8.26.2012

A hurricane's a-comin'... maybe.

Hello friends. Well it looks as though we may be getting smacked. Then again, we may not. Either way, it's best to be prepared. Personally, I am not planning to leave my newly purchased home for anything less than a Cat 3, so I want to be prepared on the home front.

For my own sanity I have collected / compiled this list of prep tips - for your health and happiness I share them. Your needs will differ depending on your household, but these are some basics if you plan to shelter in place:

To Do BEFORE a storm makes landfall:
  • Make sure your pantry is stocked with non-perishable foods that can be eaten at room temperature (you may not be able to heat / cook). This can include cans of beans, cereals, rice cakes, crackers, granola / granola bars, nuts, and the like. Don't forget, an electric can opener won't be much good in case of a power outage!
  • Gather food-safe containers with lids such as pitchers to fill with water in case of flooding or heavy rains which could compromise your tap water.
  • If you live with companion animals, make sure you are stocked for their care as well.
  • Gather or purchase flashlights, new batteries, candles, matches, and a first aid kit including an antiseptic. Also include a battery-powered radio if possible.
  • Stock up or locate trash bags, paper towels, disposable plates and utensils, and other items to help keep things sanitary in the event that you can't leave the house for a few days.
  • Purchase or locate plywood or cardboard, masking tape, and other supplies that can be used to block vulnerable windows.
  • As crazy as it may seem, there is a reason that people in New Orleans have always kept an ax in the attic.
Once it is confirmed that a major storm is going to make landfall in your area, do / check on the following:
  • Move your car to the highest ground possible, and remove all personal items from it.
  • Apply protective barriers to the windows in case of objects being propelled by high winds.
  • Check your property for any loose items that could become projectiles; bring them inside or secure them.
  • Fill as many food-safe containers as possible with fresh water for drinking.
  • While you still have electricity, charge laptops and cell phones to 100%.
  • While you still have water, take a shower!
  • Get all of your laundry done - there's no telling how long you could be without water and/or electricity.
  • Likewise, make sure all your dishes are washed, and be prepared to use disposable dishware.
  • Once everyone has bathed, fill bathtub(s) with water for uses other than consumption (toilet flushing, etc.).
The FEMA website provides a number of disaster tips, including this emergency supply kit list.

Remember, the goal is to stay safe! Best to you all, now and throughout this half year we call hurricane season.

8.25.2012

Happy Saturday New Orleans Vegans!

Jonathan and I have had a lovely morning tooling around the city. After a quick stop at the Bean Gallery, we headed to Hollygrove Farm and Market. We decided to go for the big haul: that is, "the box." This week's box contained okra, corn, grits, apples, a variety of peppers, shiitakes, raw peanuts, mixed herbs, micro greens, and muscadine grapes. Challenging!

This has left me with one big question: what to do with raw peanuts? Answer: boil them. In water, with salt. For a long time. Zataran's, here I come! Not sure what we'll do with the rest... maybe the okra will get cooked with the peppers. Corn could get cooked (briefly) with the peanuts, apples and grapes are easy, greens will go to the bunnies most likely, and perhaps some peppery smoky grits? This just leaves the shiitakes. Which I love, so I doubt it will be a problem!

While at Hollygrove, we inquired about composting. I've always said I'd do it once I have a yard. Well, I don't have a yard but I have a back patio! So I'm going to call close enough. Hollygrove sells large barrels for composting, and a woman there named Alyssa seems to be very knowledgeable in their use. With just a little more research (and an empty car to get the barrel home in ), I feel I'll be on my way to composting at home!

Next we headed down to Breads on Oak. Lured by the promise of vegan croissants, we were excited to find a huge variety of vegan pastries available. What a revelation! It is practically a vegan bakery, with very few non-vegan options. Baker Sean O'Mahony creates artisanal breads (including today's croissants), most of which are vegan, while Chamain O'Mahony creates an impressive array of vegan muffins, cakes, and breads. We did in fact eat two vegan croissants right then and there... and then got two more to take home. We've got plans for brunch at home tomorrow morning! The only drawback is that the beautiful space is only open on Fridays and Saturdays.

Now for a long afternoon of cooking locally grown produce!

8.03.2012

Happy Vegan Taco Day!

Hello New Orleans - and happy Vegan Taco Day!

Yes, it's vegan taco day - the first international celebration thereof. Much like Vegan Pizza Day and Vegan Ice Cream Day, Vegan Taco Day aims to celebrate the joys of vegan food. That's a lot of joy!

So, where will YOU eat vegan tacos today? You could of course make them at home - it's so easy! Here's a tip: get both soft tortillas and crispy corn shells. Toast the shells in the oven for a few minutes. Then wrap them in the tortilla, using just a schmear of refried beans to hold the two together. Fill with black beans, veggies, guacamole, salsa, sauteed tofu... whatever floats your boat! Perfection.

Not into the home route? Do what I'm going to: stop by either location of Juan's Flying Burrito and get the three taco dinner. I like mine with sweet potatoes and roasted corn.

However you celebrate, have a great time! And don't forget to post pics of your tacos on the Vegan Taco Day facebook event. Happy eating y'all!