After some fits and starts, this winter has finally come to life with a vengeance rivaled only by the Democrats during the Trump cabinet nominee hearings. During this most recent spate of storms, many of us Mainers run the risk of losing power (something the Dems are also struggling with). You've got big plans for the evening and then suddenly... the electricity is gone (again with the Dems). "What do I do now?" you moan, quoting Hillary Clinton the day after the election results were announced.
When the power goes out, you risk the loss of expensive groceries in your refrigerator and freezer. But if you follow the tips I list here, you'll save your victuals and make meals that will bring you almost as much joy as Mike Pence is feeling these days while realizing he's just weeks away from having to drop the "V" from his title.
- Your refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if you don't open the door. Well, a lot of good that's going to do -- you need to eat, don't you? Do what I do and make a game out of it: open the door and make a meal with the first three items you lay your hands on. As an example: during a recent outage, I quickly reached into the fridge and came out with: 1) a jar of olives, 2) a six-pack of beer, and 3) another six-pack of beer. I ended up creating one of the most memorable feasts ever (so I've been told), and once the power was back on and I regained consciousness, I had enough olives left to whip up a serving of my famous Picadillo Cubano. And a martini.
- When full, your freezer will keep food frozen for 48 hours, but only 24 hours if merely half-full. Obviously, then, it's to your advantage to keep your freezer at its maximum storage capacity. I manage to maintain this without risking freezer burn by keeping several power tools and my Bean boots in there.
- One box of kitchen matches, when lighted in succession, generate enough heat to cook one hot dog. From personal experience, I suggest you put the wiener on a skewer before firing it up.
- If you take a frozen hamburger patty and place it under your arm, you'll have a gourmet meal of steak tartare ready to go in about four hours.
- Put on your cargo shorts, flip flops, and Tommy Bahama shirt, and serve last summer's leftover popsicles for dinner. OPTIONAL: Family sing-along to "Margaritaville" until the lights come back on.
- Science teaches us that an increase in pressure creates heat. So pull out a can of soup and then bet your housemates you can name all the Presidents of the United States, in order, in 30 seconds. You'll be enjoying some piping hot chicken noodle in no time.
- In a pinch, a snow blower can substitute for your salad shooter.
- Ted Cruz showed everyone how to cook bacon using a machine gun. Two hints when attempting this for the first time: remember to use hearing protection, and do it outside.
- Finally -- The moment you hear a big storm is coming, use Expedia to find the first available flight to Miami Beach. You and your family can be enjoying a delectable feast at Joe's Stone Crab that very evening.
I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful. By the way, I authored these recommendations by adopting the Republicans' approach to replacing the Affordable Care Act -- I had years to come up with something but only started to think about it yesterday. You can chew on that for awhile, too.