Monday, January 21, 2013

How to Survive a Power Outage

There are way too many people on the East Coast who have gone without power recently. On the whole, I consider myself lucky! Others have gone much longer. The snow that hit the southeast recently took our electricity for nineteen hours. Nothing compared to the weeks some people suffered through after the hurricane. Still, when it happens to you, nineteen hours seems like forever. I feel guilty because I still don't see lights when I look across the way.

So here are my top four items for surviving a power outage, even if it's only for nineteen hours.


1. A cooktop. This is a Burton Portable Burner. It comes with cans of butane gas that click into place. Why is this number one? Because with a cup of hot tea or coffee (or four) in the morning, all the rest of the problems are so much easier to handle.

You can even heat dog food!

2. Little bottles of water -- a lot of them. I had leftovers from our power outage last summer and was getting annoyed because they were taking up so much room. I was mighty glad to have them when we lost power again. Makes brushing teeth and washing hands and pots do-able!

3. Ice cream. Everyone should always have ice cream in the freezer. The rule is that it must be eaten when there's a power outage -- because it will melt. It also makes you feel better.

4. One hidden box of cookies. A treat makes the long dark nights a lot sweeter.


And now that I have electricity again (and just let me say what a wonderful thing a hot shower is!) I had a lovely pork tenderloin in the fridge that I felt I had to cook.

Elizabeth's fruity chutney on Saturday made me crave a lovely sweet and salty meat. I stuffed the tenderloin with plump dried plums (okay, we all know they're prunes), and reduced some mango juice for a sauce. So simple, but it turned out well.

So the knife skewed to the side a little. Still pretty!
If you're not into mangos, use any kind of sauce you like, or skip the sauce altogether. The meat is tender and juicy and the simple seasonings on top are good by themselves.

Plum Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Mango Reduction

1 pork tenderloin
salt
pepper
garlic powder
8-10 dried plums (prunes)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups mango juice

Pour mango juice into a small pan and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook, uncovered, about 45 minutes, until it reduces by more than half, to about 2/3 or 3/4 cup.

Meanwhile:
Preheat oven to 400.

Slide a knife with a narrow blade into the center of the pork tenderloin. Use your finger (or the end of a wooden spoon with a round handle) to push the dried plums into the tenderloin. (The very end will be too thin, so just concentrate on the middle.)

Had to post this because mystery writers are fond of knives.
Sprinkle both sides of the meat with pepper, garlic powder and salt and rub it on meat.

Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof pan large enough to hold the entire tenderloin. Brown the meat on each side for 2-3 minutes. Place pan in oven and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit 5-10 minutes before cutting.

Drizzle with mango reduction to serve.



16 comments:

  1. Great tips. I have been really lucky. This wind has made me quite nervous-but so far I have power. Knock on wood!

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    1. I'm sorry to say that it was wind that knocked out our power last summer. But they were tornado-force winds like I've never seen before. Hope I never see them again! Crossing my fingers for you!

      ~ Krista


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  2. Good tips. Also make sure you have a battery operated or hand crank operated emergency radio with cell phone charger. Bonus: headlamp.

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    1. Our clever hand crank cell phone charger doesn't have a connection for the latest phones! Must rectify that. I made a point of bringing out the battery-operated Christmas lights because I was certain if I did that the power would come back. It worked!

      ~ Krista

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  3. I can just see you, stabbing that poor pork roast. But the results sound tasty. Wonder if it work work with apples? And a little sage and onion...

    Several years ago I acquired a Victorian oil lamp for just such power outages--it's the same age as the house, but works fine (yes, I have oil for it). And I have a hand-crank flashlight shaped like a ladybug. I'm told we can charge our cell phones in our cars, if we have the right plug.

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    Replies
    1. Sheila, I'm sorry to say I was on the verge of sitting in my car just to charge the cell phone. Not four days prior I saw a gizmo that holds a charge so you can power up a cell phone. Now what was that called?

      I think apples, sage and onion would be delicious! Wonder if they would need to be sauteed first? And I gently slid the knife into the meat. LOL! But I was thinking what a great murder weapon knives are . . .

      ~Krista

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  4. You're reminding me it's lunch time Krista! What did you serve with the pork?

    Dru is our biggest expert on existing without power after hurricane Sandy. We lost our power for a week after each of the last big storms in New England. A gas stove makes it less onerous, but still no fun. Especially when it's cold...

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    1. We decided that while both are miserable, losing power in extreme heat is worse because there's just nothing you can do about it. In the winter, you can bundle up.

      Gosh, we weren't having so many power outages. I think I would be a basket case if I had to go a week.

      My mother wanted pasta with the pork, but I think rice would have been better.

      ~ Krista

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  5. I'd rather lose power in extreme heat - no frozen pipes, etc.

    Regarding the post, am I the only one who thought that the dog food looked delicious? I thought you were going to tell us about the stew you whipped up on the burner.

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    1. Well, there is that, Christi! : )

      LOL! I should have whipped up a stew for us. I think the dogs ate better than we did. I home cook for my dogs, and cooked a big batch of food for them before the storm hit.

      ~ Krista

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  6. Hi, Krista, sorry you lost power, but what great tips. What a great photo of the tree! And love the idea of a secret stash of cookies.

    Daryl / Avery

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    1. LOL! Daryl, right about midnight those cookies were the only thing that made us feel a little bit better about the situation.

      ~ Krista

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  7. What a useful post, Krista. We do lose power here and were without for 8 days during the ice storm of 98. I'll be getting one of those burners and the small bottles of water. Right now we have a massive container, but it's hard to lift.

    The stuffed pork looks very yummy and a great way to celebrate power! Including diva power.

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    Replies
    1. Love it! Diva power!

      I hope you don't lose power, even for 19 hours. It's just miserable.

      ~ Krista

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  8. I'm with Christi on the dog food photo - even puppy chow looks delicious when you're cooking it, Krista, lol! The tenderloin looks amazing and kudos to you for getting a post up despite the storm and outage.

    ~ Cleo

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    1. LOL! Thanks, Cleo. When one of my dogs had a tummy bug, the vet recommended feeding her a specific canned food. Just like children who prefer take-out pizza to mom's home cooking, my dogs acted like that canned stuff was the best food in the world. Of course, that made it easy to hide the medicine in it!

      ~ Krista

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