Meals for a blizzard

Okay, okay, North Dakotans: we don’t know what a blizzard is. It’s gonna feel like one to us.

Anyway, here in Western North Carolina we’re bracing for the snow that begins tonight and continues through Monday midnight. Predictions call for anywhere from 3 to 24 inches, depending on whether the temperature zigs up or sags down. 10-15 sounds most likely, which is a huge amount for here.

And while I should be mostly worried about losing power (the precipitation may change briefly to rain, soaking the snow, before changing back to sleet to apply a nice glaze to the chunks of wet snow on branches and power lines), I’m more or less ready for that. What I really want is hearty delicious meals that we’ll want to come back to after playing outside. We just hopped on the Instant Pot train, so we can do that.

Also, I have a couple of maddeningly picky eaters in my children, so spiciness goes one of two ways: either none at all (like not even black pepper in the making of the food), or full-on deliciousness because I’ll feed them something else.

Final note: my god I have eaten so much macaroni and cheese over the past week. I am not down with the cheesy noodles at this point. But if you have an amazing cheesy noodle recipe, go ahead and post it, because maybe some other poor soul can use it.

Chili, soups, casseroles are the way to go. A good pot of chili is easy. There are many recipes. The next day add cooked noodles and you have chili-mac. Corn bread and you have supper.
Stock up on ground beef. Maybe cook it up ahead of the storm. Bag it up in Ziploc bags. You can add it to soup or chili. Making prep easier. I hope your stove is gas if you are expected to be out of electric for a bit.

Spam. Either cold out of the can or fried up with eggs or in a sandwich, it’ll either be something your kids discover they like, or be a terrible, funny story about that horrible blizzard of 2018.

Chili is a great idea, but I’m the only person in my family who will eat it, and one pot lasts me until I’m so sick of chili that I won’t make it for another five years.

Our stove is electric, but we have a camp stove and a grill with a new bag of charcoal. Also a couple dozen eggs and a cast-iron skillet :).

A casserole like lasagna might work…

Right now the line on the winter weather advisory is just a block and a half away, so we’re good. :dubious: OTOH, going the other way are the highest hills around so if there’s any sort of frozen precip in the vicinity those are going to take it.

Freezing rain often takes out the power. So non-cooked stuff could be on the menu.

Went to the store yesterday. The only thing we went out of our way to get was bread. So … sandwiches?

Look up instant pot lasagna. Super easy, my kids liked it, win win.

Stew. Beef Barley stew. I’ll give you the recipe if you want.

Quite seriously, be careful, be very careful, of using a camping stove indoors. If you have a sheltered place outdoors, fine, but do not use it indoors. Every once in a while, I read about someone in Montreal dying of CO poisoning using a stove indoors.

During the great 1997 ice storm (I can hardly believe that that was 22 winters ago) two of the very deaths happened just two blocks from where I live when a couple in their 90s asphyxiated after starting a fire in their basement. A neighbor (whom I knew) had tried to convince them to go the local town hall where emergency shelter had been set up (I guess they had emergency generators), but they refused.

By the way 15" (38 cm) would be a great blizzard even by Montreal standards. The largest 24-hour snowfall I recall in the 50 years I’ve been living here was 17".

not a turkey …… my stepdad was stuck in a place in Illinois during a blizzard and all they had to eat for a week was a bunch of left over turkey and stuff from the work tday dinner he didn’t eat it for years …….

Yeah, we’d definitely use it (and the charcoal grill!) outdoors. We’re goofballs, but not, I hope, Darwin Award candidates.

We’re doing instant-pot ribs and baked potatoes tonight, and this Iranian bean soup tomorrow night, which my kids might love or hate, I have no idea. Plus lots of sausage and baked goods as electricity permits.

Yes, stew and soups. I also think Italian dishes like lasagna or a big pot of meatballs with sauce is the way to go.

I’ll third the stew. Little chunks of a cheap cut of beef, potatoes and as few or many vegetables as you want, simmered for hours. The kitchen will smell great. No worry about leftovers, either. Just put the pot outside in the cold, and scoop out what you need for the next couple of days.

Yeah, soup. Hearty peasant soup, like with cabbage in it.

Matzoh ball soup would also be comforting. If your neighborhood is too Goyishe to find matzoh meal, do chicken and dumplings.

Second, er third or well let’s just say more on soups.

I do a lot of home made soups in the winter. I keep a variety of various dehydrated beans around for some good extra protein and fiber filler. A long simmer with the smells and all that warmth.

Get the kids some cereal. And make the chili. Give them a choice. If you’re out of electric, hot pot, crock pot or anything electric won’t work.( Duh? Sorry, just stating the obvious.) Get some instant coffee and hot chocolate mix. Get canned soups. And sandwich stuff.

Great advice, and have bread, milk, peanut butter and jelly available.

Due to an ice storm a couple of years back, we had a power outage in Toronto that lasted for 2 1/2 days. I survived by bundling up and eating cold meatloaf I had baked the day before the storm.

I have stocks of canned soup, stews, and pasta that I keep for just such emergencies. I also save lots of homemade dishes in containers that I freeze, both indoors and outdoors (in the winter).

Military surplus/survivalist MREs should have chemical heating packets that don’t require you to burn fires to heat the food. I should probably get some of those as well.

Spoken like someone who doesn’t have black bears wander through their neighborhood :).

Thanks for all the ideas!

You need some sturdy bins to store the containers in. I have a half dozen that I stack outside my back door. I weigh the top ones down with 2L bottles of water to keep the wildlife in my neighborhood (squirrels, skunks, raccoons, and the occasional rat) from getting into them.

The main band of precip has moved on. Just have to worry about the little “wrap around” stuff for a while more.

There had been 5 weather alerts for our area, now down to 3. (Two flood and one wind.)

The closest the frozen stuff got to us on radar was about 10 miles away.

We did get a power glitch last night. Which knocked out my flaky old DVR. I have to use a heat gun on the memory chips to get it started again, just like my granddad did during the Depression.