This time of year, we are very likely to have afternoon thunderstorms in which we lose power. After a power failure, you might not have air conditioning, heat, refrigeration, or water. To prepare food when you have no power, follow these guidelines:
• If you have limited heat for cooking, choose foods that cook quickly. Prepare casseroles and one-dish meals, or serve no-cook foods.
• If you can’t use your stove, you can use:
– Outside grill, either charcoal or gas.
– Candle warmer, such as a fondue pot. Do not use a candle warmer to cook raw meats, fish, poultry, and eggs.
– Camp stove- Never use a fuel-burning camp stove or charcoal burner inside your home, even in a fireplace. Fumes from these stoves can be deadly.
• Do not cook frozen foods because they require much more cooking time and heat than canned goods.
• Eat commercially canned foods straight from the can. Do not eat home canned meats and vegetables unless you can boil them for 10 minutes before eating.
• Substitute liquids from canned vegetables for water in unsweetened cooked dishes.
• Substitute juice from canned fruits for water in salads and beverages.
• All water from questionable sources that will be used in food preparation must be boiled for at least 10 minutes before use.
• If you are without refrigeration, open only enough cans or jars of food for one meal. Leftover food in jars and cans cannot be saved.
• If necessary, substitute canned and powdered milk for fresh milk.
• Prepare and eat foods in their original containers, if possible.
If you keep the door closed, food in most freezers will stay below 40° F for up to 3 days, even in summer. Thawing rate depends on:
• The amount of food in the freezer.
• The kind of food.
• The temperature of the food.
• The freezer.
• The size of freezer.
You may safely re-freeze foods that still contain ice crystals or that have been kept at 40° F or below.
Source: North Carolina State University
Honey Mustard Pork Chops
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
6 boneless pork loin chops (3/4 inch thick)
In a small bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients. Pour half of the marinade into a large resealable bag. Add pork chops. Seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 6 – 8 hours or overnight. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade for basting.
Coat grill rack with cooking spray before starting grill. Drain and discard marinade. Grill pork, uncovered, over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees, basting frequently with reserved marinade.
Sandra R. Cain is the Bladen County Extension director. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-862-4591.