R.V. Doon

Eating off Grid With Apocalypse Chow

Tropical Storm Rafael Threatening Bermuda

I had several readers make a comment about the hurricane’s name in my book, Body Wave. They suggested S named storms might not be possible and here we are in October with an R named storm. I named the hurricane in Body Wave, Hurricane Seraphina, and the locals dubbed it The Fiend. I gave it an S name to avoid any references to past or future storms. Maybe I should’ve ended it with a Z?  In any case, Apocalypse Chow is in my hurricane stash.

No, I’m not a survivalist, I don’t live off grid, and I don’t have a hurricane phobia. I just like being prepared for after a storm. My friends have laughed out loud when I tell them if the power goes out, I’m pulling out my cookbook, Apocalypse Chow. I have to tell them that I’m not joking.

I live in the Hurricane Hot Zone, known as anywhere on the Gulf Coast during June through November. My home is an older one nestled among a small park of beautiful southern live oak trees (see picture at bottom) and therefore my power lines are above ground. This means if a ranked hurricane of at least a level 3 strikes within a 150 miles radius of Mobile, I will lose power.  We didn’t want to deal with generators while they were as long and as heavy as bathtubs, so we ended up going without power 6-8 days. I’m used to this type of power outage hardship, even though, I hate it.

Good nutrition is the key to surviving off grid when it’s not your choice to live that way.

There came a point when the Pringles were gone, the Skittles were gone, the wine was gone, and the beer had a fever. The whole family was tired of peanut butter, crackers, and Pop Tarts. Eating off grid isn’t fun unless you have a blue print. Sure, we cooked on the barbecue grill, but after four days a normal person starts to worry about food poisoning.

If I’m going to be honest, eating unhealthy food made me cranky, tired, and I felt a bit sickly. Then it struck me, I needed to find tasty recipes to follow when the electricity went out, and I needed recipes that used foods that wouldn’t spoil but taste good. In other words, I didn’t want MREs.

Luckily, I found the book Apocalypse Chow written by Jon and Robin Robertson. AC is cleverly subtitled How to Eat Well When the Power Goes Out. I’ve never met them but I can tell you their little book is a total jewel and they deliver on their promises. They wrote AC to help hurricane survivors eat well while experiencing power failure for days and days. Plus, the book made me laugh. Apocalypse Chow features sixty-eight recipes carefully developed by Chef Robin.

The authors went a step further by selecting a Five Day Menu plan that will feed four people from the sixty-eight recipe options to make it easy for you. Then they give you the five day grocery list for under fifty dollars. Thank you!

Now, you’re eating vegetarian at this point, so its safe, but also easy to recycle the canned and jarred foods back into your normal eating life if you’re spared a power outage. So, for less than fifty dollars if you shop smart, you can set the items aside in a box with the book and experience peace of mind that you won’t serve spoiled food to your loved ones and make them sick.

Last, the recipes are speedy, simple, and designed by a chef. What’s not to love? No, I haven’t tried all the recipes, (thank goodness, because think of all the storms I would’ve suffered through). I loved Polenta Fusion Fiesta, Last Resort Lasagna, and Pantry Pasta Salad with Artichokes, Chickpeas, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes. What you get in the recipes are colors, flavors, and various textures for your meals. If you’ve experienced off grid cooking due to a power outage from storms and hated it, you should check out this book.

Readers of Body Wave will recall the main character, Reece Carson, wasn’t worried about the impending hurricane because she’d stocked her pantry by following the guidelines in Apocalypse Chow.  Naturally, that’s how I feel when a hurricane approaches, and I gave Reece the same confidence. We’re both ready!

Below, please admire a 500 y.o. Southern Live Oak at Blakeley State Park and Civil War Battlefield in Baldwin County. The tree has survived a long list of hurricanes and has kept its Spanish moss. (Click to enlarge picture). Look for several posts about this pristine battlefield located in the Heart of Dixie in the near future.

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Blakeley Battlefield Oak


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