When you know you’re not going to have electricity for five days or so, you get creative with the freezer triage process.
We’ve got an ice chest that can be powered via vehicle battery through the cigarette lighter; as long as we run the husband’s truck for about 40 minutes twice a day to recharge the battery, we can be assured of a cold ice chest.
Unfortunately, space was limited in said ice chest, meaning only the best, most essential items could be rescued from the fridge and freezing unit in the days after Alabama’s late April tornado outbreak.
Knowing that it wouldn’t fit in the ice chest, we grilled a frozen pizza instead of letting it thaw. Burnt bottom aside, it was delicious. We also grilled a couple of Trader Joe’s chicken burritos; again, they were blackened in a few spots, but their interiors were warm and delicious.
We pan-seared a couple of pieces of tuna from the freezing unit, and I stir-fried a small bag of shrimp. We ate like kings, really, until the four-day safety window ran out. Luckily, the day after we busted out the PBJ sandwiches in earnest, the power came back on.
Losses included a couple of small stuffed flounders, which we couldn’t figure out how to grill without burning, and two Nestle Drumsticks (we ate two that were half-melted out of sugary desperation). Also lost were several freezer bags filled with blanched greens; admittedly, no one was sorry to see them go.
Overall, we discovered we’re pretty good at camp-style cooking, although we’re not camping people. And don’t think that five days of electricity-free living is luring us in.