With disasters in mind, I seemed to have gravitated towards food preservation activities today. It's ironic in one way because the methods I am using in some cases require electricity, something many people are doing without today. Some of the preserved food will continue to use electricity, too, but in a disaster, one eats the perishable stuff first, sharing with the neighbors to keep food from being wasted.
Here's what I've done today so far:
- Chopped hot peppers and piled them into an ice cube tray. Added a smidgen of water and put it in the freezer. I'll pop out the frozen cubes later and use them for soups and chili through the winter.
- Chopped sweet peppers and vacuum-packed them for the freezer. I bagged them in small quantities to, again, use in soups over winter.
- Shredded the giant zucchini I never made into a stuffed zucchini boat and piled it in the dehydrator. The shreds will be easy to add to soups, breads, pilafs, and more.
- Chopped up the two large white icicle radishes, head of Napa cabbage, and a carrot for kimchi. They are soaking in a brine solution right now. Later, I'll drain them and toss with ginger, garlic, onion, and hot pepper before stuffing into a large jar and setting on the counter for a week or two to ferment.
- Sliced a cucumber and some onion. Tossed with sugar, salt, cayenne, and a splash of vinegar for a "quick kimchi" pickle. Hopefully I'll get the bibim bap made later and enjoy it with that dish.
Tonight I'll be using up vegetables and leftovers lurking in the fridge to make a tasty soup. As usual, I won't be using a recipe, instead just tossing together foods that sound like they will go well together. Tonight, for instance, it's looking like the soup will have the following ingredients in it: onion, celery, sweet pepper, hot pepper, carrot, mashed potatoes, and non-dairy cheezy sauce. If I remember, I'll even slice up some bread and make croutons. Mmmm, I love soup in the winter.
Soups are also a great way to use up perishable food from the refrigerator (first) and then the freezer when facing a power outage. Set up a backpacking or camp stove outside for simmering the dish. If you are including animal products, keep food safety issues in mind, both in the cooking and the prep/clean-up aspects.