It’s funny how a hurricane can change your way of thinking. I was excited about growing these scallions from the little roots I cut off the ends while cooking. Just put them in dirt, or water, and they shoot up green stalks.
I grew some last year outside and they got huge. I always thought it would be nice to add flavor to food by reaching for herbs growing right in the kitchen.
Over the past months, since I got a new chest freezer, and a new refrigerator with a double freezer in the bottom, I have been freezing little containers of homemade meals. I was excited about having scallions ready to add to my cooking.
Soup is something I enjoy creating because I can add only what I like to eat. That usually means no meat. My homemade soup has no recipe and always ends up a little different, but it’s always packed with fresh, organic vegetables. I never finish it all and usually save at least 2 containers to freeze for later on. I have the freezer space, so that makes sense.
Or so I thought. Hurricane Irma taught me a lesson.
Our power was out for six days. I lost hundreds of dollars worth of food, frozen and refrigerated, including all my extra soup and stew meals that I labored to create from scratch.
We hadn’t had time to even consider adding a generator to our new place. We haven’t even lived here a full year. Money was spent on a new AC system and other necessities. The dishwasher was old, as was the side-by-side fridge. When we moved in here we didn’t even have a couch to sit on – we used lawn chairs!
When we saw that Irma was going to hit us, we figured it wouldn’t be that bad – and it wasn’t – but for some reason my little section of the neighborhood never got power back for many days. Across the street they had it on day two. We had to wait six. After day three, I knew the food wasn’t going to make it.
We were always searching for ice which was a rare commodity in this heat. We weren’t the only ones without power. (Thankfully my son is a firefighter and could bring ice from work). For days I dug through coolers searching for food. It’s not easy to find anything in a big cooler.
I stayed soaked in sweat day and night from the humidity. Without a generator we couldn’t run anything – fans would have been so helpful. I had a tiny battery operated fan that I set on my bed next to my head at night.
Finally on day 5 we found one generator (Yes, there was only one) at the local Home Depot. We hooked it up, started up the fridge, and ran fans at night. The next day, a little after noon, the power came on, but it was too late to save the food, or my sanity.
Now that the garbage disposal worked, I could dump all my delicious soups down the drain. All that work and money. Shopping, chopping, cooking, packing… for what? I am a changed person.
Some lessons are hard to learn, but I do learn. Even though we now have a generator and that should mean we will not lose food again, I don’t know if I will ever believe it. I will do things differently from here on out.