Sunday, February 22, 2009

Take the Kentucky Challenge With Us!

Recently, a close friend of mine was trapped in his home for weeks without power by the ice storms in Kentucky. Luckily for them the gas was still available and they had plenty of wood for the pot belly stove to warm the house. These storms were so bad that grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations were all closed for over a week, even today many residence are still without power.

This got me thinking; what if the grocery stores in your neighborhood were closed for a week? Would you have enough food to keep you going? We believe you do. As a matter of fact most middle-class Americans have enough food in their pantries, freezers and cupboards to survive weeks without taking on new ingredients.

So we have decided to issue a challenge and dedicate it to my friends and family that endured that week at home. The Kentucky Challenge goes like this; for the next week you eat only what you have at home. Dig deep in your pantry, cupboards, and freezers and get creative. Not only will you have a good time challenging yourself in the kitchen, you will also save the $100-$200 that you would have spent that week at the store, and you will use up all the extra stuff that you have at home. You know that stuff that you would have thrown away after it expired in your pantry or got freezer burned sitting around too long in the deep freeze.

I know that I'm not alone when I get home from the supermarket and can barely fit the new food in the refrigerator because there's so much of the old food left. So I’m sure that I'm not alone in being able to skip a week of shopping and still be able to eat well. If you have a dietary requirement for dairy or something perishable, I say get that item and only that item. Just don’t do the shopping thing and you’re still in the running.

I’ll be doing my Kentucky Challenge from California where luckily the weather won’t be a factor. Will you be joining me? Document your progress at The Last Bite Network. Use the blog section of your Mypage to chronicle your progress.


Eric said...

Hi from Kentucky.... We survived the real Kentucky challenge for 9 days and yes we cleaned out our cupboard. One night we had chili, another nite ham and white beans, one night we had home made pulled pork bbq sandwiches and on another spaghetti. One special night we had creamy chicken with lemon linguine. One night we had beef with carrots and potatoes. Each meal was of course by candlelight with an ambient temperature of about 50 degrees. Our wood burner stove (not a potbelly..haha.....) did keep one room warm. Snacks consisted of chips, cookies and some fruit. Since electric was out for 9 days our back deck turned into a refrigerator.....after all it was a balmy 2 degrees. Pepsi had ice chips in the cans.

If you take this challenge you will be surprised at what you can do and the amount of food you have stored away. It was an amazing experience that I do not want to repeat again. However it was also a learning experience in what to plan for in the future.

We often joke about emergency preparedness, not a joke any more.

Enjoy and I look forward to hearing about all of your treats.

For a few photos of the storm go here

Eric in Kentucky

Pepperfire said...

Like Eric, I have already been there, done that in the ice storm and we unfortunately did NOT have a pot-bellied stove.

I was one of 600,000 Quebecers who had to leave our homes in order to survive. I didn't get the opportunity to eat what was in my fridge and freezer, we had to throw everything out.

Many of my friends, living in outlying rural areas were still without power weeks later.

Suffice it to say, I won't be participating in the exercise, but I wholeheartedly agree that having an emergency plan in place is highly recommended. Include fresh drinking water, emergency candles, etc.

I look forward to reading the results of those of you who do participate. It sounds like fun... well except for the idea of reliving the ice storm that is!

I can't wait to hear how well y'all do when you're down to condiments!