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The Waiting Game

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And now we wait. All of the snow prep is done with the exception of a couple of last minute items. Over the years I have learned a few more tricks to keep us from having problems when it comes to water and with the perishable foods.

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Keeping a few of the milk bottles around, just for times like this. We have a small refrigerator in our laundry room. For snow events, I completely reconfigure that fridge to be nothing but liquids and the lunch and dinner options, which could be moved to a cooler if the fridge were to get too warm.

I keep one small cooler with an ice bag in it. It becomes the place to put whatever I need to take out of the small fridge. Our large refrigerator/freezer NEVER gets opened while the power is off. The freezer has been reconfigured to have all the meat on the bottom with other odds and ends on top, and covered with ice packs and plastic bottles that were filled with water and frozen yesterday.

After our longest outage ever, the 22 hour one after the derecho years ago, the fridge made it up to 44 degrees and the freezer to 16 degrees. In the summer heat. Yesterday I turned the temps down to minus six in the freezer and 36 in the fridge.

I also splurged on a treat, in case we have to eat by candlelight.

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When I picked up my Friends and Farms basket yesterday, I pre-ordered a couple of packs of smoked salmon. They will go into that small fridge, to be used as a “fancy” meal base. I have that large lovely loaf of sourdough from the CSA, along with the cheeses. I also will be making a full four cup pot of jasmine rice. I am perfectly content to make salads using rice, and salads using beans or chickpeas. Between the smoked salmon and the two cans of sardines in the pantry, we could have some awesome candlelight dinners. Unfortunately, the cold could become an issue at some point, and our wood stove is in our basement.

I have cranked the heat up in our house today. Up to 74 degrees. If we lose power, we never open the west facing doors, using the smallest east facing opening, our mud room back door, to minimize heat loss in the rest of the house. Replacing our doors and windows over the past few years has helped us.

Finally, I learned two new tricks when it comes to having water, the non potable kind. I fill up the top loading washing machine and stop the cycle when it’s full. No clothes in it, just water. In a pinch, it could be used for flushing the toilets. Add that to our “recycling” of sump pump water. The other simple thing I do is fill the larger side of my sink, to put dishes in it. Keeps down the need to use paper plates, and when I get power back, we just pull out the dishes and fill the dishwasher.

Last minute tips. We have at least three pair of gloves for each of us. Usually, when we come in from snow removal and we have power, we throw gloves and hats in the dryer. Can’t do that with no power, so we have those spares while waiting for the others to dry out.

And, I filled all the birdfeeders and watered all my indoor plants.

I think I’m ready. Just hoping we don’t meet this when we open our mudroom door.

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The Snow Run

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Ok, admit it. Aren’t you also one of those people who runs out before a storm to make sure you have enough of those “essentials”?

For days like this.

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Of course, that was 2010. This storm, now that we have taken to naming them, might be just as bad as those 2010 storms were.

This morning I did run up to Harris Teeter to stock up on staples, in case we have a power outage. All those root veggies from my CSA need to be cooked, besides the carrots and the watermelon radishes.

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I looked at yesterday’s first delivery from my CSA and thought, hmmm. I can eat those watermelon radishes raw. And slice up those carrots, even though they really are cooking carrots. I decided I really needed to get the beans and onions that my Tuscan tuna recipe specifies.

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I have good Italian olive oil packed tuna. I needed white beans and white onions. Mix it all together, with a few more glugs of olive oil, salt and pepper it, and boom, one really satisfying meal. Particularly since we have bread and cheese from the CSA.

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A big loaf of sourdough and three cheeses from my cheese share. I could live on that bread and cheese, and that tuna, and of course, what goes best with bread and cheese? Wine!

Besides all this thinking about food, we are doing all those other snow prep things. Positioning the snow thrower. Filling water containers in case of power outages. Finding batteries and flashlights.

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Remembering that I need a little shovel to free the grill in case that’s where we will cook.

Last but not least, tomorrow I will fill up the cars with gasoline, and also make sure the phone is fully charged. Turn up the heat to get it warm inside, and turn down the temperatures for the refrigerator and freezer. Just to be prepared, because that’s usually when nothing happens. It’s when we aren’t ready that we usually get slammed.

And I still don’t get why people buy toilet paper? I get the bread and milk, sort of. But, TP? Really.

Hunkering down and hoping for a foot or less. Still, we are ready for that possibility of two feet of snow.