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For Better Living: Meal Preparation and Food Safety After a Power Failure

By Sandra Cain

Sandra Cain

Sandra Cain

This time of year, we are very likely to have afternoon thunder storms in which we lose power.  After a power failure, you might not have air condition, 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.

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