I’m a planner by nature (not a prepper; I don’t have a bunker full of Spam and bottled water or anything like that). Whether that stems from my anxiety or just my general nature (or hey, why not both?), I like to have a plan for what I’m going to do in any random scenario. If this happens, we’ll do this, but if that happens, then we’ll follow this plan. It’s because of those reasons that Apocalypse Chow: How to Eat Well When the Power Goes Out by Jon Robertson with Robin G. Robertson ended up on my TBR list (and then sat there for…um…a while).
We’ve all been inconvenienced by a power outage that happens at mealtime, but what do you do when the power goes out…and stays out? When a hurricane or a tornado strikes and you’re left in the dark for days or weeks? The Robertsons know firsthand what this experience is like, having lived through several devastating hurricane seasons, and this prompted them to write Apocalypse Chow, part cookbook and part disaster preparedness manual.
The first hundred pages are dedicated to a combination of the Robertsons’ experiences, lists of potential food to stock for those unexpected times, and items you may need to stock in order to be prepared (they seem to assume that tons of people have electric can openers. I can’t think of anyone I know who owns one; do you have one?). The second half of the book is full of recipes that can be made using the shelf-stable ingredients they discussed earlier. It’s a vegetarian and often vegan cookbook (while the authors are vegan, they do point out that you have the option to add canned meat and/or fish if you can stomach those things. That’s not a judgment on anyone’s choice to eat meat, it’s merely a commentary on the quality of most canned meats. Even in my meat-eating days, I was never a fan. Canned chicken tastes straight-up like the can it was packed in to me), simply because that’s the safer food choice when there’s no refrigeration. There are lots of tasty-sounding recipes here, pasta and grain-based salads, soup, even desserts, all cooked over a butane stove, which I thought was neat. Like I said, I’m not a prepper, but having a butane-powered stove wouldn’t be a bad thing to keep around, and if I ever see a decently priced one, I may pick it up, thanks to this book.
It’s probably not the way you’d want to eat in happier, more electrified times (canned goods are higher in sodium than their fresher counterparts), but if you live in an area where you have the potential to lose power for long periods of time, this wouldn’t be a bad little book to have on hand.
How do you prepare for power outage scenarios? Do you keep a stash of ready-to-eat stuff on hand? Do you just go out for dinner if the power fails? Do you even spend any time thinking about this, or is this another one of my weirdnesses? 😀
You can visit Robin Robertson’s website here. (I’m not seeing a website for Jon, but if I’m wrong, please let me know and I’ll happily update the post!)
5 thoughts on “Apocalypse Chow: How to Eat Well When the Power Goes Out- Jon Robertson with Robin G. Robertson”
I lost power for a week over Christmas once because of an ice storm. The worst part was trying to get water to my horses but trying to eat on Christmas was a close second. Other days we could go out of the affected area for food but nothing but a few gas stations and the movie theater was open on Christmas. We saw movies to stay warm and eat popcorn. I need to read this one.
One of my dearest wishes is to have a backup generator. I live in a city now so we don’t get as many outages but being warm and fed is nice.
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ACK! That Christmas storm sounds terrible! What a way to spend a holiday, but at least the movie theater was there for some warmth and entertainment. In the house I grew up in, the power went out there all the time (and we had well water, so if the power was out, so was our water…which included our toilet. NOT. FUN!). It’s a neat little book that brings up a few points I hadn’t thought of (especially that butane stove!).
Losing power is a terrible thing but this book may make you feel a little more in control and less helpless.
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Definitely! Especially if you can prepare yourself ahead of time and know exactly what you’ll do in terms of food when you’re in an emergency. 🙂