen. (if my power went out, I might be in trouble in the summer with all this food stored in freezers. In the winter, I suppose I just could set it outside).

                                                                              At any given time, then, I have two big freezers chock full of roasts, roasting chickens, pork chops, bacon, nuts of many kinds, frozen vegetables and fruits--store bought and also put up from my garden and from my fruit trees, berry bushes, grape vines and strawberry and rhubarb patches--and left-over soups and stews. In the "spare" fridge I also stockpile bulk cheeses and multiple cartons of yogurt, maple syrup, farm fresh free range eggs (really fresh eggs last for a couple of weeks before they're even beginning to seem slightly aged...) and, currently, citrus fruits by the half bushel.

                                                                              Also, downstairs, I have a small (about five dozen bottles) wine collection, 25# bags of various rices and flours, case lots of muesli, about 20 pounds of lentils and various heirloom beans, dozens of jars of jam, jellies, relishes, pickles, etc. etc. Honey by the gallon....about 10 pounds of pasta...various other grains...cases of crackers...5# tubs of natural peanut butter...cans and cans of tuna and sardines....tins of olive oil, and so forth.

                                                                              When a storm approaches, about the ONLY thing I need buy, in fact, is milk and--if I'm lazy and don't want to bake--some bread. Oh, and FRESH vegetables like greens or sweet peppers, garlic, or onions. I don't stockpile sweets, so if we're really desperate I might regret not laying in a supply of baking chocolate or brown sugar, or butter, for cookies.

                                                                              1. and here we go again! I am out of veggies and a couple breakfast staples so I must brave the grocery store again this evening. They keep changing the forecast, at the moment I've heard 18-20 inches and DH heard 12-18. whatever.
                                                                                :) stay warm friends!

                                                                                1. Only if they are snow tires.

                                                                                  1. I'm rarely out of the necessities when a storm is coming to the Bucks-Mont area of PA. There's, always, enough wine on hand. The freezer usually has some lamb and seafood stored for use, as well as ice cream. The crisper has greens waiting to be sauteed, carrots, celery, etc. . Also, in the 'frig, is cheese, bread, eggs, olives, milk, San Pellegrino and an assortment of ales. The cupboard has beans, rice, pasta, tomatoes, artichokes, tea, coffee and chocolate. Also on hand are potatoes, onions and fruit. If I had to run out to the store for anything, it would probably be champagne to celebrate being snowed in!

                                                                                    1. Your question is a really good one.
                                                                                      I've gotten a lot of good ideas.
                                                                                      This year, unlike last, has been really mild. Last year I was snowed in for a few days on at least four occasions. When a storm threatens I always buy gallon jugs of water, plain distilled water (not the name-brand stuff), because, if my electricity goes out, I lose the pump on my well. I don't tend to keep my freezer stocked with much substantative food, like beef or chicken. So I buy a roteserrie chicken and a chuck roast to make my grandmother's spaghetti with meat sauce (provided we've had enough notice of the storm-the recipe requires 6 hours cooking time.) I ration the chicken and spaghetti sauce by combining it with recipes made mainly from canned goods. A big hit is a recipe that combines onions, garlic, spinach and rosemary or sage with canned white beans and diced tomatoes. Usually, in a fit of worry, I wind up buying a couple boxes of macaroni & cheese just in case the power outage lasts longer than expected. When I lose power, the only way to cook is on the woodstove in the family room which is really only good for heating food or barely boiling water for spaghetti, though its very good for roasting potatoes in foil.

                                                                                      I also stock up some firewood inside the house to make sure I never again have to make my way through the snow to get to the woodshed in the middle of a very snowy night.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Scoffer

                                                                                        Save your juice, milk and water containers that you already have and right before the next big threat to the electricity, fill them up with water from your well. Save some money!. We're on a well too so the jugs I keep clean for beverages and cider we fill and the jugs we save for garden use get filled for flushing the toilet. Then there's the big ceramic reservoir in the guest bathroom that gets filled for back up! After the threat passes (the bathroom jugs have been filled since before Christmas) the stored water gets used to water the indoor winter garden.

                                                                                        1. re: morwen

                                                                                          Thanks for the tip but, usually, if I want juice, I buy oranges to make it. It's laborious so I tend not to want it very much. My milk containers are the waxed kind, they're good for starting fires when I'm finished (I mean in my fireplace, I'm not a firebug.) I like your resourcefulness.

                                                                                          Don't all these postings make you marvel at how much more resourceful the pioneers and native Americans must have been?

                                                                                      2. All set. My deceased MIL was a survivalist and we live in her house. Generator and 2 1 k gal propane tanks. Enough cases of #10 cans of dehydrated survival foods to outlast the Mormons. Freezer full of meat. Six cords of cut firewood and 2 wood stoves (We heat w/ wood.) A cache of gasoline & kerosene, Dug well behind house. Root cellar. Wine & beer making equipment for the long haul. Two snow blowers and a roof rake, 4 chain saws, shot gun & 2 rifles.
                                                                                        Irony: We live in Northern Maine. Our son moved to Washington DC to escape the harsh winters.
                                                                                        Oh yes, lots of of skis and snowshoes in the garage. I snow shoe in the forest behind the house twice a day to walk the dog.
                                                                                        We can get a foot of snow and not have school canceled. All our cars have 4 studded snow tires. And ice fishing is a way of life here.
                                                                                        Screw, fancy electric stoves, our propane gas one will always work.
                                                                                        I hunt & fish.
                                                                                        The nearest decent shopping mall is a 3 hour drive away, Keep it that way.

                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                              I have the same attitude about your life style as I have about being a member of the military (I served 4 years in the USAF) - it's a great life - if you like it! You be happy in the wilderness Passadumkeg, I'll be happy living near in a major metropolitan area with all that has to offer.

                                                                                              1. re: bucksguy14

                                                                                                Oddly enough, because of the large amount of wealthy summer residents and our proximity to Acadia Nat'l Park and the tourism it draws, we have a surprising amount of fine dining and music and art offerings for such a rural area. Was in the military, no thanks. I grew up in a New Jersey suburb of NYC and when people ask me why I moved to Maine, I reply, "it's as close to NJ as I want to live." We'll hit The Big Apple for a week of cultcha in April.
                                                                                                Look out for traffic jams in New Hope, they're not healthy.

                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                  ps Bucks dude, M-berg alum, know Bucks well, take Maine.

                                                                                              2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                Your picture looks distressing like DC this week. Schools are closed, however, and my dogs are staging a sit down strike on the couch today.

                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                  Caught the irony of your son's moving to DC to escape the weather . . .Ha! I'll be he wished he'd taken the snow shoes this week!

                                                                                                  1. re: JerryMe

                                                                                                    Jerry, he did take his snow shoes!