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preparing for SNOW!?! [moved from Home Cooking board]

We RARELY get more than PITA amounts of snow here in NJ... tho have had a few that proved inconvenient... semi- stranded in cul de sac for... maybe 24 hours?!?

Snow in forecast for late tomorrow afternoon into tomorrow night. I DID get gas tank filled... but warning light came on... DUH!?!

My prepartions include a mental check list... toilet paper, cat food/litter, coffee (though wouldn't DIE without it) and some GOOD stuff to cook/eat. Have a rack of baby back ribs, rubbed down and will be ready for a low/slow time in over in a few hours. Bought some nice shrimp to snack on. DID see people in normal "panic mode"... LOTS of bread, milk, eggs in carts.

OH... accumulation? Saying MAYBE 1-3"!?!

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  1. When we're preparing for snow in Connecticut and it looks like we'll not be leaving the house for a day or so, the first thing we make sure to have plenty of is liquor... but that's beside the point.

    We've actually exposed ourselves, several times over the years, to the hysterical shop-o-mania that occurs before a New England snowstorm. Yes, the bread/eggs/milk/water/batteries are decimated. (A comic once said, 'what is it about a snowstorm that makes people want to cook breakfast all day long? [egg, milk, bread])

    More to the point, we buy a pork shoulder (which they give away unless people in the neighborhood are gas grill barbecue savvy) -- or actually whatever larger cut of meat happens to be there. We cook said roast very slowly in the gas oven and it imparts a lovely aroma to the kitchen and, when done, gives us something to pick at for dinner. That's what I love about OP's post.

    If there's "hunkering-down" to be done, I buy apple cider by 2-3 gallons and we mull it with spices and brown sugar. During the day it warms up snow-plowers, and at night, spiked with our favorite booze, it warms us up all over and cures cabin fever...

    2 Replies
    1. re: shaogo

      Ha ha ha! Liquor is always my most concern. Then TP. . .

      We've been snowed in when I lived in WY and rarely had to worry about what to eat. However, it's nice to know when you've got the protein, veggie and carb covered. Soups were always my go to.

      1. re: JerryMe

        WY? Yes, we've had days where we just don't want to be out in the stuff, I make sure we have a full pantry, also nice to have non-cooked typed stuff on hand for when/if the power goes out.
        But, sadly, this year we have very little snow. I fear that the whole state will be on fire this summer.

    2. Are you forecast high winds and/or ice rain too? If so, I'd have some non-cooking nibbles on stand-by in case you lose power.

      We had nearly 3 feet of snow back near the new year, was a good blizzard from morning to evening. Spent the day baking. I do believe I made a snickerdoodle inspired traybake from my Smitten Kitchen cookbook.

      1. I'll never understand the snow panic - "toilet paper, peanut butter, milk, eggs, bread" - that everyone goes into.

        Honestly guys - think about it. Unless a blizzard is predicted, how long does "1-3"!?!" of snow last on the ground?? To the point where you can't get provisions after what? One day?

        Sorry "ksiverd", but you sound like you're a member of the very "panic mode" you mention. One to three inches!?! Oh the humanity!!

        When an actual BLIZZARD is predicted (& this doesn't mean just a couple of inches), we just make sure to have a few gallon jugs of water, propane cans for our camp stove, eggs, canned soup & chili, & lots of goodies. And when I say goodies, I don't mean peanut butter, milk, toilet paper, etc., etc. We have that stuff on hand all the time. For goodies, I mean a few nice bottles of wine, good crackers, cheese, rum for hot toddies, yadayadayada.

        But again - this is blizzard stuff, not a paltry "MAYBE 1-3"". LOL!! What the heck will you do "ksiverd" if you ever have to experience a REAL blizzard? I shudder to think.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Bacardi1

          I didn't even grow up in a snowy area (Central CA, snowed once when I was 15), and I don't understand the panic either...1-3" is nothing and I could drive through that even in my 2 door Honda (which is NOT AWD). I lived in Chicago for 7 years, and now live in CO. I figure, if it's THAT bad, we could live off the food in our pantry for quite some time. The only thing I'd hate to run out of is Diet Coke (hello caffeine withdrawals) and toilet paper, but we're usually pretty well stocked on those items. But if I had to go to the store to pick up one of those two essential items, I would probably also pick up some fixings for a nice breakfast as well, since that's something we don't do very often and a hot breakfast is great when it's cold and snowy out.

          1. re: Bacardi1

            I'm with you barcardi! These threads do amuse me. We ONCE had a power failure that lasted slightly more than 24 hours...and we live in snow country. We're happy that we have a natural gas line to our grill so we always have a cooking/boiling water source. Other than that, it's business as usual.

            1. re: c oliver

              We have a tank and 2 spares because our grill has 8 burners; but c oliver I'm jealous 'cause the plumber quoted $2100 to run a line out back to my grill (meter's in the front of the house) and it has to be "code approved" hose which, of course, is more expensive (wtf?). $2100 is a bit less than half what the grill cost me.

              But in a snowstorm it's never "business as usual." We celebrate and when the shoveling (and requisite snow sculptures and horseplay) is over we usually get a little creative with the cooking.

              Soup/stew is usually on the stove by then, in 2 or more forms, as well as a roast in the oven.

              And lots and lots of booze. Lots.

              1. re: shaogo

                About seven years ago we were doing a whole remodel and addition so ran the line out to the deck then. I'm sure it wasn't cheap but the project cost so dang much I didn't break it out!

                And, yes, lots of booze.

                1. re: c oliver

                  Snow's forecast for today in our neck of the woods. So here I am at 11:00 a.m. with the booze poised for the first flake...

                  1. re: shaogo

                    The perfect excuse. Too bad you don't have a St. Bernard to bring it to you :)

                    1. re: c oliver

                      When I posted that, I was thinking about "great danes" but *knew* it was the wrong breed. Else I'd have mentioned the St. Bernard/Cognac thing.

                      Nonetheless, there was no snow, but at about 2 this afternoon I broke down and made a cocktail.

                      The bad news is that our business was very, very slow today (restaurant).

                      The good news is that right now we're all over-served and I'm making more greasy hangover-prevention food...

              2. re: c oliver

                It's the people who don't live in snow country that have more to worry about. It doesn't snow very frequently where I live, but I've been housebound in the past due to two feet of snow, no snowplowing, and no bus service. Plus, no electricity or gas heat for a week, with temperatures in the 20s. I was lucky to have a pantry that at least made do.

                1. re: L.Nightshade

                  Agreed. But OP is talking 1-3" and one day :)

                2. re: c oliver

                  I get what you're saying, but I've also been through a few storms that turned out to be far worse than predicted. The worst was 2 feet of snow when the original forecast was 1-2 inches. There was also catastrophic ice storm that caught us all off guard and left many people without power for more than a week - the original forecast was for just a dusting of snow.

              3. Lard! Flour! Salt! A hatchet for chopping the furniture into firewood!

                1 Reply
                1. Sounds like you have everything covered, especially since you'll be able to shop the next day without any problem. I live in the DC suburbs, so I know the panic that the media causes for every snow event, but, 1-3" causing panic makes me nuts.

                  Enjoy your shrimp!

                  1. I love cooking something fun on snowy days (yes, even a few inches!).

                    Tomorrow I'm baking some pork ribs with a teriyaki bbq sauce and just having rice pilaf and salad for sides.

                    Something so cozy about a nice warm kitchen with a storm brewing outside!

                    1. We're in Philly area, and I've lived here for 20 years now and still can't get over the absolute hype and panic -- I grew up outside Buffalo and husband in Erie. All that being said, we are in a fairly rural area and our worry with any storm is being without heat and power, which with well water, means water, too. We were powerless for a week after Sandy, so I now have water for drinking and cooking and tubs in the tub (cuz it leaks) for everything else. At least right now I can use the porch for refrigerating and freezing if the power goes.

                      So I might head out in a while and get some more water, canned soup (in case of power loss) and something to stew. That can cook on the gas stove. All it takes here is for one car to skid into a pole and we're w/o electricity for a day. One of the trees that's leaning horribly still after the hurricane takes down some lines? Could be a couple days.

                      1. I just remembered. Decades ago in Atlanta, which is still probably ill-prepared for ice storms cause there's really no prep FOR that, my cousin and I stopped in a convenience store and saw the mobs buying the ubiquitous milk, eggs, bread. Whereas we were buying the REAL necessities - M&Ms, popcorn and wine!

                        1. I live in a land where we do not have enough plows to clear secondary roads, but it doesn't really matter because everything usually melts within a day or two at the most. It's snow/sleet/icing right now, but will be in the 60's by mid-week.

                          We did have a 20 inch snow fall more than a decade ago, and were stuck at home for a week. That storm caught everyone by surprise, and we managed to survive on the food that was already in the house without any problems. I could easily live for a month on my pantry and freezer, though it would get odd/boring towards the end. I'm usually more worried about ice and power outages than getting snowed in for a few days, so I make sure I have food to eat either at room temp or heated over the fire (or sterno can).

                          I do my weekly grocery run on Fridays, with a mid-week trip for bananas and anything else I run out of. In anticipation of the snow/ice today, I went ahead and did a full grocery shop on Wednesday when I was already out running other errands. I have enough fruit, bread, cheese, PB, and canned soup to survive for a week if the power should go out (not likely with less than 1/4 inch of ice).

                          1. sidestepping the debate over whether the OP's is in "panic mode," the things i would think about...
                            --boxes of almond milk
                            --fruit, veggies,
                            --whole chicken -- the fun of using up the leftovers
                            --random fun ingredients to try to incorporate into cohesive meals
                            --drinks -- sparkling water, juice for the boy
                            --werther's caramels for the boy ;)

                            i'm sure for us, it would involve a lot of baking and playing and experimentation in the kitchen. and movies.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Emme

                              Almond milk? What's the rationale for that? Or is it a personal preference?

                              1. re: c oliver

                                I love almond milk. It comes in boxes, no need to refrigerate. Very few calories, and a very slight nutty flavor. I can see how it would be a good thing to have on hand.

                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                  Actually cow's milk also comes in tetrapaks which don't need refrigeration. I like to keep it on hand for when we return from a trip and don't want to stop at the store. Which reminds me that I'm out.

                                2. re: c oliver

                                  ha... i can't have real milk anyways, but if i was afraid of having electricity go out or something (i'm from the west; i may be barking up the wrong tree here), at least almond milk is shelf-stable :)

                                3. re: Emme

                                  That's the kind of "devil-may-care" attitude I like when preparing for a storm.

                                  "random fun ingredients" piqued my attention -- 'cause what else is there to do during a storm besides cook and drink?

                                  -- er, okay... let's not go there...

                                  1. re: shaogo

                                    ...um baking, playing and experimentation... in the kitchen. ;)

                                4. I grew up in Baltimore but have lived in Chicago for decades. I find it hilarious that natives of my hometown rush to the grocery stores to stock up on basics when a few inches of snow is predicted. Here, even when a foot is forecast about the only stores that experience runs are hardware stores for snow shovels and blowers.

                                  That said, there are a few important differences between storms in the mid-Atlantic states and in the upper Midwest:
                                  1. When it snows in the former, the temps are typically hovering just below freezing, whereas ours are often in the low 20s or below. This means a wetter snow in places like Balto., which is more prone to cling to power lines than the dry powder that tends to fall here.. So more power outages in the former.
                                  2. As others have noted, there may be less of an investment in snow clearing equipment in locales where the amount of snow is low and likely to melt within a few days. Especially since the blizzards of '79 contributed to the reelection defeat of Mayor Bilandic, Chicago has a huge infrastructure devoted to snow clearance of primary streets.
                                  3. And, since we live in a pancake flat terrain, it's a lot easier to drive here on snow or ice than in the hillier terrain of most of the mid-Atlantic.

                                  I also am constantly amazed at how little snow it takes to close schools in the Mid-Atlantic. My son's former high school called a snow day for the 1st time in about 40 years when we had a blizzard of over 20 inches about 2 years ago. (The elementary schools call them more frequently. And there have been elementary school closures when we've had a spate of temps hovering around 0, mainly for the sake of crossing guards.)

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: masha

                                    It has been suggested that the overreaction to the minor snow events that drive school closings are in reaction to our litigious society.

                                    There are some places that are equipped to deal with a big snow, and the DC/Balto. region isn't good at it because they rarely happen. When it comes to a big storm, they don't have enough equipment to get the city and suburbs cleared by the next morning, and even a day or two later. The fact that they close schools 2 hours early even though no flake has fallen and only 1" of snow is forecasted after 5 p.m. is what they apparently have to do so no one sues them.

                                    1. re: Terrie H.

                                      Sues them for what?
                                      We have indoor recess when it gets to a certain temp, (0, I think). or if it is too windy (which has been more often the case this fall and winter).
                                      We have school for a certain # of days, and the schedules are fixed in advance, if schools close, there may be one day built in, but usually, it is made up in the spring. No one wants to do that. We have very few school closings here. Not sure why a school could be sued because their kids were inside all day, warm. dry. learning.
                                      I think the reason is it is more difficult for people who never really drive in snow or freezing weather, with possible power outages caused by ice on the lines that someone mentioned elsewhere on this thread.

                                      1. re: Terrie H.

                                        We had a very small (1/2 inch) snow event a few years ago that fell at just the right/wrong time to really mess up traffic. The roads were so cold, everything froze on contact. There wasn't time to treat roads before the snowfall, and then the roads were clogged with cars before plows could be of any help. My mother ended up abandoning her car and walking 2 miles home after watching car and car get stuck at the bottom of a hill at the neighborhood entrance. Many kids spent hours sitting on buses stuck in traffic, and many more spent the night at school. After seeing that chaos unfold, I completely understand why the schools err on the side of caution.

                                    2. I keep living in states that laugh at the snow and ice. OH, MI, and ND. No kidding the day we moved from North Dakota there were snow drifts 5 ft deep. Plane still took off.

                                      Last year I had business in Dallas late Jan. There was a little snow and ice, but the runway was clear. They deice the plane and we take off. Landed in DFW with ice all pocky on the runway. Why did they let us land?!?! Send me back to OH where they can deal with this! Was there 3-4 days and there was 1-2" ice on the road the whole time I was there.

                                      While I can drive on icy roads, I was terrified because the other drivers didn't! I have never seen so many F-10 pick-ups just causally drive over the median through the snow just to get to the slip roads and avoid the traffic.

                                      Was not fun...

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: Crockett67

                                        I'm from ND... yes, legendary snow! And I have known people that keep their cars/trucks running all the time during really cold weather.

                                        1. re: wyogal

                                          My dad would just plug the car in at night, why keep it running?

                                          1. re: Crockett67

                                            It was diesel pickups (the diesel would gel at such low temps), when the temps with windchill were -85F, yes, minus 85 degrees. My sister's car was frozen at the mall for two weeks, wouldn't take a jump, had to wait for temps to warm up a bit.

                                            1. re: wyogal

                                              Do not miss those good times...

                                              Are you still there?

                                              1. re: Crockett67

                                                No, I left in '79 to finish college out of state, have been in Wyo ever since.
                                                I used to argue with my late father-in-law, bless his soul, about plugging in cars overnight. He argued that one only needs to plug in the car for an hour or so in the morning....
                                                He never lived in ND.

                                      2. I'm in San Diego county and brrrrr, we've dropped down to 60 degrees and this strange wet stuff is falling from the sky. Moved here from the South, and we still chortle every time the local weatherpeople warn of "STORMS!!!" coming--and yes, you can hear the exclamation points in their voices. Like living in weather Disneyland.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: pine time

                                          Heh my grandparents live in San Diego and whenever it drops below 70 my grandma says "I'm freezing!" :)

                                        2. For us, if we are old enough, the blizzard of 78 in MA is still part of our history. The storm was huge and there was no food in stores, no deliveries for almost 10 days. I had a collge final and went into Boston, but as I went home on the toll road, I was worried how I would get home. At the time, I was working as a grocery store cashier and I was close enough that I could work after 4 days. Our only customer were the National Guard who were taking essential folks to keep them alive, and there was no food on shelfs like bread, milk, meat or produce. Now here in the northeast, any hint of snow has everyone scrambling for food. I hope the next generation has less worries about getting the basics.

                                          1. ugh - I seem to always end up needing groceries the day before a storm. Yesterday was no exception - it was a madhouse!