I live in a very rural area. Power outages are not uncommon throughout the year but in the winter, it creates some special challenges. Keeping the house heated and so on is my husband’s responsibility.
But the kitchen and the cooking? All me.
Here are a few of the things that are essential to my kitchen – both with power and without. Our families need to eat, right? These items help me keep food preparations easy.
First things first. Coffee. No electric? No coffee maker. Since coffee is a necessity in my life, I always keep one of these coffee percolators handy. I’ve used it on campfires, on my propane-powered stove and on my husband’s grill in a pinch. I do not mess around when it comes to my morning coffee. My percolator stays in my kitchen (middle drawer, right hand side) at all times.
If coffee is a necessity for me, soft butter is a necessity for my husband. Enter the Butter Bell. It keeps one stick of butter soft and safe to keep on the counter for 30 days at a time. Since we don’t have a microwave, this is a necessity in our house at all times. When we have no power, it’s nice to know that butter is one less thing I have to open the refrigerator to grab when preparing a meal.
This isn’t necessarily something that I need when the power goes out as much as it’s something that I use constantly. Good, quality wooden spoons. They don’t taint the flavor of your food. They don’t heat up if you leave them in the pan. They might burn if you leave them to close to your cooking flame. But overall, I prefer wooden spoons to metal.
|These might be the coolest wooden spoons ever.
I’m sure this next one is going to make me sound a little crazy so bear with me here. I might be a little obsessed with glass jars. Salsa jars. Pickle jars. Sauce jars. Anything. As long as I have the lid, I save them. Glass jars are great for storing leftovers. You can also submerge them in warm water to reheat the leftovers. I have them in every size you can imagine right up to one gallon jars that I keep my bulk grains in. I love glass jars. Need a candle holder? glass jar. Need a container for utensils at a potluck? glass jars. Are all your glasses dirty but you don’t want to waste water with washing dishes during a power outage? glass jars. I think I have a problem.
A few common sense items that I keep in stock at all times: non-electric can opener, matches and candles. When candles go on clearance after the holidays, snatch them up! Who cares what they smell like! If you are in a long term power outage situation, they will all come in handy. We also keep no less than four oil lamps and extra oil in our house. They let off a lot of light and the oil lasts forever.
We have invested in cast iron cookware over the last few years. It can be used in the house as your regular cookware but in an emergency situation, you can use it on a campfire or barbecue grill. The dutch ovens can be used for baking – biscuits, breads, cakes, etc – even out on the grill. It might take a little practice, but in a pinch you could cook and bake for your family outdoors.
What do you keep around your house in case of a power outage?